Chargers off to fast start on diamond

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2007

ISLE OF WIGHT—If the Isle of Wight Academy baseball team expects to compete in the tough Metro Conference this year, the Chargers will have to have many games like Tuesday.

IWA pounded out 15 hits and got a two-hit pitching performance from Taylor Outland en route to a 15-3 win over non-conference rival James River Christian Academy.

Outland, a freshman transfer from Windsor, pitched four innings of two-hit, shutout ball and also led the team with four RBIs. J.D. Honeycutt was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a double, and Styles Major was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a double.

IWA head coach Ben Brown, back after a two-year layoff, said the top of his batting order has been hitting well, with several players over .400 through the first five games. Honeycutt, Kirk Smith, Major, Rusty Brake and Jeremy Davenport are the top hitters. Brown said Davenport started the season at catcher when Bryan Edwards injured his finger. Edwards is back, and Davenport is now at second base.

&uot;He was hitting too well not to be in the lineup,&uot; Brown said. &uot;He was hitting over .500 for the first four games.&uot;

The Chargers (4-1) go through the toughest part of their schedule in the next week. IWA faces Hampton Christian today, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy on Monday and Atlantic Shores on Tuesday.

&uot;If we can get through that, we get into spring break, and it eases up a little bit,&uot; Brown said.

The goals for the team are to be competitive in the Metro Conference. In 2006, the team went 14-7 and reached the semifinals of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division III playoffs.

&uot;We think we can play with Hampton Christian and Atlantic Shores. We have the team to do it; we just have to get the mental part down,&uot; Brown said. &uot;Those teams are well coached and don’t make many mistakes. Certainly we would like to get into the state tournament, and our

goal is to get to the final four.&uot;