Louisa County baseball is replacing so much on the mound from last year’s graduating class with a lot of new faces in key spots.
But Tuesday was a familiar sight — a pitcher named Snyder picking up a win with an efficient effort on the mound as the Lions beat Albemarle 13-3 in five innings
Instead of Tristan Snyder though who’s now at William and Mary, it was his younger brother, junior Ethan Snyder carrying the water for the Lions with a solid five-inning outing where he struck out five and allowed just two walks. Snyder surrendered just two earned runs and settled in as the game went on, throwing scoreless frames in the fourth and fifth.
“After those first couple of innings it just felt natural,” Snyder said. “It was great to be out there and I was glad to have my team behind me.”
Snyder started the game with a 6-0 cushion as Albemarle struggled defensively with several key players out of the lineup with injuries or sickness. A leadoff walk compounded by an error set the table for Garrett Duerson to hit a double and plate J.B. Lamb and Travis Pleasants to open the scoring. Then Bryce Clarke blasted a home run to left to score three and put the Patriots in a 5-0 hole. Then Larry LaBarge doubled to score Owen Agee and make it 6-0 Louisa in the middle of the first.
It was a welcome change for the Lions, who stumbled against Charlottesville early in the season but beat Orange County at home Saturday before picking up the road win over Albemarle.
“At the beginning of the year we had a little bit of trouble with the bats but we’ve been working more as a team,” Snyder said. “We’re working together in the field and it’s really helping out.”
With so many young players stepping up, the Lions were bound to run into some problems.
“We’re a young group and I hope we keep playing like we are right now but we’re going to make some young mistakes throughout this year,” said Louisa coach Kevin Fisher. “Tonight I was real pleased with how we came out with our approach at the plate.”
LaBarge finished the day 2-for-2 with a run scored, two RBI and two walks. Pleasants also went 2-for-4 as did Duerson with both players also scoring twice. Logan Fifer and Agee each knocked in runs.
Finding pitching to replace Tristan Snyder and Lliam Grubbs (JMU) is no easy task, but the Lions got a boost from Ethan Snyder’s performance against the Patriots.
“That’s tough to replace two Division I arms like that but I’m lucky to have probably the best pitching coach in the state that just does a phenomenal job with my pitchers,” Fisher said. “I can’t say enough about what coach (Bill) Pelot does and I think by the end of the year he’s going to have them where they need to be.”
Four errors plagued the Patriots and the offense left four base runners on, though Jett Shue went 2-for-3 with a double and Hunter Shifflett had an RBI double.
The Lions will try and keep this run going when they host Western Albemarle Thursday while Albemarle travels to face Monticello the same night.