Skyline tops Conference 28 foe Brentsville in baseball

FRONT ROYAL — Skyline built an early lead Monday with some timely hitting and maintained it throughout with some solid pitching.

The Hawks defeated Brentsville, 9-4, in Conference 28 baseball action at Bing Crosby Stadium.

“I thought we played well,” Skyline coach Jay Barnes said. “(Starting pitcher) Brett (Ritter) came out and did a great job. He had all his good stuff tonight and that helped. He was working quick and getting us through defensive innings. We put up a couple early. It’s nice to jump out to a lead and build some confidence.”

Ritter allowed just four hits in 5.1 innings. He struck out eight, before being relieved by Kevin Cross in the sixth inning.

“I got ahead in the count, stayed ahead,” Ritter said. “Breaking balls were working good, striking people out. You just got to keep ’em guessing. All four of my pitches were working good.”

Skyline’s Dillon Sisk doubled to start the bottom of the first against Brenstville starting pitcher Lucas Walker. Gavin Kandrick reached on an error.

With one out, Quentin Diggs doubled to the left field corner to score two runs.

“It just felt good off the bat,” Diggs said. “I was just looking for the fastball high and inside. It just came my way and I got a hold of it.”

The Hawks (5-1, 3-1 Conference 28) added another run in the bottom of the third. Kandrick was hit by a pitch, but was then forced out at second on a ground ball hit by Matt Hartzell. Diggs followed with a single.

Aaron Tasker’s double down the left-field line scored Hartzell for a 3-0 advantage.

“Our bats — all of them were good,” Diggs said. “Everybody hit the ball well. We’ve been stepping that up.”

The Tigers, who were one of the top teams in the conference last year, cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the fifth. With one out, Dillon Cooperider singled and stole second. He later scored on a an RBI single by Alex Seymour.

The Hawks extended the lead in the bottom of the fifth without producing a hit.

Skyline scored five runs on six walks, a hit batter and two wild pitches.

“We had some really good at-bats tonight, saw a lot of pitches,” Barnes said. “Any time you’re taking good swings, no matter what count it is, I think you’re going to have good success.”

The Tigers scored three runs in the top of the sixth. Brentsville’s Garnett Cornell had an RBI single, and two runs scored on a Skyline error to cut the lead to 8-4.

An RBI single by Skyline’s Bailey Smeltzer stretched the lead to 9-4 in the bottom of the sixth.

Diggs led the Hawks with two hits.

Skyline is off to a strong start this year overall and in the conference, where they are 3-1.

“It’s nice. That’s going to be our competition here in a month and a half to get out of the conference,” Barnes said. “It’s nice to stack up against those guys the way we are so far.”

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