With three games in a week, Albemarle’s coaching staff wasn’t sure who was going to get the start on the rubber, but when Ryan Porter sent Jimmy Bibb a text saying that he wanted the ball for a Friday night road trip the Fluvanna County, that was one problem solved. Porter’s 3-hit complete game solved another, ending the Patriots’ five game slide with a 6-2 win over the Flucos.
“Ryan told us he wanted pitch, that was a leader just stepping up,” Bibb said. “I was worried we were in trouble after the first inning the way Fluvanna was hitting the ball hard and then coming off the way we played against Monticello last night. Putting that adversity behind us was huge. Ryan gave us an outstanding effort.”
Fluvanna, coming off a come-from-behind walk off win on Thursday night over then unbeaten Orange County, got off to a good start. It began with a solo home run from Jacob Critzer in the bottom of the first. Then in the second Cody Deforge delivered a sacrifice fly to score Aaron Brown and make it 2-0.
“We got beat tonight but I don’t think we gave it away,” Fluvanna coach Mike Sheridan said. “I told some people tonight was going to be interesting because they got thumped last night and we came off a heart pounding win. One of two things was going to happen — they were going to come out swinging or they were going to put their heads down. They came out swinging. Crizter put us up early, but they didn’t let that affect them.”
As such, in the third, Albemarle’s Ian Haney led things off with a single only to see three straight RBI hits, albeit with two outs. The first run came from a single from Ryan Porter, followed by another RBI single from Andrew Porter to tie things up. Then Scott Reid had an RBI double to make it 3-2.
“Albemarle ran into a lot of hard luck recently and tonight they hit the balls to the right spots,” Sheridan said. “(For us) my poor leadoff batter (Dashon Carter) hit the ball on the screws three times and comes back to the dugout three times. That’s why baseball is the hardest game to play. You can do it perfectly and not be successful.”
Things were quiet until the fifth inning. There, Albemarle loaded the bases and then got a suicide squeeze bunt single from Alex Petroka, who had to jump to make contact to plate Reid. With an RBI single from Colin Van Patten and then a sacrifice fly from Nathan Toney made it 6-2.
“We would never squeeze like that normally, but we hadn’t been swinging the bat all that well this week so let’s do something,” Bibb said. “It was huge and then it set us up for those other two runs. It was great to see.”
To say Porter pitched well late is putting it lightly. In his last four innings he retired the last 15 batters he faced in a row. The junior fanned eight batters and issued no walks and just three hits.
“I was just trying to keep the ball down,” Porter said. “That’s a good lineup and they got eight runs against Orange yesterday so I was just trying to work the breaking ball fastball combination, keep it on the ground.”
For Albemarle, Reid was 2-for-3. Both Andrew Porter and Colin Van Petten went 2-for-4.
For Fluvanna, Critzer was 1-for-3. Kyle Algeri 1-for-2. Shaun Holyfield was 1-for-1.
The Flucos travel to Monticello on Tuesday while Albemarle hosts Powhatan.