ROWVA gets defensive, seeks title
The ROWVA High School baseball team just couldn’t seem to find a way to drive in the runners it put on base in the Roanoke-Benson sectional Thursday.
The way the Tigers played defense, though, they didn’t have to.
ROWVA stranded nine runners but shut down the host Rockets in a 2-0 win to advance to Saturday’s final against Downs Tri-Valley.
“The way our defense was playing, two runs was going to be enough,” ROWVA left fielder Jake Logan said. “We would have liked to have more, but this was one of our best games of the year in terms of defense.”
The Tigers tracked down ground balls in the infield, turned a double play and made only one error the entire game to back up Logan and Evan Saline’s performances on the mound.
Logan, a sophomore, wasn’t expecting to start the game but got the call when undisclosed circumstances kept Saline from riding the team bus.
“I was supposed to throw to the first batter until (Saline) showed up,” Logan said. “The first batter turned into the first inning and the first inning turned into the first half of the order.”
Logan kept R-B in check, though, throwing three shutout innings with three hits allowed along with one walk and five strikeouts.
Logan handed Saline the ball in the fourth inning with a 2-0 lead and Saline held on throughout.
The Rockets threatened in the seventh inning, putting runners on second and third with two outs.
“I was just trying to relax at that point,” Saline said. “My defense had been making plays for me all day, so I knew if I threw strikes we’d make a play.”
Saline struck out the final batter he faced to seal the win.
Tigers’ coach John Clark said he was happy with the win and the way the team played defense, but the bats need to be more consistent with runners in scoring position.
“We talked about that. We need to make contact when we’ve got runners on second and third and we’ve got one out,” Clark said. “We had that happen a couple of times. We need to get sharper on that.
Trevor McCarthy went 3-for-4 to lead the Tigers’ offense while Nick Reid and Joe Shepherd each knocked in a run. ROWVA improved to 28-6 overall entering the sectional title game.
“We need to come back on Saturday and execute on offense and play defense the way we did today,” Clark said.