Fluvanna County freshman Kevin Ward had a fantastic day, and not just because of what he did on the mound against Monticello Tuesday night. It’s also spring turkey season, and Ward had a day that, with a little re-working, could be a line out of a country song.
“He looked at me and said ‘what a great day, I pitched a perfect game and I killed a big old gobbler this morning before I went to school’,” Fluvanna coach Mike Sheridan said.
Ward notched the perfect game in a 9-0 victory over the Mustangs, striking out just four batters while leaning on his defense by inducing the Mustangs to put the ball in play.
“It was that classic we can’t say a word about it being a perfect game,” Sheridan said. “The exciting thing was watching the kids get so excited. He gave us exactly what we needed tonight.”
The Flucos’ defense played flawlessly despite getting a slight retooling up the middle with Kyle Algieri moving over to shortstop and Noah Brown stepping in at second base for Algieri.
Both players were impressive in the error-free performance, with Brown coming up with the final out by charging a hard-hit chopper up the middle in front of second base before making a throw to first.
“It looked like it was going to be an infield hit but then the celebration was on,” Sheridan said.
Ward was working with a lead from the first inning on as Fluvanna jumped out to a 4-0 lead with the first four batters of the game drawing a hit by pitch, then hitting a double before two straight home runs by Jacob Critzer and Nathan Gentry. Crizter cleared the bases with his three-run shot before Gentry unleashed a blast to dead center.
DaShon Carter had a big-time night at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI. Brant Wood went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a double while scoring a pair of runs and Ward helped his own cause with a double of his own.
Despite that rough start, Monticello pitcher Tommy Carter settled down on the mound and battled, giving the Mustangs nearly six innings.
“He beared down and gave them (nearly six) innings and that’s a heck of a job by him,” Sheridan said.
The Flucos will try and keep the momentum going Thursday in a rematch with Albemarle, who beat the Flucos 6-2 last week. Monticello will try and get back on track on the road against Louisa County.