Warriors come up just short

Published 9:09 pm Thursday, June 5, 2014

Nansemond River High School senior Shane Woods competes against visiting Hanover High School in Wednesday's regional semifinal. The Warriors fell 3-2 in eight innings. (Photo by Wil Davis/Wil Davis Photography)

Nansemond River High School senior Shane Woods competes against visiting Hanover High School in Wednesday’s regional semifinal. The Warriors fell 3-2 in eight innings. (Photo by Wil Davis/Wil Davis Photography)

Only a few feet that separated defeat from victory for the Nansemond River High School baseball team in Wednesday’s regional semifinal against visiting Hanover High School.

Warriors senior Shane Woods took his last swing as a high school baseball player in the bottom of the eighth inning, with two outs, one runner on and his team trailing the Hawks 3-2. The ball soared to the deepest part of the park in centerfield, the outfielder backing up right next to the wall.

“That was a missile,” NR head coach Mark Stuffel said. He quickly added, “That was a great catch.”

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And so the season came to an end for the Warriors, who despite the loss, finished with a 21-3 record.

While Nansemond River committed a key error in the third inning, Wednesday’s contest was defined more by its positives.

“It was just a great all-around game by everybody,” said Warriors senior Mike Parmentier, who pitched the eighth inning.

Summing up the contest, Stuffel said, “We played a really great team. We played really good, they played really good. They scored more runs than we did.”

He said his team did a good job against the Hawks’ pitcher, outhitting Hanover seven to four. The Warriors were led by freshman Jarrid Johnson, who went 3-for-4, including a double.

“For a freshman, facing an arm on the mound that we saw tonight, he did a great job,” Stuffel said.

Senior Chase Williams had a hit and a run batted in, as did senior Shane McCaw. Juniors Robert Fitzwater and Kieton Rivers each contributed a hit, as well.

“The ball didn’t hop our way a few times,” Stuffel said. “I felt like the guys did mostly what they could have done.”

Fitzwater had a strong game on the mound, throwing 98 pitches across seven innings, allowing three hits and recording three strikeouts.

Looking back on the 2014 season, Stuffel said, “It was a great year. We did a lot of growing up this year. The seniors led us.”

Those seniors included Hunter Kiessling, McCaw, Parmentier, Trevor Riggs, Williams and Woods.

Though Parmentier had played his last game in a Nansemond River uniform, he was still thinking of the Warriors’ 2015 season as he said the “team’s going to do really well.”

Stuffel agreed, noting it has good pitching coming back, the middle infield will be back and the outfield is fairly solid.