Late surges make difference for sluggers

Ryan Toney throws the ball to first base during the Lions’ home game against the Albemarle Patriots on May 20.

 

The Louisa County High School baseball team scored a 10-0 shutout over the Charlottesville Black Knights, following a tough 8-4 loss to Albemarle. Late explosions made the difference in both games.

The Lions traveled to Charlottesville on May 25. Louisa got on the board with a single run in the second inning, then added two more in the third, but it wasn’t until the sixth that things really took off, thanks in part to a three-run RBI from Shane Dunkum. The Lions put up seven runs in the inning, jumping to a 10-0 lead. Three outs later, they clinched the win.

“I was really happy with how we played overall, and I was thrilled with our positive mentality throughout the game,” said Coach Kevin Fisher.

Jacob Barber scored a pair of runs and batted in two more, notching three hits for Louisa. Sean Karney scored two runs and had one hit, while Dunkum, Lucas Cash, Josh Cutright, Brent Wallace, Evan Straley and Ryan Toney each scored one run and had one hit. Cutright, Wallace, Toney and Christian Lam also earned one RBI each.

Dunkum pitched five innings for the Lions, striking out six batters, walking three and giving up three hits. Wallace pitched one inning, striking out two batters and walking one.

The win came on the heels of a home loss to Albemarle on May 20 in extra innings. The Patriots scored in the top of the first, but the Lions tied things up in the bottom of the inning with Cash scoring on a RBI double from Lam. Cutright scored in the bottom of the second, putting the Lions up 2-1. Cash plated Wallace in the fourth with an RBI double to extend Louisa’s lead to 3-1. 

The Patriots began chipping away at the lead over the next couple innings, scoring runs in the fifth and sixth to tie the game, 3-3 and take things into extra innings. The Patriots went ahead with a run in the top of the ninth, but the Lions had an answer ready. Cash opened the inning with a triple, then scored on a single from Alex Bradford, tying the score again. Bradford made it to third base, but the Lions weren’t able to get him home and secure the win.

Following a scoreless tenth inning, the Patriots pulled ahead again in the 11th, thanks to a three-run RBI double from Jason Breen late in the inning. Breen later scored, putting the Patriots up 8-4. The Lions weren’t able to get any momentum going in the bottom of the inning, giving them their second loss of the season.

“That was a real tough game for us,” Fisher said. “We had some opportunities to do something to win the game and just couldn’t find a way to get the run in when we needed to. 

“Our district’s tough,” he continued. “I tell the kids all the time that we’ve got to grind and it just didn’t go our way tonight.”

Barber, Lam and Dunkum each had a pair of hits for the Lions, while Bradford, Cash and Wallace each added one.

The Lions are back at home on June 1, hosting the Orange County Hornets. Action begins at 6:30 p.m.

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