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Fluvanna Takes Down Goochland
Fluvanna takes down Goochland
In five of the six innings that Fluvanna County went to the plate, it found a way to send a runner around the horn. With the way Zach Crawford was in command on the mound, the Flucos didn’t need a lot of offense as the starter went the distance to lead his team to a 6-1 over Goochland.
"Small ball is the story of the new bats," said Fluvanna coach Mike Sheridan. "If you watch college baseball you'll see that you've got to be able to bunt, to steal and to play defense. Virginia coach, Brian O'Connor, he talked about it at a coaching clinic in New Jersey — it's about the free 90's. He was telling everyone, whoever wins the free 90's is the one that's going to be in the best position to win the game. Today I thought we won that."
Crawford threw seven innings and did not surrender an earned run in the complete game win. He also only needed 83 pitches to finish off the Bulldogs and finished the game with eight strike outs. The Flucos were also strong in the field as they only committed one error.
"Just about everything was working up there," Crawford said. "I had my pitch location, was throwing a lot of first pitch strikes. That's helps a lot to go longer in the game. I was averaging about 10 pitches an inning. That felt good. It's nice to have those short innings."
Offensively, Fluvanna capitalized on five Goochland errors. The Flucos drew first blood in the bottom of the first inning after Nolan Radcliffe reached first on an error and then stole second. Hitting behind him, Sam Turner came through with a 2-out RBI single. In the second inning Mason Barringer scored after being hit by a pinch and an RBI double from Brock Harris. The lead was stretched to 3-0 in the third when Radcliffe made it to first again on an error and was balked to second, moved over to third on a ground ball, then plated thanks to an RBI ground out from Nick Algeri.
"We just played like we know how to play and that's a lot of small ball," Crawford said. "We didn't go out there to do anything spectacular. We just went out there to get it done."
A scoreless fourth inning set up Goochland’s run in the fifth. To leadoff, the Bulldogs put Trace Nixon on first after he was hit by a pitch, but his pinch runner was picked off. Scott Pearce then reached first on an error. Jess McLoughlin then doubled and a walk to Mason Engle loaded the bases with one out. Pearce then executed a suicide squeeze from third. But Goochland was caught stealing second moments later and a ground out immediately followed that to end the inning short of the team’s hopes.
"I felt like we hit alright, but we hit it right at them and they were making good defensive plays," said Goochland coach Wes Farkas. "Nothing hurt them. The miscues they had didn't build up like ours did. We knew they would be disciplined so you can't give them runs (on errors) because those were going to be hard to come by for us."
In the bottom of the fifth Sheridan went to small ball and saw it payoff. Turner leadoff with a single and Algeri and Crawford successfully pulled off bunt singles. Throwing errors on Crawford’s bunt allowed the Flucos to plate both Turner an Algeri. Fluvanna added one more insurance run in the sixth on a walk to Harris, a stolen base and an RBI single from Jovan Burton.
Goochland (1-3) heads to Bluestone on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Fluvanna (3-2) has the week off before heading to Florida for a tournament during its spring break.