Warren County drops Madison County in Bull Run baseball
FRONT ROYAL-Warren County’s baseball team used a capable start by pitcher Cam Ford and some opportune extra base hitting to deck visiting Madison County 7-3 in Wednesday night Bull Run District action.
The victory — the streaking Wildcats’ eighth in the last nine games– keeps them in the fight for first place in the district.
At 8-3 in the Bull Run, Warren County (11-4 overall) attempted to keep pace with league-leading William Monroe. Monroe, 8-1 entering Wednesday play, leads Warren by two games in the loss column. It already won once against Warren.
Monroe has four games remaining, while Wildcat coach Michael Minch said his group has five to complete before the regular season is done.
Minch and his squad probably gave a tip of the baseball cap to Ford, the all-around Warren County athlete who also stars on the basketball floor. Ford is a right handed pitcher and shortstop in the spring sport.
He went six innings against the Mountaineers, striking out six, but walking five. He gave up just two hits and the same number of earned runs.
“I thought he battled really well in there. He had a little trouble in that one inning with walks, but other than that, I thought he came through it well,” said Minch of Ford, who picked up the victory on the mound.
“I thought we did as well as could be expected of us at the plate (against Ford). He’s a solid pitcher, but we squared up well and hit the ball. The difference in the game was the errors. We made more than they did,” said head Mountaineer David Londrey.
Madison County (7-4 district, 9-8 overall) made two miscues in the field while Warren was charged with just one mistake.
Ford put down the Mountaineers in order his first two innings, but a pair of base-on-balls got the senior into trouble in the top of the third.
With no outs Isaiah Breckenridge walked and went to third on a double into the left field power alley by teammate Chris Smith. Isiah Smith walked to load the bases.
Eli Estes plunked a single to drive Breckenridge and Smith home with a 2-0 lead. Finally Madison’s Kobe Alexander earned first base on a Warren infield error to score Estes.
Ford walked William Graves but was able to work out of the inning on a ground out and fly ball to center fielder Aaron Deavers.
Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth, the Wildcats put together the first of two strong offensive innings.
Minch was probably concerned April 28 after his team’s home game with William Monroe when the Wildcats were shut out 3-0 and mustered just four hits.
The last two games the ‘Cats have snapped out of their lethargy.
In an 11-4 Bull Run District victory over Strasburg High on Tuesday, the Wildcats topped double digits for the first time since a 16-3 victory at Rappahannock County April 21.
Against the Rams, the Wildcats collected 14 hits, led by Ford who went 4-for-5, with a double and five runs batted in.
Ford figured less at the plate in Wednesday’s game, though others took his place.
With two outs, Hunter Wines (2-for-2, one run scored, two RBI) legged out an infield base hit. He was followed by Brendan McMackin’s towering base hit to right field, moving Wines to second.
Then freshman Jackson Arnold drove a triple to the right field wall, scoring both Wines and McMackin for a 3-2 deficit.
Aaron Deavers slugged a single to plate Arnold and tie the game at 3.
After Ford pitched his fourth straight shutout inning, the Wildcats came to bat again in the fifth, looking for insurance.
Lead off hitter Jacob Good was put on base by a walk by starter and losing pitcher Zach Adams. Good moved to second on an infield throwing error by Madison County, then Ford beat out a bunt. The hit moved Good to third.
From there Jacob Dodson’s towering drive hit the upper portion of the right field fence and scored Good and Ford with a triple.
Ronnie Dodson, Jacob’s brother, walked, sending Madison coach Londrey to the mound where he briefly chatted with pitcher Adams. Preston Hudson came on as a courtesy runner for Ronnie Dodson, Warren County’s catcher.
Then Wines produced his second RBI with a single to bring Jacob Dodson home.
McMackin walked to load the bases but reliever Kobi Alexander got the side out.
Warren led 7-3.
Minch brought in his own reliever to get the Mountaineer side out in the top of the seventh to end the game: Jackson Arnold.
All went as planned as the first-year varsity player got the first out, but he walked ninth-hitter Jon Miller.
Arnold got Chris Smith to fly out for the second out. Then the relief pitcher gave up a base hit by Isiah Smith to put two on with two out. Yet another walk was issued to Estes and then Arnold got Alexander swinging to earn the save.
“Coach (assistant Jon Nicholson) went out there before his last batter and just said, ‘Throw one strike, then two strikes … That’s what he did,” said Minch.
Contact Jim Laise at email@example.com
Wildcats 7, Mountaineers 3
Score by innings
Madison County 003 000 0-3 2 2
Warren County 000 340 X – 7 10 1
Adams, Alexander (5) and Breckenridge
Ford, Arnold (7) and R. Dodson