Hamton Roads Academy baseball coach Tommy Yevak has been waiting all season for his bats to produce the way they did Thursday afternoon against rival Walsingham.
While every player in the starting lineup reached base at least twice, the host Navigators pounded out 11 hits and burned through four Walsingham pitchers for 14 runs before winning 14-2 in five innings.
“This is the first game we’ve shown our offensive potential,” Yevak said after the game. “Our big hitters haven’t quite come along yet, but we have a good enough lineup to where we can cover one another pretty well.”
HRA (6-2, 2-0 TCIS) starting pitcher Andrew Todero was also in command on the hill, holding the Trojans (3-5) to just two hits and one earned run over four innings to earn the victory.
“[Andrew] changed his speeds and spotted his pitches very well today,” Yevak added.
Walsingham managed only three hits in the game, although Trojans’ head coach Ian Heisel was most concerned with his pitchers’ control. In just four innings of work, Walsingham pitchers issued seven walks to go along with four hit batsmen.
“I don’t think we got ahead of one batter,” Heisel said. “We probably have more walks than strikeouts this season, and you’re not going to win many games that way.”
The Navigators did most of their heavy hitting in the first inning. Walsingham starter Bruce Jackson lasted only eight batters after giving up six runs on five hits and just one out.
After Bruce Reid (1-2) and Andrew Kipper(1-2) led off the frame with walks, Henry Hill (1-3) drove in both with a shot to the outfield gap. After Brian Vincent (3-3) plated Hill with an RBI double, Todero (2-3), Drew Moyer (0-1) and Chandler Davis (2-4) chipped in with consecutive base hits as HRA’s lead was 6-0 after the first.
HRA added two more in the second on a base knock from Todero and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Reid.
The Navigators batted around for the second time in the third inning and scored four runs off two-RBI base hits from Vincent and Eric Massengill as HRA’s lead grew to 12-0.
Meanwhile, Todero was in complete control on the mound, limiting Walsingham to no runs on no hits and just two walks through the first three innings.
The Trojans scored both of their runs in the fourth after Alex Brondyke and Colin Cryts led off the frame with back-to-back singles. Brondyke later scored on a balk by Todero, and Cryts crossed home on an errant throw to first base.
HRA scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 14-2 lead before Christian Rivera came in and struck out the side in the top of the fifth to end the game via 10-run mercy rule.
Vincent led HRA’s offensive fury at the plate going 3-3 with three runs and three RBI’s. Hill also scored three runs and drove in two more, and Davis went 2-4 with three RBI’s. Todero added to his strong day on the mound with a 2-3 day at the dish and two RBI’s.
“This should give us some confidence moving forward,” Yevak said. “When you swing the bat and hit the ball hard, whether the pitcher is throwing strikes or not, it gives you confidence as a hitter.
“Hopefully we can keep it up.”
Injuries have plagued Walsingham all season long, and the upcoming four-day break comes at a much-needed time for the Trojans. Walsingham’s top two starting pitchers, seniors Dylan Cheely and Mitch Owens, have been slowly working their way back into throwing shape after long basketball seasons. Junior starter Zach Gloyne also hasn’t thrown all season, which has left freshmen Jackson and Thomas Chisam to handle most work load on the mound this season.
“Not having Dylan available right now is killing us,” Heisel said. “Mitch is coming back, he toughed out an inning for us today, and Zach is still looking at two more weeks.
“We’re just in a stretch right now where we’re young and not healthy. It’s adversity, and we’ll see how we can respond to it.”
Hampton Roads Academy 14 Walsingham 2
Walsingham- 000;20 – 2 3 2
HRA- 624;2x – 14 11 1
WP: Todero (4IP, 2 H, 2 R,1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO)
LP: Jackson (.1 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 1 HB)
HRA (6-2, 2-0 TCIS)- Reid 1-2 (run, 2 RBI), Kipper 1-2 (2 runs), Hill 1-3 (3 runs, 2 RBI), Vincent 3-3 (3 runs, 3 RBI), Todero 2-3 (run, 2 RBI), Davis 2-4 (3 RBI), Massengill 1-3 (2 RBI)
Walsingham (3-5)- Cheely 1-3 (BB), Brondyke 1-2 (run), Cryts 1-2 (run)