Rose lifts SA to victory with walk-off HRPublished 10:31am Wednesday, April 2, 2014
COURTLAND—In a game that saw more than 40 runners reach base and a combined score of 33, Southampton Academy came away with a narrow victory against Nansemond Suffolk Academy on a walk-off homerun by Matt Rose in the bottom of the seventh, which led the Raiders to a 17-16 win on Monday.
The Saints came out in the first inning able to hit Senior Jacob Holland (3-0), who had thus far not given up any runs in 15 innings of work. In the first inning, NSA scored two runs, but it wasn’t enough to win the inning, as SA came out swinging, scoring three runs.
In Holland’s last full inning, five runs would come across the plate, but the Raider bats kept it close, scoring two more in the bottom of the second.
Before Brynner Porter came in to complete the inning, three more runs would come across the plate in the top of the third.
Holland was the pitcher of record for 10 of Suffolk’s runs, though only three of them were earned, which drove his ERA up to a still respectable 1.24 through 17 innings of work.
After the Raiders added a sixth run in the bottom of the third, Porter would blank Suffolk in the fourth inning, but SA couldn’t capitalize, as they too were blanked.
The Raiders would win the fifth inning, scoring three runs to one. After Porter blanked the Saints in the top of the sixth, SA would take its first lead since the first inning in the bottom of the sixth, going up 14-11.
Porter, however, would come out shaky in the top of the seventh, and two runs would cross the plate before Head Coach Tim Nixon brought in Tonee Hill with a 14-13 lead but runners on the bases. Three more runs would cross the plate before Hill got the Raiders out of the inning, behind 16-14.
Ethan Edwards was the first to the plate, and he reached on a single. Jack Smith drew a walk, and Rose came up and belted a high fastball deep to right-center to win the game.
“It was just a normal hit, it just sort of happened to be at the right time,” said Rose after the game. “It was kind of lucky.”
With the exception of the fourth inning, at least four combined runs were scored in each inning.
Nixon said it was an ugly win, but that he was proud to see his team stick together through their worst defensive performance of the year, and as a bonus, it was against a good Division II NSA team.
“What makes the team special is when you have a bad day, and you can keep coming back, as a team, and win these things,” he said. “Most teams would have folded early in this game and walked away, but this team, they kept battling back.”
Of Rose’s two-homerun and two-double day, Nixon said, “His performance was great, and I think this was also one of his worst defensive games behind the plate, and he’ll tell you that. But that’s the kind of kid he is. He didn’t sit over there on the bench and sulk and cry, and whine about how sorry he is. He contributed elsewhere.”
Rose was 4-for-5 on the day, and he had three runs. Nate Williams was 3-for-4 with three runs, and Edwards, Porter, and Paul Parker each hat two-hit days.
Hill picked up the win, his third of the season in 11 innings of work. He’s boasting a 1.91 ERA.
SA played Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Tuesday, and the game ended after deadline. Their next match is Thursday against Brunswick Academy.