It’s not often that baseball games end in Mineral with daylight still out. In a game that lasted just 85 minutes, featured just 11 total base runners and just six hits, Tuesday’s meeting between Western Albemarle and Louisa County was all about the starting pitching between two really good arms. The difference wasn’t much, but it was that the Lions cashed in each gift the Warriors handed out along the way to the tune of a 3-0 win to complete a regular season sweep of the Warriors.
“We put the ball in play with runners on, put the pressure on and they made some untimely miscues,” said Louisa coach Kevin Fisher. “We took advantage of it and that was the ball game. When you’ve got two (collegiate) arms on the bump, that’s how it goes.”
Coming off a complete game win where he had a tough third inning against Fluvanna County last Tuesday but worked through it, Louisa starting pitcher Tristan Snyder had his stuff going from start to finish against Western. The William and Mary-bound Snyder gave up just two hits and a walk and had a one-hitter going into the seventh. He finished with eight strikeouts on the night with his fastball getting as high as 93 miles an hour on the radar behind the plate.
“Today (the success) was the same out at Fluvanna, it was the fastball,” Snyder said. “I got ahead on the batters and it worked out well.”
The results overshadowed what was another outstanding effort for the other starting pitcher taking the hill, Derek Domecq. The Western senior headed to Radford gave up just four hits and had just one walk while striking out seven and also finishing with a complete game.
“It wasn’t the result we’d like but I felt like that was one of the best performances from Derek that I’ve ever seen,” said Western coach Skip Hudgins.
What little offense there was came mostly in the bottom of the second with Tyler Early drawing a leadoff walk. An Owen Agee bunt single put runners on the corners. With Austin Nicholas reaching on a error, Early was able to score. Then Matt West came up with an RBI groundout to make it 2-0.
“It’s good to have a cushion,” Snyder said. “When your guys the ball and you get ahead it helps you on the mound a bit. You know have something behind you.”
The Lions added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth with a Kyron Butler leadoff single starting things off. He would score after a sacrifice bunt from Agee, a wild pitch and sacrifice fly from Caleb Turner.
The Warriors had their best opportunity in the fifth with Domecq leading the inning off with a walk. Then Garrett Payne broke up the no-hitter with a single to put runners on first and second. But that was followed by a strikeout, a fielder’s choice and a groundout to end the threat.
Snyder came up with the game’s only extra base hit with a double in the sixth but Domecq pitched out of that jam to keep things at 3-0. In the top of the seventh, Payne came up with a 2-out single to put the potential tying run on deck. But Snyder ended things with a strikeout to wrap up the win.
“The unearned runs we gave up, that was the ball game,” Hudgins said. “Even still though, you have to score. Our problems at the plate tonight though were because of Snyder. That was a quality pitcher. If we want to move forward and win later in the season, you have to find ways to beat guys like that.”
The Lions will travel to Powhatan next while the Warriors will host Monticello both on Thursday.