Nansemond River overcame a 9-run deficit to top York 13-12 on Thursday morning in a Wheels Baseball Invitational contest as ugly as the dreary cold looming over the 9 a.m. game. York built an 11-2 lead by the third inning, thanks to four early Warrior errors, but Mark Stuffels club patiently whittled away at the Cougars lead, eventually eclipsing them in the sixth, and holding on in the seventh for the win.
Interesting game, said Stuffel, grinning slightly. Im glad we battled back considering how down we were.
Nansemond River, from Suffolk, Va., moved to 2-0 in the tournament, while York dropped to 0-2. The Warriors bashed St. Vincent Pallotti 22-0 in five innings on Wednesday night, while Northwestern hammered the Cougars 13-1. Creating offense was easy enough as both sides seemed dozy and stiff in the early morning cold and drizzle.
We got out to a big lead and they did a good job coming back on us, said York coach Scot Kiggans. Our kids didnt quit, they kept competing. Didnt work out our way, but hopefully this next game tomorrow well bounce back.
Yorks scheduled second game of the day against St. Vincent Pallotti never materialized as the rain began to pour down before noon. Against Nansemond River, York took advantage of the Virginians inattentive start scoring five in the second and six in the third to go ahead 11-2. Singles by Ryan Gilbert and Matt Moss and a Ray Ray Ellis walk loaded the bases before three errors did the brunt of the damage to the Warriors in the second. An easy force at second base flew past a glove and into foul territory, clearing the bases for a 3-0 lead. Harrison Childers beat out an infield single to score a run before a pair of throwing errors from the catcher led to a fifth.
Defensively on either side it wasnt very good, said Stuffel. Im pleased with the way we played, other than the defensive side.
Nansemond River pitcher Matt Boone helped his own situation with a two-run single in the bottom of the inning, but the Cougars chased him from the mound in the third. A bunt single by Moss loaded the bags and Ellis delivered with an RBI hit, followed by another run courtesy of a Nansemond error. Will Horne then cleared the bases with a single to make it 9-2 York, ending Boones pitching performance.
Warriors sophomore Ethan Woodruff pitched well in his four innings, but the Cougars still added two more runs in the third, Childers RBI sac fly and John Moorefields run-scoring infield single putting York up 11-2.
It took a while for the Warriors to warm up, but they eventually got going with six runs of their own in the bottom half of the third. Those runs came from just three hits, three walks and two errors proving costly for York. With the bases loaded, Woodruff helped the Warrior comeback with a two-RBI single and Boone added an RBI sacrifice pop-out to cut the Cougar advantage to 11-6. Nansemond River added two more in the frame off a walk and an ill-advised pick-off throw that wound up in left field.
After an uneventful fourth for both sides, Nansemond River took the lead in the fifth with five more runs on as many hits. Ironically as the rain picked up, the Warrior bats got to driving as well, Brandon Savage bashing a triple to the leftfield fence that scored a pair, before Kieton Rivers chopped an RBI double into the same region to make it 12-11 Nansemond River.
Hunter Kiesslings RBI single increased the lead to 13-11, and proved to be the winning run when York scored in the top of the sixth, but was shut out by Michael Parametier in the top of the seventh to end the ballgame.
Ryan Gilbert (4), Jamie Donald; Matt Boone (2), Ethan Woodruff (6), Michael Parametier; WP- Parametier, LP- Donald. Hitting: York- Harrison Childers 1-3, 2 RBI, Ryan Gilbert 1-3, 2 RBI, Matt Moss 4-4; Nansemond River- Matt Boone 2-3, 3 RBI, Ethan Woodruff 2-2, 2 RBI, Brandon Savage 1-3, 2 RBI 3B.
Bret McCormick • 329-4032. Twitter: @BretJust1T