Warriors sweep the Ironclad
Published 8:55 pm Friday, May 29, 2015
The Nansemond River High School baseball team finished things the way it started them in the Ironclad Conference.
Playing in their final Ironclad tourney before moving to a new conference in the Group 5A classification next year, the Warriors repeated as champions on Thursday, defeating Denbigh High School 12-2 in a mercy rule-shortened contest at Nansemond River.
“It’s pretty awesome the way the kids have handled the Ironclad,” Warriors coach Mark Stuffel said. “We work hard to get ready for it.”
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This week, Phoebus High School and Denbigh were first-hand witnesses to the fruit of the Warriors’ labors.
“We had 34 hits in two nights,” Stuffel said. “That’s really good hitting.”
Nansemond River generated 16 hits on Wednesday in a 15-1 semifinal victory over the Phantoms, and it produced 18 hits on Thursday against the Patriots.
Against King’s Fork High School on Wednesday, Denbigh jumped out to an early 4-1 lead on its way to ending the Bulldogs’ season via a 6-1 defeat. The Patriots looked poised to do the same on Thursday against the Warriors, taking a 1-0 lead into the second inning, but it did not last for long.
“After we came out and we started swinging it, I was pretty comfortable,” Stuffel said of his Warriors.
The Warriors scored three runs in the second inning, three more in the third, one in the fourth, four in the fifth and one in the sixth. The last run brought the mercy rule into effect, canceling the seventh inning.
Understandably, Nansemond River had a variety of offensive standouts.
“Dion Jordan has been really good the last two games,” Stuffel said, noting the junior went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in against Denbigh and went 4-for-4 against Phoebus. “He’s been in the leadoff spot and doing a really good job.”
Stuffel also praised sophomore Jarret Henderson, who went 3-for-3 with three RBIs against the Patriots. The Warriors’ run in the fourth came off a solo home run by senior Kieton Rivers.
Senior Robert Fitzwater went 2-for-3 with two RBIs on Thursday, and on Wednesday, he hit a three-run home run and got the win on the mound.
Though the Warriors’ offense grabbed the spotlight because it was so prolific, Stuffel said it was the team’s strong play in all three phases of the game that brought about the championship win.
On defense, “we didn’t make an error again,” he said. “We haven’t made an error in a long, long time.”
And on the mound, “Matt Holt threw a great game,” Stuffel said. He had 10 strikeouts and helped limit Denbigh to four hits.
Nansemond River (18-4) will host either Glen Allen High School or Hanover High School in the Region 4A South quarterfinals on Monday at 5:30 p.m.