Last Updated: Apr 27th, 2015 - 11:04:56

Trent Scott Helps Hopewell Rally To Comeback Win
By Ryan Lazo, sports editor
Mar 27, 2014, 21:16

Ryan Lazo/Hopewell News/News-Patriot
HOPEWELL After retiring the first two Highland Spring batters on just five pitches, Blue Devils' starting pitcher Andy Howell began to find himself in trouble. Three hits and one strikeout later, Howell had surrendered two runs. Yet, it seemed Howell was on the right path after completing a perfect frame in the second.

However, it all unraveled in the third in which he allowed five consecutive hitters to reach base which prompted a pitching change by Hopewell manager Bobby Pershing and the move ultimately won them the game. Instead of allowing the deficit to grow any bigger it was 6-2 with one out in the top of the 3rd inning Hopewell's Trent Scott struck out the first two batters he faced to grab the momentum.

And when Hopewell came to bat in the bottom of the inning, it was Scott who started a rally with a lead-off double into the left-center field gap. The Blue Devils would score three runs in the inning with base-hits from both Neeyamyah Nunez and Travis Hogan before riding both the arm and bat of Scott the rest of the way in what would eventually be a 12-8 come-from-behind victory.

Just moments after Scott froze Highland Springs' Greg White with a low and outside fastball, Pershing gathered himself together by the dugout fence while heaping accolades on the sophomore who swung momentum completely around with his play on the diamond.

"I thought he came in and shut some guys down who had been hitting the ball pretty hard and I think that really turned us around at the plate, too," Pershing said of Scott's 4.2 innings pitched with five strikeouts and just two runs allowed. "We had come in and had left a lot of runners on base early in the game and we corrected that. We started putting the ball in play, the bunting game was really important to us today, so everyone contributed ... Great way to start the season."

But if it wasn't for Scott, it would not have ended the way it did.

Through the first three innings, the Springers' No. 3 to No. 6 batters were a combined 8-for-8. At the game's conclusion, Scott had held them to just 1-of-8 the rest of the way with three strikeouts. Even more impressive was Scott's performance at the plate.

Scott went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate while also drawing a walk and being a key component of two different rallies. His 3rd inning double started off a three-run rally and his bases clearing triple in the fifth broke open the game for the Blue Devils.
Ryan Lazo/Hopewell News/News-Patriot

But in his final at-bat with the defense playing him to pull, Scott deftly took an outside pitch the opposite way for an RBI-single to finish his night with four RBIs, impressing his coach for the way he produced in the No. 3 spot.

"I kind of put him in a tough spot because I put him the three hole and all preseason he's not been there," Pershing said. "I needed someone there who I knew could put the bat on the ball and he came through and hit with power in addition to that. Great all-around game for him."

It was also a great all-around game for the entire Blue Devils' lineup, especially during a 5th inning in which the team batted around and scored five runs to take a three-run lead.

The inning started with a base-hit and Brandon Scott reaching on error, but it didn't truly take shape until Jeremiah Rivera put fourth an epic battle between hitter and pitcher. Rivera, 0-for-3 to that point in the game, quickly fell behind in the count 0-2 before fouling off four consecutive tough pitches.

Then, Rivera smoked a single into centerfield to pass the baton to Cameron Hill. The freshman also found himself in an 0-2 hole almost the exact moment he dug into the batter's box, but he continued to battle through a grueling six-pitch at-bat before being hit by a pitch.

It's the type of at-bats which can change the course of the game and even a season in some instances as it propelled Hopewell to the win.

"Jeremiah has been frustrated with the bat lately ... he hasn't hit the ball the way he's capable of and we just kept telling him to be patient," Pershing said. "He finally got some good pitches to hit and he hit them hard. We're looking for a lot of things from him. And Cameron Hill, as far as a freshman stepping in and doing the job for us offensively and defensively, he doesn't play like a freshman."
Ryan Lazo/Hopewell News/News-Patriot

But that's the way this Hopewell team operates. On any given day, any one of them can step up and lead the team to victory whether by big blows like Scott or the little ones like Brandon Scott did with his critical sacrifice bunts.

And most importantly, this was a team who showed tremendous character to earn a comeback win. After falling behind early and not producing with the bases loaded, many teams would slump their shoulders and surrender but this team fought and it's a promising sign for the rest of their season.

"I give our guys credit," Pershing said. "They could have easily folded but they didn't. They just kept battling back and I was glad to see them have fun."

Often times winning and fun go together and if Hopewell continues to exhibit a togetherness to bail each other out, the fun atmosphere should continue late into the season.

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