Lancaster eliminates Windsor from baseball playoffs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 3, 2008

WINDSOR-In one of its oddest games of the season, Windsor High School ran into the pitcher it did not want to see.

Lancaster High School’s Jonathan Somers allowed just three hits in lifting the Red Devils to a 6-1 win over the Dukes in the second round of the Group A Region A baseball playoffs Wednesday.

Somers is the ace of the Red Devils’ staff, according to Lancaster head coach Welby Saunders.

&uot;He’s been throwing like that all year long. He’s had a lot of low-scoring games,&uot; Saunders said. &uot;We felt confident after winning yesterday (14-4 over Arcadia) and having him on the mound today today that we were in pretty good shape.&uot;

Chris Horne, who has been the stopper himself many times this year for Windsor, pitched an odd game. He gave up five hits, several of them not solid, and struck out 13. But he also hit five batters and balked twice. The normally solid Windsor defense committed three errors behind him – and at least one error in judgment. And yet, the Dukes were still potentially in the game in the seventh inning.

Lancaster (14-4) set the tone for the game in the first inning. With one out, Horne hit Adam Benson and Luke Saunders back-to-back, both on curveballs. Chris Buzzell and Somers cracked back-to-back RBI singles. With a runner on third, Somers was later caught in a rundown on a pickoff play. But Windsor first baseman Kyle Messer went after the runner instead of throwing home. Somers was eventually tagged out, but not before Buzzell scored the third run.

The Red Devils plated two more runs in the fourth inning. Again, Horne’s wildness cost him. He hit Somers to lead off the inning, then got Lee Kuykendall to pop out and Will Barrack to groundout. Then, with two strikes in the count, Horne hit Jack Jackson. Ninth-place hitter Jay Betts followed with a two-run single up the middle.

Lancaster, second place in the Northern Neck District, picked up another run in the sixth. Somers lifted a fly ball to center, which was misplayed by Brett Vaughan. Somers moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk when Myers dropped the ball on the mound.

Trailing 6-0, and having managed only two singles by Ryan Acey and Kyle Cobb, the Dukes began a rally in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Somers walked Austin Winkles. Horne singled to right center to move Winkles to third. With runners on first and third with one out, Acey then hit into a fielder’s choice, which scored Winkles. Somers struck out Cobb to snuff out the rally.

Despite the low hit total, Bruce Carroll, Windsor head coach, said he was happy with the way the Dukes swung the bats.

&uot;We hit the ball and they made some plays and we hit the ball at people,&uot; he said. &uot;If we could have kept it to three or under, we could have done some things. When you get down by six, you can’t bunt, you can’t steal, you can’t do anything.&uot;

Carroll said his team was tight coming into the game.

&uot;It happens. We weren’t on our game. We gave them too much early,&uot; he said. &uot;We’ve got some young kids and it showed. Hopefully, they will learn from it.

&uot;This sounds crazy, but if a few things had gone different here or there, it’s a 2-0 game, and that one we scored in the seventh, who knows what happens,&uot; Carroll added.