Fluvanna County’s baseball team left little doubt Wednesday night.
Senior pitcher Joe Gomez and a patient approach at the plate made sure of that as the Flucos rolled past Fort Defiance 10-0 in the Region 3C semifinals. The win vaults Fluvanna into Thursday’s region title game and puts Fluvanna in the state tournament.
“I’ve never really been to one of these postseason things – this far (at least),” Gomez said. “It’s really great, we’ve got a young team and I love the guys.”
Gomez struck out nine in six innings and allowed just one hit and three total baserunners. It was an impressive effort for the VCU-bound senior who has thrown a lot of innings for Flucos.
“We’ve got some senior pitching that has kind of carried us,” said Fluvanna coach Joel Gray referring to Gomez and fellow senior J.J. Glasscock. “He was solid as you can be on the bump, he didn’t lose his composure and he kept pounding it in there, really proud of his effort.”
Gomez got some serious help from sophomore catcher Cody Peck. Peck made several big plays including throwing out a base runner at second and making a diving catch on a foul pop-up right in front of the Fluvanna bench.
“He made some great plays on some bunts and just kept me in it all the way through,” Gomez said. “He did whatever he could to keep me zoned in.”
Gomez kept the clamps on Fort Defiance in a big way and the stability stood in stark contrast to the Indians who started making changes on the mound early and put five different pitchers on the mound. A big reason for those changes? Fluvanna was being patient at the plate, drawing 12 total walks as a team.
Tyler Coleman drew three walks while Bradley Cox, Caden Harris and Samuel Loving each drew two walks. Gomez and Jackson Fields had two hits each and Gomez registered three RBI while Loving and Nathan Gragg had two each.
Fluvanna scored three runs in the second inning and then slowly built on the lead from there before invoking the run-rule in the bottom of the sixth when an error allowed two more Fluvanna runs to score while the Flucos held an 8-0 lead.
The Flucos now turn their attention to the state’s No. 1-ranked squad Liberty Christian who Fluvanna will face for the third time this year. Most recently LCA won 7-4 with several Flucos left stranded.
“I’m really happy for them as young players – we’ve got some really young players, some guys who are going to be dynamite when they get more experience,” Gray said.