No. 18 Hickory Offense Explodes
March 23, 2016
By John Nolan
Assistant Director of Scouting/Content Management
Chesapeake-On a windy Tuesday night, the No. 8 ranked Nansemond River Warriors traveled to take on new 5A South Region rival, No. 18 Hickory. The Warriors are currently short two of their top starting pitchers as senior Matt Holt (LaSalle) is a few weeks away from his return to the rotation and fellow senior Michael Blanchard (Old Dominion) was scratched just before game time with a sore leg. The depleted Warriors turned the task of facing the very good Hawk line-up to sophomore righthander Gage Williams.
The Warriors got off to a good start in the top of the first inning as senior centerfielder Chris Henderson led the game off with a single up the middle and senior third basemen Johnny Mayer (Morehouse) homered to right-center to open the scoring. Nansemond River got three runs total in the top of the first inning.
Hickory entered the game coming off of a 1-0 loss to No. 17 Grassfield on Friday night and the Hawk offense wasted no time getting on the board in the first inning. Senior centerfielder Cody Schneider (Radford) drew a leadoff walk and later got caught in a rundown between third and home, ultimately escaping to score Hickory’s first run. Later in the inning, senior centerfielder Dylan Hudson drove in junior third basemen Mikey Polansky (Virginia Tech) to tie the game at three.
Warrior senior second baseman Nick Lees (Chowan) led the second inning off with a single and stole second, but was ultimately stranded there. The bottom of the second saw more fireworks as Schneider came up with one out and a runner on and launched a home run to deep left-centerfield to give Hickory the lead. Not to be outdone by his teammate, Polansky came up after a walk and launched his own two-run homer to right field.
Nansemond River came to the plate in the top of the third trailing 7-3. Mayer drew a leadoff walk and junior shortstop Jarrid Johnson hit the game’s fourth home run to cut the deficit to 7-5. Jordan drew a walk and stole second and third, where he would ultimately be left. Williams had a quick third inning, and after three complete, Hickory led 7-5.
In the top of the fourth, Nansemond River senior catcher Reid Williams (King) drew a one out walk and Chris Henderson also drew a walk to put the tying run on base. Hickory went to the bullpen and brought in sophomore righthander Reid Celata. Celata got out of the inning with a pickoff at second and a groundout to preserve the Hawks’ two-run lead. For velocities and scouting information on Williams and Celata, check the Virginia/DC Scout Blog.
The bottom of the fourth would see the Hawks blow the game open and score six runs, with the big blow coming off of the bat of senior second basemen Colin Kelly, who drove in three runs with a two out double.
Celata threw a scoreless top of the fifth and the Hawks would end up walking the game off in the bottom of the fifth when senior catcher Brenden McQueeney drove in Schneider and Polansky with a double down the leftfield line.
Nansemond River was led offensively by Johnny Mayer, who finished 1-1 with a home run, 2 BB, 2 RBI, and 2 R. Jarrid Johnson finished 1-3 with a home run and 2 RBI. Senior centerfielder Dion Jordan (Norfolk State) went 0-1 with 2 BB, 2 SB, R.
Hickory was led offensively by Schneider, who went 2-2 with a double, a home run, 2 BB, 2 RBI, and 4 R. Freshman shortstop Mason Dunaway went 2-3 with a BB and 3 R. Polansky went 2-2 with a home run, 2 RBI, and 3 R. McQueeney went 1-3 with a BB, a R, and 4 RBI. Colin Kelly was 1-3 with a 2B and 3 RBI. For scouting information on hitters from this game, check the Virginia/DC Scout Blog.