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York and Kecoughtan's high-powered offenses went toe-to-toe during the opening game of the Bay Rivers-Peninsula District Invitational Friday afternoon.
In the end, the Falcons prevailed with a final score of 15-9.
Despite the two teams combining for 23 hits and 24 runs, clutch pitching ended up being the difference.
The game started with fireworks from both teams offensively. York (4-2) got on the board first in the top of the first inning after Trey Kurtyka hit a hard grounder to third base that allowed Jaime Lewis to score.
Kecoughtan responded in the bottom of the first by reeling off three runs thanks in part to two York fielding errors.
Trailing 3-1, the Falcons responded with three runs of their own in the top of the second inning. A sacrifice fly by Kurtyka allowed Nick Avis to score from third base.
David Brewster stepped to the plate and added to the offensive momentum. Brewster doubled to center field, driving home Lewis and Hunter Collins to put York's advantage at 4-3.
Not to be outdone, the Warriors continued the three runs per inning trend that had developed, recording hits on four straight at-bats, which culminated in a Robbie Edwards triple.
After watching his starter Josh Burgett give up four earned runs in 1-2/3 innings, York Coach Rusty Ingram sent in Brewster for a relief stint.
Brewster, who banged home four RBI during the game, pitched four innings and allowed two earned runs on four hits to slow down the Kecoughtan offense.
"We didn't pitch real well in the beginning," Ingram said. "Brewster came in and shut things down. He did pretty well."
While Brewster pitched well on the mound, the Falcons continued their offensive efficiency.
The Falcons tied the game at 6-6 in the top of the third after Avis hit an RBI double before Lewis singled to drive home Avis on the next at-bat.
York briefly lost the lead in the bottom of the third inning as Kecoughtan plated another run to go up 7-6.
However, the Falcons refused to go away.
A Rayvon Patrick triple in the fourth put York back on top 8-7 – a lead the Falcons would not relinquish.
The Falcons scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning to blow open the game.
An RBI single from Collins started things off for the Falcons in the fifth. Two batters later, Brewster hit a sacrifice fly that brought Collins in from third base.
After moving batters around the bases via short hits and groundouts, Patrick singled to right field that drove in Gabe Simmons to give the Falcons a 12-7 lead.
Kecoughtan brought across two runs in the bottom of the sixth, but never threatened to close the gap entirely before the final out.
"Jaime Lewis and Brewster came up big," Ingram said. "We sprinkled in a lot of hits. This was our best offensive output of the year."
York will face a quick turnaround as they prepare to take on Woodside at 2 p.m. Saturday at York High School to close out the invitational.
York: 132;241;2 – 15 13 5
Kecoughtan: 331;002;0 – 9 10 3
York: Brewster (3-3, 4 RBI, 4 IP, 2 ER, 4 K), Lewis (2-3, 3 RBI), Patrick (2-4, 3 RBI)
Kecoughtan: Edwards (2-4, 3 RBI, Watts (1-3, RBI)
Pitching Woes Sink Grafton
Grafton, a team known for its pitching prowess, struggled to keep runners off the bases in a 12-4 loss to Group 6A school Woodside on Friday in the Bay Rivers-Peninsula District Invitational.
The game started well for the Clippers, jumping in front during the top of the second inning on a Jordan Sprouse RBI single.
In the top of the third inning, Grafton stuck again, this time on an RBI triple from Zach Lechthaler. Three batters later, Jordan Allen brought Lechthaler across the plate on an RBI single to put Grafton up 3-0.
From there, the game began to unravel.
Grafton's starting pitcher Justin Bowers, who pitched two shutout innings, began to lose control of the ball, hitting four of eight batters faced in the bottom of the third inning. Over those eight batters, Bowers also gave up four earned runs and walked a batter.
"Woodside is a good team," Grafton Coach Matt Lewellen said after the game. "We hung with them three or four innings. They just got to us in the third and in the fourth. Bowers started and he battled. For a freshman, I'm proud of him."
Bowers' replacement, Michael Bailey, did not have better luck figuring out the Woodside hitters.
Bailey lasted 2-1/3 innings, allowing seven earned runs on six hits and three walks.
Despite the game getting out of control late, Lewellen managed to find the positives from a disappointing final score.
"We're going to get there," Lewellen said of his team. "The guys played hard and came together as a team tonight. That was really good to see."
The Clippers will have a chance to rebound from Friday's loss as they take on Kecoughtan at 11 a.m. Saturday at York High.
Grafton: 012;100;0 – 4 6 2
Woodside: 005;160;x – 12 10 4
Grafton: Sprouse (1-3, RBI), Allen (2-3, RBI)
Woodside: Welcher (1-3, 4 RBI), Sanders (2-4, 2 RBI)