Colonials Knock Off Dinwiddie
By David Breidenbach, Correspondent
Apr 6, 2014, 09:40
David Breidenbach/Hopewell News/News-Patriot
COLONIAL HEIGHTS—Stellar pitching and timely hitting enabled the Colonials to escape the clutches of the Dinwiddie Generals 3-2 in a varsity baseball game Thursday night in the cozy confines of Shepherd Stadium.
Colonials’ starter, Seth Markins, had done a masterful job of keeping the Generals from scoring any runs through five innings. But in the top of the sixth, the Generals struck for back-to-back singles up the middle from O’Neal Shell and Rashad Stewart to open the inning. With no outs and runners on first and second, Colonials Coach Gerald Carsley wasted no time in trotting out Noah Murdoch to try to quell the riot.
“We knew that was the third time through the lineup for (Markins). He’s our guy right now and he did everything he could do for us. We also knew we had Murdoch to fall back on if he got in trouble,” Carsley said.
While Murdoch did his job in getting three straight fly outs, Dinwiddie did its job too. After being held at second on a fly ball to left for the first out, Shell stole third base to put himself 90-feet from a tie game. The Colonials ignored Stewart as he took second on the next pitch. Later in the count, one of Murdoch’s pitches worked its way high in the zone, and got past the catcher allowing Shell to score the tying run and moving Stewart to third base. Gunn then popped a long fly to left field that scored Stewart to give the Generals a 2-1 advantage. Murdoch cut left fielder Zach Stoupa’s attempt to throw Stewart out at the plate.
“I felt pretty good, especially in the third and fourth inning, had a little trouble with bases loaded and one out, but we got out of that. But my arm was feeling a little sore going into the sixth inning, but I wanted to finish it out. I tried but gave up two hits,” Markins said.
Dinwiddie’s lead was short lived. Markins, the Colonials leadoff hitter, reached on a single and took second when the Dinwiddie catcher’s pickoff attempt sailed over the first baseman’s head. With Markins at second, Carsley opted for small ball and had Reed Raikes bunting to try to move Markins over to third.
Raikes, who also scored the first run for the Colonials in the third inning on Jason Maitland’s double to center field, dumped the pitch down the third baseline and then beat out the throw to first for hit. With Dinwiddie’s infield in bunt coverage, Raikes noticed second base was open and wisely took off. His quick thinking gave the Colonials two runners in scoring position with no outs.
“On the bunt I was just trying to get a sacrifice. I laid it to down to third and didn’t know if I would beat it out, I was just running. Then I saw no one was at second base, so I just ran there,” Raikes said.
With no out and men on second and third Dinwiddie switched pitchers and put Stewart on the bump to face the Colonials’ top batter, Zack Stewart. But before Stewart had a chance to work his plate magic, Markins scored on a passed ball and Raikes took third base. Stewart followed by planting a Texas League single between the second baseman and centerfielder that drove in Raikes with what would be the winning run. That set up the last inning dramatics for Murdoch.
“He’s a good pitcher and he knuckled down that last inning,” Carsley said about the 6-6 sophomore.
All that offensive action gave Murdoch a chance to redeem himself. He did so with style inducing the first batter into a nubber back to the mound out one, and then got a hard grounder right to the second baseman for out two. With a two-ball and two-strike count on the number nine hitter, Murdoch went to his strength and challenged with a high and tight fastball that notched the K and the win.
“Well making a few mistakes in the sixth, I knew I let my team down a little bit. But we got the lead back in the bottom of the sixth and I knew I just had to come out and do my job. I gave him something to hit—a fastball high and in—but he couldn’t catch it,” Murdoch said.
This was only Murdoch’s second appearance on the mound this season. A sore elbow kept him from taking the mound for the first few games.
“He’s excited to be back and we’re excited to have him back. He pitched a little for us on Tuesday. What he did in the seventh inning is what he expects from himself and that’s what we expect. It is a big win and puts us at 3-2.”
Dinwiddie 000 002 0 – 2 3 3
Colonial Heights 000 102 x – 3 7 1
Gunn, Maitland (7), Stewart (7) and Hale. Markins, Murdoch (6) and Meyer. W: Murdoch; L: Maitland.
Highlights: Spencer Gunn (D) 7 Ks; Zach Stewart (CH) 2 for 3; Jason Maitland (CH) 2 for 2, 2B.
Records: Dinwiddie 1-1; Colonial Heights 3-2