Hard­ing, Vik­ings romp in opener

Townsend hits first var­sity homer

Dorchester Star - - Sports - By DAVID INSLEY dins­ley@star­dem.com

Cam­bridge-SD 10

Wash­ing­ton 0 CAM­BRIDGE — Forced to wait two days to start its sea­son due to bad field con­di­tions, the Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High base­ball team’s pa­tience paid off on Wed­nes­day, March 23.

Sopho­more right-han­der Tyler Hard­ing pitched a one-hit com­plete game, strik­ing out six as the Vik­ings blanked Wash­ing­ton, 10-0, in six in­nings.

“Ob­vi­ously, you want the win,” C-SD’s Chad Wolfe said af­ter win­ning his head-coach­ing de­but. “And Tyler had good com­mand, and threw a great game.

“The orig­i­nal plan was for Tyler to start, and we work into [se­nior] Matt [El­liott]. But Tyler cruised right along; I mean, he only threw 65 pitches, so it was kind of hard to take him out the way he was do­ing.”

Walk­ing the game’s first hit­ter, Jaguar fresh­man lead­off man Riley Horner, Hard­ing re­tired the next three hit­ters.

In the top of the sec­ond, Hard­ing walked Savaris Peo­ples with one out, and the speedy Julius White legged out an in­field sin­gle. But Hard­ing tight­ened up, and fanned the next two hit­ters to strand both run­ners.

The strike­outs be­gan a game-end­ing streak of 14 straight hit­ters dis­patched by Hard­ing and the Vik­ing de­fense. Wash­ing­ton hit only two balls out of the in­field, one a line drive caught in left by Bran­don Tibbs, the other a can of corn to cen­ter fielder Nate Lowe.

The Vik­ings got all the of­fense they needed in the bot­tom of the first. With one out, Lowe (walk, two runs) sin­gled up the mid­dle. Michael Richard­son slapped a base hit to right, and Matt El­liott (2for-3, walk, triple, RBI, three runs) reached on an er­ror that scored Lowe and moved Richard­son to third.

A passed ball plated Richard­son, and Devin Sparks (3-for-4) fol­lowed with a run-scor­ing dou­ble. Two bat­ters later, Evan Fish­paw’s base hit scored Sparks to make it 4-0.

A dropped fly ball in left field, a triple to the deep­est part of the park by El­liott, and a Sparks sin­gle fu­eled a three-run sec­ond in­ning for C-SD.

With Fish­paw on sec­ond and no­body out in the bot­tom of the third, Vik­ing sopho­more Josh Townsend got all of 1-1 fast­ball for a home run off Wash­ing­ton starter White (0-1).

“I just ran as hard as I could,” Townsend said of the hit. “I didn’t know how far it would go.”

The ball, which sailed more than 375 feet, was hit so hard, the 10-mph cross­wind, blow­ing from right field to­ward cen­ter all af­ter­noon, didn’t vis­i­bly af­fect its flight. The tworun homer to straight­away right made it 9-0, and a rout seemed im­mi­nent.

Tibbs (3-for-3), sin­gled on the next pitch, C-SD load­ing the bases a mo­ment later. But the Vik­ings didn’t score then — or in the next two in­nings.

The 9-0 ad­van­tage re­mained un­changed, thanks to clutch outs by Wash­ing­ton re­liever Keionte Nut­ter in the third, and dou­ble plays in the fourth and fifth.

“I thought we were go­ing to go into the sev­enth in­ning, and come out and try to do some­thing with that 9-0 lead they had,” Wash­ing­ton head coach Bryan Laird said. “But it just wasn’t to be.”

C-SD wrapped it up in its half of the sixth. El­liott led it off with a sin­gle up the mid­dle, and Sparks fol­lowed with an­other.

Koby Schreiber (1-for4) hit what looked to be a dou­ble-play ball to sec­ond, but the trans­fer was mis­han­dled at short, and all hands were safe.

Se­nior util­i­ty­man Lan­den Warfield (2-for2), who had subbed in for Fish­paw two in­nings prior, was next up.

“It was all curve­balls from [Jaguar re­liever Jimmy Mans­field],” Warfield said, “so I was just try­ing to hit one.”

He got a piece of the fifth one, inside-out­ing the 2-2 de­liv­ery. It sailed slowly into shal­low right field and found the grass there, al­low­ing El­liott to score the 10th run, in­stantly end­ing the rout-rule win.

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