St. Christophers Take Home VISAA DI Crown


Jerry Shank
Virginia Director

TPG 6.19

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The St. Christopher Saints scored seven unanswered runs after taking a early 2-0 deficit to defeat the Norfolk Academy Bulldogs 7-2 and take home the VISAA Division I championship.

Norfolk Academy were the aggressors early as they immediately got to St Christopher starter Patrick Routsis with back to back singles from leadoff man Julian Franks-Pollock and Ethan Hennessy. Routsis would get out of the inning unscathed. Heading to the top of the second, again Norfolk Academy would get two singles, but again Routsis got himself out of the jam. St. Christopher would threaten in the bottom of the inning but notthing across.

The first run of the game would go to the Bulldogs in the top of the third, Franks-Pollock would be hit by pitch and then Hennessy would again single. After a fly out the bases would load for Norfolk Academy after a Micah Whitmire single. Colby Worden would draw a walk to get the Bulldog first run, and a fielders choice on a slower ground ball up the middle would only allow for one out and Norfolk got their second run to take a 2-0 lead going to the bottom of the third.

The Saints would immediately respond with three of their own in the bottom of the frame. Will Atkinson led the inning off with a single. The following two hitters would get out, then Routsis kept the inning alive, knocking in Atkinson who stole second. the next hitter Hunter Andrews hit a towering homerun to left field to give the Saints a 3-2 lead.

That third inning was the realy turning point in the game, as the momentum flipped sides as St. Christopher got stronger and Norfolk Academy could not respond.

St. Christopher would add a run in the fifth, scoring off a wile pitch, then add three more in the bottom of the sixth as Routsis hit a well struck ball down the third base line, bouncing off the Norfolk third baseman's glove making an extended effort. That would drive in two runs, then a fielders choice to second with a runner on third got the next run to give the Saints a 7-2 lead.

Routsis got stronger as the game progressed, and shut the game down once St. Christopher took the lead in the third. He managed 6.1 innings before having to have his game cut short due to the pitch count rule. His pitch count was shorter due to the fact he came in relief for an inning the previous night and threw about 15 pitches in the one inning of work. His final line was six hits, two earned, seven strikeouts, a walk and HBP. Maddison Furman led the Saints offense, going 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI. Routsis added three RBI on one hit, and Andrews had two RBI on one hit.

Hennessy led Norfolk Academy going 3-for-4. The improbable playoff run had finally come to an end for  the Bulldogs, but not before they pulled off two of the biggest upsets of the VISAA this season to reach the championship game.