Saints lose in unusual showing

Published 10:37 pm Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Playing against host Southampton Academy on Monday, the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy baseball team did a lot with a little on offense and too little with what it’s got on defense.

The result of the strange performance was a 17-16 Saints defeat.

“It’s kind of very similar to our game with Atlantic Shores (Christian School) last year,” NSA head coach David Mitchell said, referring to the 17-16 loss to the Seahawks in the state quarterfinals.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy junior Alberto Smith eyes a hit against host Southampton Academy during the Saints’ 17-16 loss on Monday. (Cain Madden photo)

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy junior Alberto Smith eyes a hit against host Southampton Academy during the Saints’ 17-16 loss on Monday. (Cain Madden photo)

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A major difference in the two NSA performances, though, is that the team produced 17 hits against the Seahawks, while on Monday against the Raiders, it only managed six.

“We scored off some passed balls, some errors,” Mitchell said, “We scored off a couple bunts,” and there were also big hits, with runs batted in.

But the game was really decided by what Nansemond-Suffolk did not do on defense.

“We didn’t pitch it very well, and we didn’t play very good defense,” Mitchell said.

This was evident by the Raiders’ offensive statistics, as they piled up their 17 runs off 19 hits. They were helped by eight NSA errors.

“We pitched five pitchers that day, counting Greg (Beale),” Mitchell said on Tuesday.

Beale, the Saints’ senior No. 1 pitcher, threw only one pitch in the game to earn the loss.

The contest had been back and forth, with NSA going up by five runs at one point. But then Southampton came back and tied it.

“They were actually up three going into the top of the seventh,” Mitchell said. “Then we scored five runs.”

But later, in the bottom of the final inning, Beale (3-1) took the mound in relief and had no chance to settle in before the Raiders recorded a three-run home run to end the game.

Saints senior Jake Grady and sophomore Cole Williams each recorded two hits apiece.

“You score 16 runs, you should win a baseball game,” Mitchell said, but also gave credit to Southampton for being a good team.

After the game, Mitchell told his players the best thing about baseball is that you do not have to wait six days for a chance to move on from this game and play again. The Saints (5-2, 0-0) hosted Greenbrier Christian Academy on Tuesday afternoon.

Mitchell said he would project the Gators to be the No. 1 team in the state at the Division II level of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association, as well as being the top team in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools.

“They’re as good as they are year-in, year-out,” Mitchell said prior to the game on Tuesday.