By Tommy Keeler Jr.
FRONT ROYAL -- Jordan DeLorenzo is no Tim Lincecum, but he did a good impersonation of him on Monday night.
DeLorenzo's pitch count didn't reach 148 like Lincecum's did over the weekend, but it was quite a bit over 100. The Front Royal pitcher didn't mind throwing 117 pitches, especially if it led to a win.
"I felt confident," DeLorenzo said of throwing a complete game. "All my stuff was working, and I figured out their hitters."
DeLorenzo's complete game effort was rewarded with a victory as the Cardinals scored in the bottom of the ninth for a 2-1 victory over Aldie in Valley League action. The Cardinals won the game with only two hits.
DeLorenzo, who said he's pitched over 130 before, allowed just five hits and had eight strikeouts in the nine innings of work.
"My fastball didn't start coming alive until like the fifth inning and that helps," DeLorenzo said. "Same with my curveball. I just made an adjustment with my front side and my curveball started working. My changeup went away for a little bit and then it came back. I had most of my pitches. They were a good hitting team."
DeLorenzo said he lobbied hard with Front Royal manager Jake Weghorst, and he got a little help from his teammate and battery mate Garrett Flynn, who is also his catcher at the University of West Florida.
"I usually don't listen to Jordan," Weghorst said. "He's a character out there. He wants to pitch every inning. I have a lot of confidence in Garrett Flynn behind the plate and Garrett told me to leave him in and that was enough for me.
"Jordan's been in a lot of these situations and never got the win -- either got the loss or the no-decision. We've been very good in the ninth inning. It hasn't been pretty, but we've been winning in the ninth. So, I was like Jordan there you go -- let's see what you got."
It was DeLorenzo's first win since June 22.
DeLorenzo also had great defense behind him. Front Royal center fielder Andrew Siegel made two diving catches in center field.
"It was a lot of fun, especially when you get a lot of balls out there," Siegel said. "When no balls go to the outfield, it's brutal for me. It's just a lot of fun getting balls in the outfield.
"I've been struggling a little offensively, so to help out defensively any way I can has been a lot of fun, especially helping out the pitchers.
With the game tied 1-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, Siegel drew a one-out walk from Aldie starter Junior Delattore. Anthony Gonzalez also drew a walk, and Brandon Tierney then reached on an error to load the bases.
Front Royal designated hitter Aaron Moore had to leave the bullpen, where the pitcher had been warming up to come to the plate. Moore sent a grounder to short, but instead of throwing home Aldie shortstop Austin Wobrock threw to first for the second out, allowing Siegel to score.
"I got jammed and got the job done, so I guess that's all that matters," Moore said. "I'd rather have a walk-off grand slam, but I'll take the jam job. It was a team win."
"I was about to slide, and I saw the catcher lean up like nothing was coming so I was a little surprised," Siegel said. "That at-bat I saw that both third baseman and shortstop were playing back and I had no idea why -- but obviously it turned out the best for us."
The Cardinals (16-18) took the lead in the bottom of the third. Front Royal's Ben Carl led off with a single off Delattore. A sacrifice bunt by Derrik Walling moved Carl to second. A groundout RBI by Siegel gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.
The Senators (15-16) tied the game in the top of the fourth. Wobrock and Jimmy Dowdell had back-to-back singles to start the inning. Wobrock and Dowdell stole second and third. Chris Hueth's sacrifice fly tied the game.
"It's a good win, and it really goes on the pitchers," Siegel said. "The pitchers have been good every game. We've had our struggles offensively. The pitchers have been very consistent every day. It gives us confidence as hitters that even if we are struggling we'll still be in the game in the ninth, like it has been the last couple games."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org