VHSL Class 5 Semifinals

Jason Burton
Richmond Area Scouting Coordinator

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Stafford 11, Hickory 10

This was a back and forth battle between the Hawks of Hickory and the Stafford Indians, but it would be the never say die offensive approach of the Indians that would push them through to the 11-10 victory of Hickory.

Stafford would get things started with a two run bottom of the first inning. Joe Tolson would hit a two out, two RBI single to left that would score Lambros and Sullivan.

In the top of the second the Hawks would answer with one of their own on a Colby Smith double making it 2-1 in favor of Stafford. Just like the remainder of the game would go, Stafford would answer Hickory's score. This time it was off of the bat of Tucker Sullivan, who doubled bringing home Jimmy Baker and Grant Fuller. That would take the score to 4-1 Stafford.

The big bat of Mason Dunaway would answer for the Hawks in the top of the third. Dunaway would send a 0-1 curveball over the left center field fence for a two run homerun, bringing the score to 4-3 with Stafford still in front. The Indians would once again answer the Hawks scoring, but this time it was on a few defensive miscues that the Hickory defense made. Staffor would score three runs in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice bunt, one single, and a couple of Hawk errors. We would end the third with a score of 6-3 Indians.

Reliever Tyler Bowes was not only excellent on the mound, but he would turn out a couple of timely hits for the Hawks. One of which was a double that came in the top of the fourth, scoring Brenden Barnes and making it 6-4. Thomas Watermolen would hit a sac fly to get the Hawks back within one and then Hickory would take advantage of a defensive miscue that scored Bowes tying it up at 6-6. In the bottom half Tristan McAlister would ground into a fielder's choice that would allow Stafford to pull back ahead by a score of 7-6.

Bowes would continue to swing a hot bat in the top of the sixth, as he would hit a two run homerun giving the Hawks the lead at 8-7. The Hawks would extend their lead via two bases loaded walks and would finish the top of the sixth at 10-7. In the bottom of the inning Stafford would use more two out hits to climb back within one as Jimmy Baker and Grant Fuller each had a RBI single making it 10-9 Hickory headed to the seventh.

In the bottom of the seventh the Stafford two out rally would continue with a single and two walks to tie it up at 10-10. Grant Fuller would then hit a ground ball to the right side and on a misplayed ball the Indians would walk this one off with a final score of 11-10.

Mills Godwin 5, Halifax 4

Both clubs jumped out with three run first innings and the scoring would go pretty quiet until the bottom of the seventh. Godwin would use the big bat of Bryce Safferwich to walk this one off with a final score of 5-4.

Halifax would score three in the first courtesy of singles from Troy Ferrell, Drew Harlow, and Alex Lowery. In the bottom of the inning Mills Godwin would use three singles of their own from Bryce Safferwich, Sam Essex, and Noah Cornwell to tie it up at 3-3.

There would be no more scoring for a few innings, as Drew Harlow of Halifax and Spencer Rife of Godwin exchanged zero's. Halifax would break the tie in the top of the fourth with a Dylan Clark single that would make it 4-3 Comets.

We would stay at 4-3 until the bottom of the seventh inning. After Lowery, who was on in relief of Harlow, got a groundout to the leadoff hitter would then get a linedrive to the outfield for what appeared to be the second out, but was misplayed and that started the Godwin rally. After an infield single for Godwin, the Eagles had runners on the corners with one out. Berringer would take second and put the winning run in scoring position with one out for Godwin. Region 5B player of the year and JMU commit Bryce Safferwich would come to the plate and unload on the third pitch of the at bat for a walk off double in the right center field gap. Both runners scored easily and Godwin would walk it off, heading to the 5A state championship game with a final score of 5-4.