POWHATAN – Junior Brandon Eike batted 3-for-3, smashed 2 doubles, lifted his team into the lead on one of those rocketing hits and struck out a whopping 15 batters in the Indians’ 5-1 triumph over Albemarle on Senior Night.
“It’s just a mindset,” Eike said, “just bringing it every day and taking a clean mind up to the plate, on the mound, forgetting about what happened last and just doing my thing.”
His 2 RBIs came in the bottom of the third inning off of a fireball of a hit that he sailed all the way to the fence to push his team into a 3-1 lead. His curveball was dialed in as he earned the pitching win over six and two-thirds innings of work. He held the Patriots to 1 earned run despite allowing 7 hits, and overcame early trouble in the game mainly by hitting his spots, locating and letting his defense make plays behind him.
Senior Tanner Ritt, who had a hit and scored a run, threw the final pitch of the game to force the final out.
“Just let them hit it,” Ritt said of his approach. “Let the defense make the play.”
Also at the plate for Powhatan, Connor Woodel batted 2-for-3 with RBI singles in the 3rd and 5th innings, Tymmie Hart batted 2-for-3 and Caleb Kersey scored 2 runs.
Powhatan’s Senior Night game celebrated the contributions of seniors Hart, Ritt, Jacob Frame, Colby Cheatham (run scored on Tuesday), Aidan Voorhees (1 hit), Tyler Woods and Trevor Waters – “some of the best teammates I could ask for,” Eike said. He noted that they do everything the coaches ask and “show up every day and work hard.”
“The seniors have been a big part of what we do the last few years,” head coach Gregg Conner said. “They’ve kept the tradition of what we do: they carried it on and they’re passing it on to the young guys.”
In addition to strong pitching and defense, Conner praised the Indians’ timely hitting in Tuesday’s win and said that they did the little things they needed to do.
“That’s what it takes for us,” he said.
The Indians with the victory bounced back from a 3-game slide that extended back to May 3.
“It’s huge coming off the last 2 weeks – we hadn’t been playing our best ball – but it’s always good to come out with energy to get a win like this,” Eike said.
Powhatan (11-5) rounds out the regular season with a 4:30 p.m. road game at regional foe Midlothian before entering the 2019 postseason stretch.