By Scott Richards
Caroline High School went 1-1 in the Conference 20 playoff tournament last week, losing to Hanover High School in the semifinals 13-1 on Thursday after an 11-5 quarterfinal victory over J.R. Tucker on Tuesday.
The first two innings of Caroline’s 13-1 loss to Hanover looked as if the game would be fairly evenly matched. Then came the third inning, with Hanover exploding with seven runs followed by five runs in the fourth.
At the end of four, it was Hanover 13, Caroline 1, with the game ending after the top of the fifth.
Two factors that aided the Hanover game were their ability to read the Cavalier pitchers, resulting in no strikeouts and four errors committed by Caroline. In a previous game, Caroline was unable to strike out any of the Hanover batters.
The winning pitcher was UVA-bound Casey Derek, who pitched three innings allowing only one hit while striking out six and walking one. Thomas Renfro came in relief in the fourth inning but only lasted one out as he was charged with Caroline’s one run by center fielder Jay Chapman, resulting from a double by Chapman and then an unearned run given by two wild pitches. Matthew Corely took over the mound from Renfro and finished the game, striking out one but hitting two batters.
Jakob Pridemore led a strong Hanover offense, batting 2-3 while collecting two RBI. Trevor Denton was 2-2 on the night, collecting three RBI, a hit by the pitcher, and a stolen base.
Collin Hess was charged with the loss as he pitched three innings, giving up nine runs from nine hits while walking two and hitting two batters.
Alex Desjarlais came in as a reliever to finish the game but was charged with four runs from four hits after walking one.
Ryan Hickman caught for both pitchers and had four bases stolen.
Jay Chapman’s 1-2 record at the plate with one run was Caroline’s only spark of offense on the night.
Vs. JR Tucker
The Cavaliers took on JR Tucker Tuesday of last week and gave the Tigers something to remember for quite some time, exacting from them an 11-5 Conference 20 playoff victory.
The win was sweet as the Tigers came to Caroline Stadium on April 11 and walked away with an 11-1 victory, not to mention most of the barbecue that was supposed to be for the Cavaliers.
It was a seesaw game the first four innings. The Tigers drew first blood with leadoff batter Evan Netherland hitting a double in the bottom of the first inning, followed by Randy Neise hitting a two-run home run.
Caroline came back in the top of the third when four of the first five batters scored. Not to be outdone, JR Tucker came back in the fourth inning with two runs to tie things up.
From that point on, Caroline stepped up their game a couple of notches and never looked back. In the fifth and sixth innings, the Cavaliers outscored the Tigers 7-1, with the final score 11-5.
Winning pitcher Adam Desjarlais went six and one-third innings, allowing five runs off of eight hits as he struck out 10 and walked six. Collin Hess came in with two outs remaining in the seventh as relief. Ryan Hickman caught for both.
Shortstop Rasharrd Harris led the Cavaliers as they dominated the plate, batting 4-4, scoring two runs and two RBI as well as collecting two stolen bases.
Cole Grinde added excitement at the plate as his bat remained heavy, going 2-3 with a home run in the top of the fifth. Grinde, in addition to his homer, scored two more runs and had thee RBI.
JR Tucker worked through their bullpen, attempting to stop the Caroline onslaught of batting.
Starting pitcher Neise was charged with the loss, collecting three runs from three hits and striking out three while walking five. Jared Cheek came in as relief in the second inning allowing six runs from five hits, striking out three and walking one. Jon Walsh ascended the mound for one out in the sixth, allowing two runs from one hit, striking out one and walking one. The migration to the mound ended with Josh Warner, who finished the game. Despite his efforts, Warner was charged with two hits as he struck out three and walked one.
Thursday’s loss to the Hanover Hawks brought an end to the Cavaliers’ varsity baseball season with a record of 13-9.