Prep Baseball Report

VISAA Division I Semifinal Roundup

Jerry Shank
Virginia Director

TPG 6.19

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Norfolk Academy continues impressive playoff run

The Norfolk Academy Bulldogs have continued their impressive and somewhat surprising (although probably not if you ask them) run in the VISAA Division I playoffs. After upsetting No. 2 seed Benedictine 1-0 earlier this week, the seventh seeded Bulldogs advance to the DI championship Monday night with a 7-2 victory over No. 3 seed Paul VI Panthers.

Norfolk set the tone early with their aggressive approach at the plate. In the first inning, Landon Porter hit a two out double to keep the inning alive. After a walk, Bulldog starting pitcher Colby Worden singled to left field, scoring Porter and gave Norfolk Academy a quick 1-0 lead.

After a quiet second inning, the visiting Bulldogs struck again in the third inning. This time it was two runs, highlighted by another RBI single from Worden and immediately followed by an RBI single from David Byler. Both runs again were scored with two outs.

Paul VI began to chip away in the fourth and fifth innings. Scoring one run each while the Norfolk bats went silent. Devon Zavacky walked with one out in the bottom of the fourth, then an errant pickoff attempt would move him to third base. Thomas Russell would ground out, scoring Zavacky from third. In the bottom of the fifth, Jack Orr reached base with a one out hit-by-pitch. He would move to second on a pass ball followed by a strikeout. Sam Freeborne would then single to center field, scoring Orr from second to cut the Norfolk Academy lead to 3-2.

That was when Norfolk would break the game open. With one out the Bulldogs would single and then load the bases after two consecutive infield errors. Julian Franks-Pollock then hit a chopper to third, who went to the plate for the force out. A close play went the way of the Bulldogs on the fielders choice and Norfolk has a 4-2 lead. After a strikeout would get two outs, Porter hit a seeing eye single to the Bermuda triangle behind first base. Three runs would score from the play and the Bulldogs took a five run lead at 7-2.

Paul VI could not muster a comeback in the final two innings, as Bredan Kastner closed out the game, coming in relief in the fourth inning.

Porter led the Bulldogs going 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBI. Franks-Pollock, Worden, and Byler each had two hits apiece. Worden started for Norfolk Academy going three innings giving up no hits and striking out 2. Worden and Kastner combined to only give up two hits to Paul VI

Carter Spivey (East Carolina) and Freeborne led the Panthers with a hit apiece.

Biddison’s Walkoff sends St. Christopher to DI Championship

The St. Christopher Saints advance to the VISAA DI championship by defeating the collegiate Cougars 3-1 thanks to a walkoff 2-run homerun from 2018 Nick Biddison (VA Tech) in the bottom of the seventh.

It was a pitchers duel throughout the game as both starters, Maddison Furman (2018, VCU) for St. Christopher and Michael Stewart (Uncommitted 2020), pitched well for both squads, limiting the opposing lineups to scarce offense production (St. Christopher 5 hits, Collegiate 1 hit). Collegiate was the first team to get on the board in the top of the second inning as Stewart helped his own cause with an RBI groudout and the Cougars took an early 1-0 lead. Saint Christopher would respond in the bottom of the frame with a big two-out single from the bat of senior outfielder Josh Waite to tie the game up at 1.

The score would stay that way for the majority of the ballgame, as both pitchers again had excellent performances for their respective teams. Collegiate was the first to go to the pen bringing in Travis Reifsnider (2018, JMU) from behind the plate to get the Cougars out of a situation in the sixth inning with two outs and two runners on base. St. Christopher would go to their uncommitted 2019 Patrick Routsis in the seventh inning and he was able to get through the seventh facing only four hitters.
That led to the bottom of the seventh heroics for Biddison who sent the second pitch he saw over the left-center fence to end the game.


Biddison's walkoff game winner sent St. Christopher to the VISAA DI State Championship


St. Christopher will now face Norfolk Academy in the VISAA DI state Championship on Monday.