By Robert Edmonds - firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL--A fantastic pitchers' duel was decided by an error when Randolph-Macon Academy hosted Massanutten Military Academy in baseball action Thursday afternoon.
Griffen Duy pitched a complete game one-hitter with 14 strikeouts in the win as the Yellow Jackets defeated the Colonels, 3-0.
"Griffen [Duy] threw a great game," Yellow Jackets coach Robert Locklear said. "He had his pitches going and he kept their hitters off balance. This was definitely his best performance and is big for his confidence. Hopefully, this win can get us on the right track."
With both pitchers moving quickly through the opposing teams' lineup, each team knew they would have to take advantage of even the smallest opportunity when it presented itself. The Yellow Jackets did just that in the bottom of the fifth inning against Colonels starter Alex Passe.
Ian Cochran led the inning off with a single to center field for RMA. After Jake Mello flew out to left field, Travis Pullen swung at a third strike, but reached first on a passed ball by catcher Zach Hutmyer.
Hutmyer's throw to first attempting to catch Pullen sailed into right field allowing Cochran to score the first run of the game and give the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead.
R-MA took advantage again of another Colonels mistake when another passed ball by Hutmyer moved Pullen to third. Pullen later scored on a groundout by Ryan Pile.
The Colonels hoped to stop the bleeding when they pulled Passe for reliever Joe Gillette. However, the Yellow Jackets continued to swarm despite the change. Ryan Otey's single to center field was followed by a blast into center field by Neil Dutton for a triple that scored Otey and extended the lead to three runs.
"On offense, one of our goals is to make the other team make plays," Locklear said. "We have been challenged this year with not getting runs when we needed them. Today, we made contact and moved on the basepaths."
With run support on his side, Duy continued to mow through the Colonels lineup as he recorded 10 consecutive outs to end the game. Duy recorded at least one strikeout against each MMA batter en route to his second win of the season from the mound.
"I needed a good outing to help with my confidence," Duy said. "The run support lifted a lot of weight off my shoulders. We have been on a skid lately, and I just wanted to go out and make pitches. I used my breaking ball to set guys up and keep them off balance and the defense was great behind me."
"In a game like this, you can't be disappointed," said Colonels coach Merle Henkle. "Both pitchers threw a heck of a game and one mistake and a big hit was the difference in this game."