Rustburg Rallies Past Poquoson to the 3A Championship Game



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By John Nolan
Assistant Director of Scouting/Content Management 

Lynchburg-A sunny Friday morning saw the 3A State Semifinals get underway at Liberty University with the first of two games between the 3A West runners-up Rustburg and 3A East Champion Poquoson. Rustburg went with senior Drew Calohan for the start and Poquoson went with junior Cole Jackson.

Things got off to a fast start as Calohan led the game off with a triple to right center. Jackson got a pair of strikeouts and was almost out of the inning with no damage when junior Carson Stanley singled to left, driving in Calohan and giving Rustburg an early 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the first, Poquoson got to work answering with a leadoff walk to Austin Gault. Kyle Jackson tried to bunt him over and Calohan threw the ball into centerfield, allowing both runners to advance safely to second and third. After a strikeout for the first out, senior third baseman Trey Hicks (Louisburg CC) singled up the middle, driving in both runs and giving Poquoson a 2-1 lead. Drew Watkins also singled up the middle to move Hicks into scoring position. Rightfielder Travis Cannella singled to right center, driving in Hicks and stretching the lead to 3-1. Calohan was able to stop the bleeding with a pair of strikeouts.

The next four innings went relatively quickly as both pitchers settled in. Each team managed just two baserunners during this stretch and neither team really mustered much of a threat. For velocities and scouting information on players in this game, check the Virginia/DC Scout Blog next week.

In the top of the sixth, Hunter Campbell led off with a walk and catcher Daegan Phillips singled to right. A balk moved both runners into scoring position and Poquoson went to the bullpen, bringing Hicks in from third base to pitch. Stanley was at the plate again and ripped a ball to short that wasn’t handled, scoring one and putting runners on the corners. Junior Warren Lamberth rolled a ball into the hole for an infield single, tying the game and leaving two on with still no outs. Poquoson was able to get an out as Rustburg bunted the runners into scoring position. Zac Bryant chopped a ball up the third baseline for an infield single, driving in the go-ahead run for the Red Devils. Josh Campbell flared a ball into left that fell in, driving in another run and opening the score to 5-3. Garvis Tuggle got a double to fall into leftfield and the Rustburg lead opened up to 6-3. The Islanders went to the bullpen for submariner Jesse Lauffenberger, who was able to end the inning with no more damage occurring.

Calohan erased a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth with a double play. Lauffenberger fired a perfect seventh to give Poquoson a chance trailing by just three in the seventh. Calohan put up another perfect inning, ending the game with a strikeout and sending Rustburg to Saturday’s 3A State Championship game.

For Poquoson, Cole Jackson went 5+ IP, 3 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K. Hicks took the loss, going 1/3 IP, 3 R, 4 H. Lauffenberger went 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 HBP, 2 K. At the plate for the Islanders, Trey Hicks was 1-2 with a R, BB, and 2 RBIs. Watkins was 2-2 with a BB. Cannella was 1-3 with an RBI.

For Rustburg, Calohan earned the win, going 7 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 3 BB, 7 K while also going 1-3 with a 3B and a run at the plate. Phillips was 1-4 with a run. Stanley was 1-4 with 2 RBI and a run. Lamberth was 1-4 with an RBI and a run. Bryant was 1-3 with an RBI and a run. Tuggle was 2-2 with a BB, 2B, SB, and an RBI.

 

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