Madison County overpowers Wildcats

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

FRONT ROYAL — Madison County came out strong from the start and didn’t look back on Tuesday.

The Mountaineers were firing on all cylinders in an 11-0 Bull Run District win over Warren County at Bing Crosby Stadium. The game was stopped after five innings due to the mercy rule.

“I’m thrilled with how we played,” Madison County coach David Londrey said. “I’m always a little nervous about a road trip. I’m very pleased. Right out of the gates we came out swinging.”

The Mountaineers pounded out 13 hits and struck early. Ashton Weakley led off with an infield single in the top of the first off Warren County starter Eric Baker. Two outs later, James Graves drilled a pitch over the left-field wall for a 2-0 lead.

The Mountaineers added three more in the top of the second. Nic Smith drew a one-out walk. One out later, Chris Smith reached on an error. Weakley then had two-run double to extend the lead to 4-0.

Collin Shifflett followed with an infield single, and Dylan Berry’s RBI single gave the Mountaineers a 5-0 lead.

“Eric had some trouble locating his pitches,” Warren County coach Vernon Mathews said. “And it seemed like whenever he made a mistake they made him pay for it.”

Shifflett was solid on the mound for the Mountaineers. He threw a one-hitter and only threw 52 pitches.

“Collin Shifflett threw the ball great,” Londrey said. “He was efficient. We couldn’t have asked for anything more out of him.”

The Mountaineers (4-0, 2-0 Bull Run) really broke things open in the top of the third inning. Sam Taylor doubled with one out. Nic Smith followed with an RBI single. Back-to-back singles by Austin Kelliher and Chris Smith loaded the bases and ended Baker’s day on the mound.

Warren County reliever Stephen Johnson came in and was able to get a force at home on a ball hit by Weakley. Shifflett followed with a two-run single for an 8-0 lead.

Berry then hit a three-run homer to extend the lead to 11-0.

Weakley led the Mountaineers with three hits. Londrey said he is really happy with his team’s start.

“I think we have a pretty good hitting lineup,” Londrey said. “I thinking our pitching is very good. I’m excited for this season.”

Skylar DeLutri had the Wildcats’ only hit, a single in the bottom of the third.

It was only the second game of the season for Warren County, and Mathews said his team has to find a way to overcome the slow start.

“We need to play with more heart, some fire,” Mathews said. “We just need to come out ready to play.”

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd