Pitching quartet lifts Rams past Falcons

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

STRASBURG — Strasburg used a bevy of pitchers against Central on Friday night, and each one did their part.

Four pitchers combined for a five-hitter as the Rams knocked off the Falcons, 10-1, in Bull Run District baseball action at First Bank Park.

“The guys that we ran out there tonight, I thought those guys were outstanding,” Strasburg coach Jeff Smoot said. “We had a plan for the night and I think our plan was a good one. But it ended up being a good one, because our kids were able to execute. Obviously we ran some guys out there that have not pitched a lot of innings. We were trying to look ahead into next week — we have some [Group] 2A games.

“Those guys really stepped up. I thought they were outstanding.”

Strasburg started Garrett Richards, but his innings were limited in part because he had pitched earlier in the week. He threw two innings, and was relieved by freshman Ryan Bowers for two innings. Then Ian Baker pitched two innings, before giving way to Tyler Doman in the seventh.

Strasburg stranded the bases loaded in the first inning, but took the lead with a four-run third inning.

Ryan Murphy led off with a single off Central starter Cody Sager and went to second on a wild pitch. Ian Baker then singled, and an RBI double by Evan Snapp gave Strasburg a 1-0 lead.

Doman followed with a two-run single, and eventually scored on a two-base error.

“Our approach offensively was extremely solid, from the first inning really all the way through the end,” Smoot said. “We didn’t have a lot of runs early in the game, but I thought that we were approaching things the right way. Offensively, we had a plan as to how we wanted to attack Sager, and I felt like we were doing that.”

The Rams (14-1) added four more in the bottom of the fourth. Noah St. Clair drew a walk and Murphy was hit by a pitch, a single by Baker, and an error helped extend the lead to 5-0. The Rams scored three more runs aided by an error and a two-run single by Josh Pritchett.

“It snowballed,” Central coach Donn Foltz said. “You can call it an avalanche, you can call it what you want. It went sour and it didn’t get any sweeter. They didn’t quit, but we couldn’t get anything going.”

Central (7-8) had five hits from five different players. Friday’s game was the third of four games this week for the Falcons, who host Warren County today at 4 p.m.

“[Sager] pitched pretty good. [Brandon] Paschal came in and pitched all right. [Zach] Hamman pitched good,” Foltz said. “We just got to build on it, come out again tomorrow. The sun’s coming up and it will be another day.”

The Rams had 12 hits, every starter reached base and pinch-hitter Nathan Butler homered in the bottom of the sixth. Baker and Pritchett had three hits each.

Strasburg has now 13 consecutive games.

Strasburg has three games next week against Conference 35 opponents.

“Our schedule is not very forgiving here in the last week or two, but not just with the number of games we have to play, because certainly that’s true of everyone. But it’s whom we’ve had to play and when we’ve had to play them — things like that,” Smoot said. “It’s going to test us. Our players know that.”

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com