By Scott Richards
Last week, the Cavaliers of Caroline pulled off a trifecta, going 3-0 in varsity baseball.
Friday saw the diamond boys taking it to King George 7-4 as Caroline honored the servicemen and women who work at Fort A.P. Hill. Thursday night’s game at Chancellor turned into a 13-5 rout as Caroline had one of those games where everything went their way. Last Tuesday started off the week well with a visit to Spotsylvania in a tightly contested game with the Knights as they walked away with a Caroline victory 4-2.
Friday night was A.P. Hill appreciation night, providing fans with a doubleheader as the JV Cavs played and then the varsity took the field. All employees of A.P. Hill were admitted free. As a special honor, WWII veteran Jimmy Farmer, Sr., threw in the first pitch.
Farmer joined the Navy in 1943 at the age of 17 and fought at Normandy. As he approached Omaha Beach in a personnel carrier, he was washed overboard and swam the rest of the way to land. After the war, Farmer served for six months as part of the occupation force in Japan before returning to Caroline County.
Farmer is a lifelong resident of Caroline, attending school here prior to serving in the Navy for three years during WWII. One job Farmer had was working at the printing press that printed the Caroline Progress. He spent most of his career working at and managing what is now an auto repair shop at the corner of Main and Chase Streets in Bowling Green. Farmer, who has been an avid baseball fan all his life, supporting the New York Yankees, played and coached baseball for most of his adult life.
In Friday’s game against King George, Caroline had a bead on the starting pitcher from the very beginning, scoring seven runs in the first three innings and pounding out seven hits to keep the Foxes back on their heels. Reliever Lane Ward came in at the top of the fourth for King George to put a stop to the Cavalier offense, but by then the game was out of reach as the Cavaliers tightened up their defense, allowing four runs in the fifth and sixth innings, but no more and the Cavaliers’ victory made their week with a 3-0 record.
Alex Desjarlais, who went six innings to earn the win, was spot-on with his pitching. Allowing four runs and just five hits, Desjarlais struck out six and walked four. King George could only get singles out of him. His back-up at the plate was Ryan Hickman. In the seventh, Hickman came to the mound in relief, striking out two to end the game. Jonathan Didlake was behind the plate.
Rasharrd Harris was the heavy bat for Caroline. With 2-4 at the plate, he hit a double and scored three runs. Justin Pitts was 2-3, scoring one run and a double while driving in two runs. Besides his good performance on the mound, Desjarlais also hit 2-3 with two RBI.
King George’s Hunter Toliver was the losing pitcher, with four innings of work on the mound before reliever Lane Ward took over to finish. Matt Wright was the catcher for both. Cory Henderson led the Foxes offensively, batting 2-3 scoring one run and two RBI.
Caroline rolled over Chancellor Thursday night by a score of 13-5, amassing 18 hits assisted by Chancellor’s three errors. Caroline scored in every inning but the first and seventh as Chancellor went through four pitchers. The Cavaliers turned robber as they stole seven bases.
Adam Desjarlais pitched five innings, allowing only five hits and three runs. Desjarlais struck out seven and walked six.
In the sixth inning, Alex Desjarlais ascended the mound, walking one and allowing one run.
The seventh inning saw reliever Jonathan Didlake at work striking out two but giving up a home run. Ryan Hickman served all three pitchers behind the plate as catcher.
Cole Grinde and Rasharrd Harris continued strong at bat for the Cavaliers. Grinde went 4-4 with three runs and three RBI. Grinde had two doubles and two singles. Harris went 3-4, scoring three runs and an RBI. Harris utilized his base running speed to steal a base.
Tyler Cross was charged with the loss, pitching four innings and allowing five runs off of 10 hits. Cross struck out three and walked three. Matt Morgan came in the fifth and allowed four runs from four hits as he struck out two and walked two.
Justin Kniebbe was the next Charger on the mound pitching the sixth inning, giving up four runs on four hits and walking one.
Finishing the game in the seventh inning was reliever Chris Ortega. Ortega was the only Chancellor pitcher not scored on. He walked one and allowed one hit.
Catcher Thomas Cabrera worked the catcher spot and was charged with seven stolen bases. Ortega went 2-3 on the night with a home run, an RBI, and a stolen base.
The Caroline Cavaliers started last week with an impressive win over Battlefield District rival Spotsylvania Knights, 4-2, in what has always been a war between the two teams.
“Whenever we play Spotsylvania,” remarked head coach Frank Dow, “we never know what is going to happen until it is all over.”
It was a game of control pitchers showing off as Cavalier Collin Hess went the distance striking out nine but only walking one.
Spotsylvania’s Nick Smith created havoc of his own as he struck out six and walked only two. That is not to say the bats were not working, as both teams racked up seven hits. It became a game of what each team could do with the hits they made.
Timely triples by Caroline’s Jay Chapman in the third inning, resulting in an RBI and Rasharrd Harris in the fifth, kept the Cavs motivated and scoring.
Leading by a score of 2-0 going into the bottom of the second, Caroline saw Spotsylvania come back strong with two runs and only one out. That was to be the last the Knights would score as Hess’s pitching got stronger and the Cavalier defense got tighter.
Both teams showed their fielding skills by turning two in the middle (double play). Caroline played it from second baseman Adam Desjarlais to shortstop Harris on second to Cole Grinde on first to close out the bottom of the fifth. Spotsylvania played it exactly the same to close out the sixth inning.
Caroline’s most exciting play came at the bottom of the third as Spotsylvania right fielder Mason Sullivan attempted to score from third. Pitcher Hess fielded the ball and threw to catcher Ryan Hickman, who chased Sullivan before throwing to third baseman Justin Pitts, who tagged out Mason.
Hess’s command of the mound was one of the best of the season as he struck out nine while walking only one. He was charged with seven hits and two earned runs as Spotsylvania left seven runners on base. Rasharrd Harris came through for the Cavaliers offensively, hitting 2-4 with one run scored and one stolen base. Cole Grinde was 1-3 with one run and an RBI.
Spotsylvania’s Smith was charged with four earned runs from seven hits. Smith walked two while striking out six. Caroline left five runners on base. Spotsylvania batting was led by second baseman Daniel Brooks, who hit 2-3 and scoring one run. Sean Redmond had two RBI as he hit 1-3 from the plate.
This week the Cavaliers are scheduled to visit Courtland on Tuesday and then host James Monroe on Thursday. Next week the final game of the regular season will be on Tuesday against Chancellor as the seniors are honored for Senior Night.