William Monroe was hardly excited to see Bull Run District rival Strasburg wind up as the eighth seed of the Region B tournament. The Rams have been one of the few teams in the BR that have played the Dragons closely, although still having been swept both this year and last. But the fourth meeting between these this two teams was as lopsided as ever with Monroe pouncing on a big early lead, keeping the innings limited amongst its pitching staff and cruising to a 12-1 win in the Region B quarterfinals.
“We came out hitting tonight and it was good to see because we were going up against a left hander that we hadn’t seen yet, but had heard a lot of good things about,” said Dragons coach Mike Maynard. “We had good approaches, stayed through the ball and tried hitting the other way. And obviously Jack Morris was really good tonight for three innings. We were fortunate to be able to get him out and have Trey Lam come in and throw strikes.”
Morris threw three innings of shutout baseball, struck out six and retired nine of the ten batter he faced. The junior also helped spearhead a 6-run rally in the second with a 3-run homer.
Monroe took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single from Austin Batten. Before Morris’ jack in the second, Trey Lam pitched in an RBI single, Ryan Leake had an RBI groundout and Keegan Woolford hit an RBI double.
“We struggled to hit the ball the last couple of games, but tonight we came out and hit well,” Lam said. “It just worked out for us. It was rough playing them last week and tonight we did what we had to do by scoring in the first, scoring a lot in the second. The bats just woke up.”
In the third Monroe grab its final five runs of the night on a bases loaded walk another RBI double from Woolford, an error and an RBI single from Morris.
Lam came on in relief for Morris and pitched two innings while Anthony Prichett closed out the seventh. The trio of pitches gave up just four hits and two walks.
“It was nice that we have enough pitching to move around,” Lam said. “Up that big, it’s just easy to be relaxed, throw strikes and try and get outs.”
For Monroe on the night offensively, Morris was 3 for 4 at the plate with four RBI. Woolford was 2 for 2 with two RBI and two runs scored. Batten was 2 for 2. Lam went 2 for 4 with two runs scored.
The Dragons move on to face Dan River at home on Wednesday at 7 p.m. with a Group A bid on the line.