The four remaining loser’s bracket teams of the District 7 baseball tournament faced off Monday at Riverdale in the last round of elimination games of the tourney, with Stewarts Creek and Oakland making it to the final four.
In the afternoon’s first game, it took Stewarts Creek pitcher Cooper Newsom just 95 pitches to no-hit Rockvale as the Red Hawks beat the Rockets 1-0 and avoided elimination.
“With the limited amount of pitches (that determine rest periods) it was huge that I went all the way (with so few pitches),” Newsom said. “Now we have more for later. We are just trying to win for the seniors and keep it going as long as we can.”
After the game when addressing his team, Red Hawks’ coach Mike Bartlett needed few words.
“Well you can’t lose when you don’t give up any hits, good job,” the coach said to his pitcher and team.
And it wasn’t just hits Newsom didn't give up, he was one walk away from a perfect game.
“I was just trying to get some people out,” Newsom said. “Then about the fourth inning I was like I’m feeling pretty good and my arm feels pretty good, and I was just in the zone trying to throw strikes.”
Stewarts Creek’s lack of offense, however, was less of a problem them and more the result of excellent Rockvale pitching. Braylon Greene and Holt Gillespie combined for a performance worthy of a win most nights, only yielding four hits and walk.
It just so happened one of those hits was a double off the bat of Luke Dymond two batters after Devyn McEachron reached on an error.
The Red Hawks are set to win the second game winner Oakland Patriots, who eliminated the Smyrna Bulldogs with a 10-5 victory.
Oakland pitcher Carson Love threw a complete game in the win, hanging on despite Smyrna rallying for three runs in the final two innings.
“I was just thinking about tonight and getting the win,” Love said. “Just stayed focused on the win.”
Love also gave up solo bombs to Donovan Peebles and pitcher Brett Varner, but the Patriots had generated such good run support it never came close to bothering Love.
“I’m glad we were up,” Love said. “Eight runs on the board definitely makes a difference on pressure.”
It wasn’t for a lack of effort from the Bulldogs, who fought until the end offensively, despite a 6-1 Patriot lead early in the game.
Five hit batsman, four walks, and multiple passed balls and wild pitches proved to define the game.
The first four Patriots to cross the plate were on base by means of hit batsman or walk. Three Oakland runners crossed the plate because a wild pitch or passed ball. There were also errors in the field at opportune times for the Bulldogs.
All of Oakland’s offense wasn’t by error, however. Love made sure of his run support by driving in three himself.