Staunton River takes two from Rusties

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Tops former Seminole rival on the diamond

By Mike Forster

 They did leave the Seminole, right?

Staunton River, which joined the Blue Ridge District a couple of years ago, has found its best baseball success against its former Seminole mates.

The Golden Eagles picked up their second win of the season over spring break, topping Rustburg, 11-8.  Then, the Rivermen turned around and topped the Red Devils at the Eagles Nest.  The earlier game was played at Rustburg's Fiery Flames Field.

River's other win came in its opener, topping Liberty.  Its sole loss came against a third Seminole entrant, powerhouse Jefferson Forest.

So, the Eagles stand 3-1 against Seminole squads.

In the first game against the Rusties, River pounced early.  Catcher Paul Williams led off with a single and Matt Daniels followed him with a double.  Jake Divers' sacrifice fly gave River a 3-0 lead.

In the second, the Eagles got big hits from Scott Ellis, Luke Davis and Divers in scoring another four runs.

When all was said and done, starting pitcher Mitchell Hullett had an 11-3 lead after four innings.

Hullett later helped his own cause, mauling a two-run tater over the left field fence.  It was his first homer of the season.

"We expected a good start to the season," said Hullett, of his team's 3-1 start.  "It's been frustrating, though, to have so many games canceled (due to weather)."

Rustburg made something of a comeback.  Will Morris smacked a two-run homer of his own off Daniels, in relief to help spark a productive bottom of the sixth.

But Daniels limited the Red Devils to a single hit in the seventh.  Joe Hall's dangerous looking fly to center right field was deftly hauled in via a running snag by River outfielder Daniel Scott.

"Mitchell did a good job," said Eagle Head Coach Brian Divers.  "He only gave up one walk.  I'll take that."

"We have to be throwing strikes and playing good defense."

That's just what his Eagles did.  Notably, Hullett, Divers and Scott were stellar in their defensive play.


M-Men fall to H-burg

The Minutemen tried to outrace Mother Nature last Thursday.  They were successful in that venture.

They were not, however, successful in outracing Harrisonburg.

With foul weather threatening, the teams moved their start time up from 5 to 2 p.m., swapping times with the JV.

Liberty then showed that the change did it no favors as Harrisonburg rang up a 10-0 lead after three innings.

This one had all the look of a mercy-rule shortened affair.  The Burgers were clearly in charge and Liberty was doing little at the plate.  Plus, snow flakes started to fall.  Who wanted to keep playing in those conditions?

Well, credit the Minutemen for wanting to do so.  The team's bats started to come to life.  Meanwhile, "Admiral" Nelson Carroll came on in relief, throwing an inning of hitless ball.

Carroll's effort seemed to spark things for Liberty as Denver Aud, Josh Whelan and Zach Key followed him in mound duties.  The quartet combined to limit Harrisonburg to zero hits the rest of the way.

Meanwhile, Whelan was part of another contributory quartet.  He, Jesse Key, Adam McKinney and Codie Massie each belted a pair of hits as the Minutemen clawed their way back, putting up a pair of runs in the fifth and four runs in the seventh, despite that last inning being played in a rainstorm that featured flakes of snow.

"We swung the bats well," said Liberty Head Coach Mike Thompson.  "We fought back and showed a lot on a Spring Break game."

Added Thompson, "I guess we're a foul-weather team.  That's [the only kind of weather] we've had."


JF at Tarboro

The Cavs made their annual 180 mile trek to Tarboro, NC for Spring Break.  Last year's tournament champions had another nice run there.

The Cavs overcame an opening-day loss to Lawrence Academy, a North Carolina powerhouse, 2-0.

The Cavs picked up wins over Timber Creek and Southwest Edgecomb.

In the 3-0 win over Timber Creek, Taylor Bell (who had two of the three Cav hits  in the opener) picked up the win, going all seven innings and scattering five hits.

Bell was backed up with big (run-scoring) hits from Cal Hodgert, Tyler Lucy and Mitchell Doss.

In the 5-2 win over Southwest Edgecomb, Jon-Ryan Breeden kept his record perfect, improving to 4-0.

Hodgert was big at the plate again.  He and Ryan Crist each belted a pair of hits.

JF hosts Liberty this Wednesday evening.