On Track: Louisa baseball shuts out Western for key road win

Photo by Bart Isley

Louisa County’s baseball team is right on track. They’ve played nine games despite weather challenges throughout the state and they’ve won eight of them.


Staying there in a loaded Jefferson District is no easy task.


Senior Tyler Earley’s bat helped keep them locked in Thursday night in a 7-0 win over Western Albemarle.


In the top of the fifth inning, Earley ripped a bases-clearing three-run double to left center to turn a tight contest into a runaway for the Lions. It came after a pair of frustrating at bats for the Lions


“I was struggling the first two at bats and I just had to find a way to get on base,” Earley said. “We needed a big hit and I just broke it open.”


It came as a welcome sight for his teammates too.


“I knew he was struggling in the beginning and for him to get that hit I was proud of him,” Grubbs said.


With a 3-0 lead already in the books before Early’s double and Lliam Grubbs battling before settling in in the shutout victory, Louisa picked up a critical win over the Warriors who’s hitting struggles continued against the Lions’ righthander.


“I definitely wasn’t feeling my stuff but I just stayed calm and continued to throw strikes and then I started feeling all my pitches and that was when I got into things,” Grubbs said. “This definitely is a good win, it definitely makes a statement. We always want to be Western.”


Grubbs struck out 11 and allowed just one hit while giving up four walks and prevented Western from advancing a single player to third base. He found his groove in the fifth, surrendering just one walk while posting nine of his 11 strikeouts over the last three innings.


“I think he did a good job battling the first five innings and then he came out and said he felt a whole lot better,” said Louisa coach Kevin Fisher. “He got on it there in the end.”


Matt West, Tristan Snyder and Grubbs each posted two hits each while Jack McDonald drew three walks for the Lions. McDonald, Snyder and Garrett Duerson each posted an RBI as the Lions managed to produce against Western sophomore Garrett Payne and Jack Masloff. Payne struck out four in his four innings and allowed three runs while Masloff surrendered Earley’s shot in the fifth. Zakk Hodge and Luke Tenuta combined for two scoreless innings to close out the game for Western.


“We’re just not playing well right now and that’s the way it rolls some times,” said Western coach Skip Hudgins. “Right now we’re not swinging the bats really well. I’m not worried about it, I think we’ll be fine.”


Tenuta had the Warriors’ lone hit. Western struggled earlier in the week offensively too, posting three hits and no runs against Powhatan while Derek Domecq struck out 10 in the 3-0 loss.


The Lions face a quick turnaround as they take on Fluvanna County Friday night at 7 p.m. to close out a week where they beat Albemarle before facing the Warriors. Western will try and get on track Monday at Waynesboro at 5:30 p.m.