Holsinger lifts Generals to victory

Stonewall Jackson's Brett Jones watches as the ball hit the back of his bat in fair territory while Central catcher Tristan Rau reacts to the ball and gets the out during fifth inning high school baseball action Tuesday in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

WOODSTOCK — Cole Holsinger loves the pressure.

That’s why the Stonewall Jackson sophomore enjoyed being at the plate with the game tied and the go-ahead runs on base against Central on Tuesday night. Holsinger delivered to help the Generals knock off the Falcons, 7-3, in non-district baseball action.

“I want to be up there. It’s great to be up there,” Holsinger said. “I want to be pressured. I’m glad I got it done.”

Holsinger’s heroics came in the top of the sixth with the game tied 3-3. With runners on second and third, Holsinger singled down the left-field line off Central reliever Corey Sibert to give the Generals a 5-3 edge.

“It was a curveball a little bit on the hands, but I pulled around on it,” Holsinger said. “I got enough on it that I pulled it down the line.”

Central catcher Tristan Rau stands disappointed after Stonewall Jackson celebrates after rallying in the sixth inning during high school baseball action Tuesday in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

Holsinger later scored on a Central error to extend the lead to 6-3. The Generals added another run in the top of the seventh on a bloop single by Nick Dotson.

Early in the game, it looked like the Falcons were in control. Stonewall Jackson’s Duncan Schroeder’s RBI single gave the Generals a 1-0 lead, but the Falcons responded in the bottom of the first.

Central freshman Jared Rice and Cody Sager each singled, and later scored on a two-run double by Zach Hamman.

Rice and Holsinger were locked in a pitchers’ duel as they both looked strong after the first inning.

The Falcons (1-2, 0-1 Bull Run) were able to extend the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the third. Tristan Rau reached on an error, stole second and scored on a Sibert RBI single.

Stonewall Jackson's Cole Holsinger makes a safe slide during a second base steal as Central's Zachary Hamman misses the ball during first inning high school baseball action Tuesday in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

Holsinger went five innings, struck out four and allowed only three runs.

“The fastball wasn’t all the way there, but the slider was good,” Holsinger said. “The slider got me through the innings well. The defense was perfect, it was all we needed.”

The Generals (1-2) committed three errors, but they weren’t costly and were a big improvement from the combined 13 they had in two games last week.

Central struggled with runners on base as the Falcons stranded 10, including leaving the bases loaded twice.

“We had opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them and they did,” Central coach Donn Foltz said. “That was probably the difference in the ballgame.”

Central catcher Tristan Rau looks at third base after tagging out Stonewall Jackson's Duncan Schroeder at home plate during sixth inning action Tuesday in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

Rice pitched well for Central, allowing only three hits in four innings, but Foltz said he was getting tired so he turned to junior Hank Hoover in the fifth.

The Generals scored a run in the top of the fifth without a hit. Two walks, a hit batsmen and a wild pitch helped the Generals cut the lead to 3-2.

Stonewall Jackson’s Kory Somers drew a walk to start off the top of the sixth, and scored on an RBI single by Nathan Miller.

“I got some young kids and they’re going to be up and down,” Foltz said. “Jared Rice did a good job. … I wanted to see Hank, too. He was up from JV [last year]. I need all those guys to perform and they’re going to have good days and bad days. It wasn’t horrible today, but we just didn’t get stuff when we needed to.”

Matt Murphy threw two solid innings for the Generals in relief.

Stonewall Jackson's Cole Holsinger fires a pitch during an early inning Tuesday against Central in Woodtsock. Rich Cooley/Daily

Hamman had two hits and two RBIs, and Rice and Sibert each had two hits for the Falcons. Central gets right back at it as the Falcons host George Mason on Wednesday.

“It’s the second district game, and they’re always a tough opponent,” Foltz said. “So we’re going to have to regroup, and come out and do the little things that maybe we didn’t always do tonight.”

Holsinger and Brett Jones each had two hits to lead the Gernerals. Stonewall Jackson lost last week to Central 11-1 in five innings, and the win showed how far the young squad has come in the last week.

Stonewall Jackson coach Mike Lenox said it was the first time that they’ve beat Central at Central since he took over as coach. He said he was very proud of the way his team played on Tuesday.

“Things that we preached in practice all year, I saw them come out have good at-bats, be patient, get your pitch,” Lenox said. “The guys have been working hard. We’ve been outside for consecutive days now, and that has really made a difference in just overall how we do things. How we hit our drills, everything is starting to take a little more shape.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com

Central's Jared Rice throws a pitch last year against Stonewall Jackson in Woodstock. The two teams meet again Tuesday as the season kicks off this week. Rich Cooley/Daily file