Prep Baseball Report

Lyttle Does Everything as Hanover Takes Opener

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By Alan Grey
PBR VA/DC Contributor 

Perennial 4A powerhouse No. 5 Hanover opened the 2016 campaign with a resounding 10-0 victory over Dinwiddie in a shortened five inning game. The story of the night was Hawks senior righthander Grey Lyttle. The High Point University commit was in complete command on the mound as he faced the minimum fifteen Generals and missed out on a perfect game when the only Dinwiddie batter to reach safely was extinguished at second trying to stretch his single into a double in the top of the first. Lyttle struck out 11 and walked 0 during his 57 pitch outing.

At the plate Lyttle helped his own cause in the bottom of the third when he opened the scoring for Hanover with a two-out double to deep right-center scoring senior shortstop Cayman Richardson (Virginia) who had singled ahead of Lyttle and stole second to set the table. Dinwiddie sophomore starter Seth Mayberry kept it tight early on as he pitched out of two separate jams in the first and second before Lyttle managed to break the stalemate with his RBI double in the third. 

After Lyttle struck out the side in the top of the fourth, Dinwiddie replaced Mayberry in Hanover's half of the inning and that's when the Hawks bats came alive. Junior Nolan Caler led off with a double down the left field line off of Generals reliever Brandon Webb. Caler was driven in by Hanover senior designated hitter Jacob Weis (Richmond). Webb looked as if he was going to escape without further damage as he struck out the next Hawk hitter and induced a fly out to left from Hanover leadoff hitter, sophomore infielder Jack Dragum (Virginia). But it was not to be as sophomore third basement Cam Grimes worked a walk and senior John Gregory (Longwood) drove an RBI single through the four hole to plate Wise and give Hanover the 3-0 lead. Cayman Richardson drew a BB to load the bases and that set the stage for Grey Lyttle once again. Lyttle took a 2-2 fastball and drove it deep over the 363 sign in dead centerfield to give Hanover the 7-0 lead and chase Webb. Senior catcher Hunter Marshall (Hampden Sydney) followed with a double down the leftfield line but Zack Donovan was able to end the inning for Dinwiddie by getting Caler, Hanover's tenth batter of the inning, to take a called third strike.

Lyttle continued his dominant night as he struck out the side in the top of the fifth on ten pitches. Hanover put the finishing touches on the game in the bottom of the 5th as John Gregory drove in two more runs with two outs on another sharp single to right. Cayman Richardson followed with a ground rule double over the right center field fence bringing Lyttle to the plate with runners on 2nd and 3rd and Hanover leading 9-0. Lyttle sent a moonshot deep into the corner in LF that landed at the base of the wall and ended the game as Gregory crossed home with the 10th run.

All in all Grey Lyttle went 3-4 with six RBI (all with two outs) with two doubles and a grand slam. John Gregory added three RBI, all with two outs, on a 2-3 night, and Cayman Richardson was 2-2 with two walks. The three, four, and five holes in Hanover's order combined to go 7-9 with three doubles, a grand slam, and nine RBI.

The lone bright spot for the Dinwiddie squad was the early performance of Seth Mayberry who held the Hawks in check early in the game. In the end, Grey Lyttle was just too much for the Generals tonight. On a night like tonight, he would have been too much for anybody. Lyttle said after the game:

"I felt pretty comfortable out there tonight. It's easy to feel that way when your defense is loaded with talent and you trust everybody behind you. My approach was to get ahead early in the count and I was able to locate my off-speed pitches. At the plate it just so happened that all my at bats came with RISP (runners in scoring position) and two outs - so I knew I had to stay with an approach and not let the moment get too big. I just tried to do my job and help the team as best I could".

For velocities and scouting information, check the VA/DC Scout Blog later this week. 

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