Ford’s walk-off double lifts Wildcats past Colonels

Warren County's Cameron Ford is all smiles as his teammates walk him off the field Wednesday night after they defeated James Wood 2-1. Ford drove in the winning run. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL — Cam Ford found himself in an unusual position on Wednesday and he made the most of it.

The Warren County senior delivered a walk-off double to give the Wildcats a 2-1 victory over James Wood in non-district baseball action at Bing Crosby Stadium.

“It felt pretty good,” Ford said of his first-ever walk-off hit. “I didn’t know what was going to happen. I just saw it in the air. It went as planned.”

Ford also picked up the win on the mound, allowing just four hits in the win.

With the score tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh, James Wood starting pitcher Joel Smith walked Warren County’s Jackson Arnold to start the inning. Dylan Johnson’s sacrifice bunt moved Arnold to second.

Warren County's Brendan McMackin, left, prepares to greet Cameron Ford, right, after he hit a double in the last inning to drive in the winning run to defeat James Wood 2-1 Wednesday night at Bing Crosby Park. Rich Cooley/Daily

James Wood (4-6) elected to intentionally walk Jacob Good to bring up Ford.

Ford said he’s been intentionally walked before, but it was the first time anyone had intentionally walked someone to get to him.

“I was like OK might as well take it. I actually wanted to hit,” Ford said. “My teammates were hyping me up about it.”

Ford then drilled a pitch over James Wood center fielder Ben Russo’s head to score Arnold with the winning run.

“I saw that they were all shifted to the right. So I kind of tried to put the ball toward left field,” Ford said. “But they were scooted in. So I just tried to put it up there and it went as planned — just did what we had to do.”

Warren County's Jackson Arnold crosses home plate with the winning run Wednesday night after Cameron Ford hit a double to left center to defeat James Wood 2-1. Rich Cooley/Daily

Warren County coach Michael Minch said he had plenty of confidence with Ford up at the plate.

“When they walked Jacob and Cameron came up to the plate, just from his fire on the mound competing, I knew that he wanted to be in that situation,” Minch said. “And it was good to see him deliver.”

The Colonels took the lead in the top of the second. Trenton Campbell doubled off Ford.

He later moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single by Colby Monroe for a 1-0 lead.

The Wildcats (7-3) tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. Ronnie Dodson started the inning with a single off Smith.

Warren County shortstop Jacob Good prepares to tag out James Wood's Samuel Ellingsworth on a second base steal attempt during fifth inning action Wednesday at Bing Crosby Stadium. The Wildcats host crosstown rival Skyline today in Conference 28 action. Rich Cooley/Daily

One out later, Brendan McMackin reached on a dropped third strike, and a throwing error on the play allowed Dodson to score and tie the game at 1-1.

Ford struck out five with no walks allowed, although he said he didn’t have all of his pitches against the Colonels.

“I definitely think my fastball was there,” Ford said. “There were some times where it started to get shaky, but I just had to take a deep breath and just look into myself and know what I had to do.”

Minch said that he was proud of the way Ford pitched.

“When he’s strike 1, strike 2, he’s something special,” Minch said. “He’s a competitor and he found his curveball there later in the game. I got to tip my cap to their kid, Joel Smith. He was also a (heckuva) competitor there, and he was strike 1, strike 2. It was really a good pitcher’s duel.”

Warren County's Cameron Ford fires a pitch against James Wood on April 19 at Bing Crosby Stadium. Ford, a three-sport athlete, had a stellar senior season. Rich Cooley/Daily file

Good and Ford each had two hits to lead the Wildcats.

Warren County has won four in a row, and Minch said he’s very happy with the way the Wildcats are playing.

“We’re just playing our style of baseball, applying pressure, making the routine plays and throwing strikes,” Minch said. “I think the kids are believing in each other and that’s the most important thing and coming out here and executing on a daily basis and we’re proud of them.”

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

Warren County's Cameron Ford fires a pitch against James Wood on April 19 at Bing Crosby Stadium. Ford, a three-sport athlete, had a stellar senior season. Rich Cooley/Daily file