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Highland defeats IWA 6-5

JAMES J. LIDINGTON

WARRENTON

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.

  1. 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.