Warriors rout Patriots to reach title game

Published 9:29 pm Thursday, May 29, 2014

The No. 1 Nansemond River High School baseball team handled a day-long weather-related interruption in the conference tournament semifinals with poise.

The host Warriors held a 2-0 advantage against No. 4 Denbigh High School in the bottom of the second inning on Wednesday. When play continued on Thursday, they added six more runs in the inning and three in the third for an 11-0 mercy rule-abbreviated win.

Nansemond River head coach Mark Stuffel said his players “did what they needed to do,” and complimented them on their ability to adjust to the different pitching speeds employed by the Patriots.

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Warriors senior Hunter Kiessling went 2-for-2, with two runs batted in and two runs scored. Junior Robert Fitzwater had two RBIs and also pitched the first two innings of the game. Senior Shane McCaw went 2-for-2, with a run scored, and junior Kieton Rivers went 1-for-2, with two RBIs and a run scored.

Stuffel said it feels great to have qualified for regional play with the win, and he hopes his team will become the first Ironclad Conference tournament baseball champions today when the Warriors face No. 2 King’s Fork High School (13-8).

The Bulldogs played the Warriors very close in their first meeting this season, falling narrowly, 6-5. The most recent contest, however, was one-sided as Nansemond River scored nine runs in the first inning to win 9-0, and Fitzwater threw a no-hitter, with 14 strikeouts.

The Warriors (19-2) will play host today at 6 p.m.