Prep Baseball Report

Turner Ashby Sneaks by Western Albemarle to Advance

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By John Nolan
Assistant Director of Scouting/Content Management 

Penn Laird-Spotswood High School played host to a Conference 29 semifinal doubleheader on a beautiful Tuesday evening. The first game featured top-seeded Turner Ashby taking on fourth seed Western Albemarle. The winner would clinch a spot in the 3A West Regional tournament and the Conference Championship and the loser would have to play a consolation game to earn the third Regional berth. Western Albemarle tabbed senior Sam Hearn for the start and Turner Ashby went with junior Justin Showalter (James Madison).

Showalter worked a perfect top of the first, announcing his presence in the game by getting a pair of strikeouts and getting future teammate Henry Kreienbaum (James Madison) to fly to center.

In the bottom half of the inning, Hearn got two quick outs of his own, and then walked Brenan Hanifee (East Carolina) and gave up a single to junior catcher Cody Warner (VMI) to put runners on the corners with two outs for the Knights. Warner stole second, and the throw got into centerfield, allowing Hanifee to score and give Turner Ashby a 1-0 lead after one.

The story of the game after the first was the dominance of both pitchers, as Hearn and Showalter matched zeroes for the next five innings. Hearn allowed only one more hit during that span, and only once had to deal with multiple Turner Ashby baserunners. Showalter was even better, piling up eight strikeouts during that span, while only having to deal with a real threat in the third, when a Western Albemarle inning was stopped before it could start as Knight rightfielder Kemper King hosed a runner trying to go first to third on a Chris McGahren single. For velocities and scouting information on this game, check the Virginia/DC Scout Blog later this week.

In the top of the seventh, Turner Ashby went to the bullpen, turning to senior lefty Eric Carter. Carter gave up a leadoff single to first baseman Luke Tenuta and hit sophomore leftfielder Derek Domecq with a pitch to put two on with no outs. Carter then made a great play on a bunt attempt, getting the lead runner Tenuta at third. A fielder’s choice moved runners to the corners for the top of the order, but Carter was able to get a grounder to Hanifee to end the game and pick up the save.

For Western Albemarle, Stewart was a tough luck loser, throwing a 6 IP CG, 1 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K. Kreienbaum went 1-3. Tenuta was 2-2 with a HBP.

For Turner Ashby, Showalter earned the win with 6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, HBP, 10 K. Carter got a save with 1 IP, 0 R, H, BB. Warner was 1-2 with a BB and a SB. The Knights advanced to Thursday’s Conference 29 Championship game against Fort Defiance.


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