Colonials Can't Stop Red-Hot Warriors
By David Breidenbach, Correspondent
May 9, 2014, 14:32
eth Markins kept the Colonials in the game through the early innings, but the Warriors knocked him out in the sixth and went on for the 12-2 win.
COLONIAL HEIGHTS—For five innings it actually looked like the Colonials might have a chance to make Matoaca its ninth victim of the high school baseball season. But in the top of the sixth, the Warriors woke up and decimated the Colonials like Godzilla running rampage in Tokyo.
The 12-2 loss dropped the Colonial to 8-6 on the season; Matoaca pushed its record to 10-1. Craig Johnson picked up the win in relief for Matoaca, and Markins suffered the loss.
Seth Markins did a good job of staying out of trouble, yielding four runs, and nursing his team through five innings while trailing the 10-1 Warriors by two runs at 4-2. But the five previous innings did nothing but whet Matoaca’s batting appetite as they exploded for eight runs in the top of the eighth inning as the Colonials simply ran out of pitching talent.
“I told the guys for five innings we were in the ball game. Then they started hitting the ball, and they got a couple big hits. You have to tip your hat to them, that’s a 10-1 ball team right there,” Colonials coach Gerald Carsley said.
The Colonials had a key double play to escape the opening inning without giving up a run. Sam Smith worked Markins for a one-out walk to start the push. Richard Spiers followed by reaching on an error at third base, where the Colonials usually start Zack Stewart who was out with a toe injury. But Matt Falls redeemed himself on the ensuing batter when he fielded a ground ball to his left, stepped on the bag at third, and fired a strike to Noah Murdock at first for the twin killing.
Markins started off the bottom half of the inning by reaching on an error at second base. Reed Raikes hit into a short-to-second fielder’s choice for the first out. Falls followed with a double, leaving runners at second and third with one out. Matoaca opted to load the bases by granting Murdock an intentional pass. Raikes slid through the plate on Jayson Maitland’s sacrifice fly to center giving the Colonials their only lead.
The Warriors took the lead back in the top of the second inning, scoring twice. Grayson Trower walked and later scored the tying run. Grant Boyd and Craig Johnson hit back-to-back one-out singles, but Markins was able to get the second out on strikes. For a second it looked like the Colonials might escape Matoaca’s clutches again, but leadoff batter Frank Van Keuren singled to drive
Markins fielded a come-backer for the final out of the inning.
Zack Stoupa singled with one out in the bottom of the inning, and moved to second when Dylan Shelton reached on a walk. Stoupa took third on Markins’ sac fly to center, and scored on Raikes’ single. Unfortunately for the Colonials, that capped their scoring with the score tied at two runs apiece.
Matoaca took the lead for keeps in the third inning, and a free pass to G. Trower with two outs was all the help the Warriors needed. Bailey singles, Boyd earned a walk, and Trower cross the plate to give Matoaca a 3-2 lead. A pair of singles to Jamison Trower and Jacob Bailey and another walk to G. Trower set up Matoaca’s single run in the fifth, but by then the Warriors were up 4-2 and had been handling the Colonials’ sticks.
Eight of Matoaca’s first nine batters in the sixth inning scored to push the score to 12-2, and shorten the game by one inning. Smith, Spiers, Robert Fultineer, and G. Trower all singled to open the inning. After a pop fly to center for the first out, Boyd reached by getting hit by a pitch, Johnson singled, Austin Sizemore walked, and Van Keuren singled. Every one of those batters wound up crossing the plate before the Colonials could get out of the inning.
Reed Raikes slides home with the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning.
Van Keuren had two hits and three RBIs for the Warriors, and J. Trower and Bailey also had multiple hits. Stoupa was two-for-two for the Colonials.
Pitching has been at a premium this year for Colonial Heights.
They have Murdock, arguably their top prospect, and Markins who is also pretty solid on the hill. But after that, things can get a little dicey. Falls is often used in middle relief and Stewart, who was out for this game, fills in sometimes when they need an extra inning or two. They also have Matt Young, a big lefty. But Tuesday Murdock pitched four innings as the team dropped a 6-4 heartbreaker to Dinwiddie. Falls also pitched Tuesday, but didn’t have enough gas left in his tank to ward off the Warrior’s batters.
“We didn’t have a lot of options. Matt pitched the night before for a couple innings, and Murdock had gone four innings and wasn’t available,” Carsley said.