Highland defeats IWA 6-5
JAMES J. LIDINGTON
Highland School scored 6 unanswered runs in their last at-bat to defeat Isle of Wight Academy in walk-off fashion, 6-5 in Warrenton on Saturday.
The Chargers had held a 5-0 lead since the second inning, but the Hawks, the No. 1-ranked team in Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association’s most recent Division II poll, had other plans against the seventh-ranked visitors.
Down to their last 3 outs, Highland leadoff hitter Jackson Gimbel reached base with a walk, then Luke Burner singled to left to put him into scoring position. Matt Michel singled on a hard grounder up the middle, scoring Gimbel and Burner to cut the IWA lead to 5-2.
Ty Gravett flied out to Charger centerfielder Dixon Mills, who then hurled a throw toward the infield, doubling Michel off second base. An appeal at first base, which would have been the game-ending third out, was unsuccessful, giving Highland a runner at third with two outs. He would later score on a wild pitch, making the score 5-3.
Adam Dressler singled on a grounder to right, then Garrett Pancione did the same. Evan Evans was plunked with a Holt pitch, loading the bases. Two runs would score when Dylan Fisher hit a grounder that handcuffed second baseman Cole Praither, tying the game at 5.
- Gimbel’s subsequent grounder was also misplayed at second, allowing Jackson Gimbel to score the winning run.
Holt took the loss for IWA and pitched 2-2/3 innings, allowing 6 hits and 6 runs, 3 of those earned. The IWA starter, Bryce Daniels, pitched 4 scoreless innings, allowing only 2 hits, but did not figure in the decision.
Mills finished the game with a run scored and 2 RBI. Ryan Boyce was 2-for-3 and also drove in a pair. Hunter Hayden drove in a run and scored another.
The loss dropped IWA to 4-5 on the season. They are undefeated in 4 games at home; their 5 road losses have all come against teams ranked in the top 10 of the three VISAA divisions.
Saturday, Isle of Wight also fell to 10th-ranked Trinity Christian of Fairfax, 7-3, in a game also played at Highland.
Trinity scored in its first at-bat, but IWA took the lead, 2-1, when Josh Savage grounded out, scoring Hayden from third base.
The Gryphons would later tie the score at 2, but reclaimed the lead when Ethan Husmann scored on a wild pitch in the third inning. In IWA’s next at-bat, Savage knotted the score at 3 when he singled on a liner to right, scoring Colby Williams.
Trinity went back into the lead for good when Brenham Daniell advanced to second on a wild pitch. A Thomas Bracy single later scored him to make it 4-3. An out later, Reagan Saunders advanced to second on an error by Savage. Husmann singled to center, scoring Saunders to make it 5-3.
The Chargers had previously defeated unranked Christchurch School last Tuesday, 20-2, in 5 innings.
Boyce led the IWA attack, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and 6 RBI. Holt was 2-for-3 with a run scored and 3 RBI. Hayden was 3-for-4 with 3 runs scored and an RBI.
Daniels earned the win, pitching 4 innings of 1-hit ball, striking out 4 and walking 3.
IWA had also previously traveled to sixth-ranked Greenbrier Christian last Thursday and were defeated by the Gators 14-2, managing only 4 hits.
The Chargers committed 3 errors in the contest and three pitchers combined for 8 walks.
The Chargers returned to action this week with games on Tuesday at Southampton, Wednesday versus Kenston Forest at home and Friday at Portsmouth Christian. All games began at 4:30 p.m. and as such, final scores were unavailable by press time.
JAMES J. LIDINGTON is a teacher at Isle of Wight Academy. He can be reached at 357-3866.