Louisa County had three innings to walk things off but Dinwiddie reliever Ryan Kelly had his stuff. The Generals got four and two third innings from Kelly of no-hit pitching to keep the Lions at bay late. And on the other side, Dinwiddie tied things up in the sixth at 2-2 before getting the go ahead run in the top of the 10th inning while being just one strike away from facing at least an 11th. The 3-2 win for the Generals ended the Lions’ season and for Louisa coach Kevin Fisher it was a hard way to end what was such a great run from a truly great senior class.
“Afterwards I told them that I enjoy what I do as a coach but when you have groups like this year where it’s a truly special group, it’s just so much fun as a coach,” Fisher said. “To ask kids to sacrifice time, at bats so that we do things to make us better as a team. That doesn’t happen very often, not in today’s society. There aren’t a lot of people that want to sacrifice things for one another but these kids, that what this group did all year.”
Louisa starter Tristan Snyder earned the no decision in his final high school start. The Lions hurler gave up three hits, two walks and struck out 11 along the way in his seven and a third inning effort. Lliam Grubbs was saddled with the loss in two and two third’s inning of relief but only because of one well timed hit and a tough break afterwards. He gave up just one hit and both of his walks were intentional as Louisa tried to skate out of the 10th. Grubbs finished with four strikeouts.
“They’re two guys were two of the best that we’ve seen in a long, long time,” said Dinwiddie coach Jason Burton. “Snyder had a ton of movement on his fastball and Grubbs had about as a plus-plus breaking ball as you’ll see in high school.”
With Dinwiddie starter Thomas Sanchez locked in too, it was a battle to get on base, especially early.
The Lions got on the board first in the third with a 2-out double from J.B. Lamb and an RBI single from Austin Nicholas. Then in the fourth, Louisa made it 2-0 when Grubbs reached on a walk and John McDonald hit an RBI triple. Sanchez retired the next three batters to escape furth damage though.
Dinwiddie tied things up in the sixth when Sanchez hit an RBI triple to score Brian Sanchez who walked prior, but with an error on the play, Sanchez strode home and it was suddenly 2-2.
“Obviously that triple, inside the park homerun, whatever you want to call it, that was the big play,” Burton said. “That was a big one and we’ve had different guys step up in different moments but Sanchez tonight, he was all over it all game.”
Sanchez saved more heroics for the bottom of the seventh where a diving catch in center field robbed Garret Duerson of extra bases with one out. In the bottom of the ninth with nobody on, Grubbs got a hold of a pitch the opposite way down the right foul pole line but it was tracked down at the warning track by Sheeder.
The top of the tenth saw the most tension. With Cody Jewett hitting a leadoff double, the Generals then got a sacrifice bunt to put courtesy runner Kevin Gunn on third with one out. Grubbs came up with a strikeout to make things interesting, but after falling into a 3-0 hole in the next at bat, the Lions elected to load the bases. Grubbs then worked Luke Costly to a 2-2 count, but a passed ball on the next pitch gave Gunn a chance to sneak home and he did.
Grubbs got Costly to groundout with the next pitch, but the Lions went down in order with a pair of pop outs and a strikeout to end the game.
The Lions finished 16-5 on the year. With Grubbs and Snyder among two of the eight seniors graduating from this group, a serious void is left. With key pieces like Owen Agee and Jack McDonald back in the fold, Louisa will regroup as they always seem to, but Tuesday night’s loss certainly stung hard and the efforts by yeomen on the group were not lost on Fisher.
“We rode two really good arms hard all year and they deserve so much credit but you can’t forget about how much these other guys did to help us be a better group by doing everything we asked of them,” Fisher said. “We just didn’t get the hits we needed at the end but it’s high school baseball and when you go 10 innings like this, what more can you ask from them? Only one team gets to celebrate at the end of the year, so it’s hard for almost everyone to end their season.”