Quite suddenly, things are clicking for Western Albemarle baseball. Albemarle found that out Tuesday night when the Warriors rolled to an 11-0 win over the Patriots.
“We started out rough, but in the last four or five games things have slowly started to turn around,” said Western senior Derek Domecq. “We’ve started to turn into an actual baseball team which is nice to see.”
Domecq played a big role in the Warriors’ fourth-straight win and third shutout in that stretch with a dominant one-hitter, striking out seven while walking just a single batter.
“Derek pitched really, really well,” said Western Albemarle coach Skip Hudgins. “He did exactly what we wanted and then when we jumped on them a little bit of course what we’re doing is pounding the strike zone and I thought he did a great job. Typical Derek Domecq game.”
With the Western offense doing what it was doing, the Warriors allowed Domecq to cash in on that effort with a victory. The Warriors struggled early in the Jefferson District slate to hit and plate runs, but wins over Spotswood, Charlottesville and Culpeper have jumpstarted the offense. Wyatt Hull led the way Tuesday, going 2-for-4 with four RBI highlighted by an RBI triple. Devin Powell knocked in three runs and went 2-for-4 and Jack Masloff went 3-for-3 while scoring three runs and posting one RBI.
“There’s an old theory in baseball that you’re going to end up what you are,” Hudgins said. “I think there’s some truth to that — we’ve got some kids who can swing the bat. It has been puzzling to us that we’ve been as inept as we’ve been at times. Tonight I was pleased to see that. It is contagious, and it’s contagious both ways.”
Western blew the game open in the third inning with some savvy two-out hitting and base-running. A dropped third strike allowed Jacob Lively to get on, and when Masloff ripped a double to center, Western got going. That hit scored Chris McGahren and then Masloff and courtesy runner Sims Sester scored off a Luke Tenuta hit. Powell then ripped a double to plate Tenuta.
Albemarle couldn’t dig out of that hole with Domecq cruising. A wave of sickness has swept through the Patriots’ roster over the past few days.
“We had four out yesterday and two out today,” said Albemarle coach Jimmy Bibb. “Not to make any excuses, nobody is going to feel sorry for you. (Western) played really well, you’ve got to give them credit. They put the ball in play, had good pitching and played good defense.”
Alexander Petroka scratched out the Patriots’ lone hit while Jake Browning, Jeff Shue and Thomas Fischer combined for six strikeouts despite giving up 11 runs.