Wonders propels IWA in state playoffs
Published 10:46 am Wednesday, May 13, 2015
ISLE OF WIGHT
In on relief, Isle of Wight Academy lefty Alec Wonders struck out Tidewater Academy’s Benji Goodrich looking, to earn a save and advance the Chargers to the VISAA Div. III playoff semifinals.
The final out of the game was not a mirror image of how the rest had transpired, as many hits led Isle of Wight to a 15-13 victory against the Warriors.
Wonders had come in during the top of the sixth with only one out having been recorded by Rylee Williams, who had given up four runs that inning. Wonders struck out the remainder of the side, and two of the three outs he recorded in the seventh were by strikeout.
Up until Wonders took the mound, Noah Pye, who got the start, and Williams, who picked up the win, were shaky, said head coach Ben Brown.
“It was a good game, but pitching was our Achilles’ heel,” he said. “We’ve got to pitch better if we want to advance in the playoffs.”
To advance, the Chargers will have to do so against No. 1 Southampton Academy on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at Colonial Heights’ Shepherd Stadium.
Meanwhile, Brown said the fielding and batting were the catalysts in the Chargers comeback victory. Leading 3-2 in the top of the third, Pye had pitched himself into a jam, but it looked like he might get out of it with only two runs of damage. Davis Powell had a long sacrifice fly to left field that scored a run and recorded the second out. Then on an infield hit, Goodrich was seemingly thrown out at first by shortstop Jacob Mintz.
As the Chargers started to walk off the field, the second base umpire called Goodrich safe. The umpire had ruled the ball dead when it hit him, as it might have made it through the infield.
With Pye rattled, the Warriors were able to put two more on the board before Williams came in and recorded the final out.
Mintz started the bottom of the frame off right for the Chargers with a solo home run. After a few walks had been issued, Wonders’ drive came just short of being a straightaway center field grand slam.
Despite not getting the home run, he still had a three-run double, propelling the Chargers to a 10-6 lead by the end of the inning.
The offense had another big frame in the bottom of the fourth. Catcher Dylan Robertson led the way in the five-run inning off of a two-run double to the left field corner.
“It was a good win,” Brown said. “We’ve now got a tough opponent in Southampton Academy. We played them twice this season and did not fare well, but we are glad to get another opportunity.”