By Scott Richards
Two different teams showed up last week representing the varsity level of Caroline High School baseball as they went 0-2 on the week.
Friday, the Cavalier team that played was just plain flat. It seemed as if they had a hard time getting into the game and lost to Midlothian 7-2.
Thursday night, an extremely competitive Cavalier squad took the field and, except for one play in which they committed two errors, showed poise and sharp baseball sense in a heartbreaking loss to Deep Run 5-3 after leading 2-1 most of the game.
Energy was the missing element for the Cavaliers as they travelled to Midlothian High School to take on the Trojans Friday. Midlothian took advantage of Caroline’s malaise and scored in every inning but the second as they pounded the Cavalier bullpen, hitting seven doubles off of three pitchers.
In response to Midlothian scoring two runs in the third to make the score 3-0, Caroline came back in the bottom of the fourth with two runs of their own and tightened up the game at 3-2. Midlothian then padded their lead in the next three innings by scoring four runs and putting the game out of reach for Caroline, winning 7-2.
Cory McCallum started on the mound for the Trojans and was awarded the win. McCallum allowed two earned runs with four hits while striking out one and walking one. He was also charged with two wild pitches and two times hitting the batter with a pitch.
In the bottom of the third with two outs, Thomas Ryesdorph came to the mound in relief and pitched for just over two innings, allowing only one hit and walking one. Closer Bryce Moore pitched the last inning and allowed two hits but no runs.
Leading Midlothian at the plate was Grant Keller going 3-4 and scoring a run and two RBI. All of Keller’s hits were doubles.
Close behind Keller was Zack Ayoub batting 2-3 and scoring one run and two RBI. Like Keller, all of Ayoub’s hits were doubles.
Cavalier starting pitcher Alex Desjarlais was charged with the loss, pitching four innings. Desjarlais accumulated eight hits and four runs while striking out five, but was blamed for two wild pitches.
In relief, Cole Grinde allowed one run from two hits while walking two batters. Grinde was also responsible for one wild pitch and one batter being hit by a pitch.
Closer Collin Hess came on in the sixth and was charged with one run and two hits as he struck out two and had one wild pitch.
Grinde had the hot bat for Caroline, hitting 3-4 and scoring a run. Rasharrd Harris went 2-4.
Vs. Deep Run
It took just one play in the bottom of the sixth to unravel Caroline as they lost to the Wildcats of Deep Run 5-3 last Thursday night.
Coming into the game after a successful road trip to North Carolina, where they went 3-0 (JV was 2-0), the Cavaliers played strong, crisp baseball, overcoming a one-run lead by Deep Run in the first inning and adding two of their own by the fifth.
Going into the bottom of the sixth and smelling what looked to be a certain victory, the stage was set for an unraveling.
Starting at the top of the order, Wildcat outfielder Will Hodges was walked and then advanced to second on a single by second baseman Matt Lisi.
After Mike Sweeney’s fly was caught by Cavalier Jay Chapman in center field, Jack Click laid down a bunt that was picked up by Cavalier pitcher Adam Desjarlais and thrown errantly over the head of first baseman Taylor Buchanan. This initial error allowed Hodges to score and Lisi to advance to third.
Seeing Lisi on his way to third, right fielder Jonathan Didlake threw the ball to third baseman Justin Pitts, which because of the second errant throw of the play, gave Lisi the opportunity to score, giving the Wildcats the advantage 3-2. Click, whose bunt began the play, ended up on third.
Outfielder Eric Crain hit a triple to score Click, and then Josh Duimstra hit a sacrifice to center field that scored Crain. In the top of the seventh, the Cavaliers went three up, three down, and the game ended with the score Deep Run 5, Caroline 2.
Deep Run relief pitcher Patrick Hulihan was awarded the win, pitching three innings and allowing one run, one hit and walking one while throwing two wild pitches. Hulihan struck out three Cavaliers on the night. Starting pitcher Ethan Miller pitched four innings, walking six and striking out six while being charged with one run, four hits and two wild pitches.
Second baseman Lisi batted strongest for the Wildcats, going 2-3 with a double and an RBI scored. Lisi was credited with a stolen base. Crain hit 1-3 and scored one run.
Cavalier pitcher Adam Desjarlais pitched the entire game and was charged with the loss. He allowed three hits and five runs (only two earned) as he struck out nine and walked four. Cole Grinde batted 1-4 and scored a run to lead the Cavaliers at the plate, followed by Justin Pitts who went one for three with a double on the night.
This week, the Cavaliers are scheduled to be on the road traveling to Spotsylvania Tuesday to take on the Knights in a game that has always fed the rivalry between these two teams.
On Thursday, the Cavs travel to Chancellor, where the Chargers have an ace that committed during his junior year to UNC to play baseball. He throws the hardest of any Caroline has faced.
Friday is the only homes stand of the week against the Foxes of King George. Next week Caroline is scheduled to travel to Courtland on Tuesday and James Monroe on Thursday.