Strong first inning leads Rams over Wildcats

FRONT ROYAL – Strasburg didn’t waste time in taking control of its baseball game with Warren County on Friday night.

The Rams scored eight runs in the first en route to a 23-3 Bull Run District victory over the Wildcats. The game lasted over three hours.

Warren County starting pitcher Joseph Rutherford struggled to find the strike zone in the top of the first, and was unable to record an out.

Strasburg sent 15 batters to the plate in the top of the first. Strasburg junior Adam Miller was hit by a pitch to get things started.

Justin Rickard, Josh Pritchett, Nate Butler, Ryan Bowers and Colten Smith each drew a walk to help the Rams take a 3-0 lead.

Warren County’s William North relieved Rutherford on the mound, and was able to strike out Eric Reynolds for the first out. Strasburg’s Austin Miller was hit by a pitch to score a run. Brian Scholten hit into a fielder’s choice to score another run.

Warren County (5-2) then made back-to-back errors to allow the Rams to score three more runs for an 8-0 lead. Strasburg didn’t have a hit in the inning.

Bowers was effective on the mound for the Rams. He went five innings, allowing just three hits and striking out four.

The Wildcats scored two runs in the bottom of the third. Warren County’s Rhett Tierney doubled to left field to start the inning. With two outs, Warren County’s Cam Ford singled. Stephen Johnson then reached on an error to score Tierney, and Ford later scored on a passed ball to cut the lead to 8-2.

Strasburg (6-2) scored two runs in the top of the fourth and one in the top of the fifth for an 11-2 lead. All three runs scored on errors.

The Wildcats cut the lead to 11-3 in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice fly RBI by Brendan McMackin.

The wheels completely came off of the Wildcats in the top of the seventh. Strasburg scored 12 runs in the seventh and sent 17 batters to the plate.

North pitched five innings for the Wildcats, allowing five hits and striking out four.

Warren County was led at the plate by Ford with two hits.

The Rams were led by Colten Smith with three hits and two RBIs.

Strasburg drew nine walks, was hit by pitches five times and had nine hits. Warren County committed 10 errors.

It was the second straight loss for the Wildcats after a 5-0 start to the season. Strasburg has now won six straight after starting the season 0-2.

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