POWHATAN - Five different players dished out 2 hits apiece, Brandon Eike once again struck out a whopping 15 batters and Powhatan Baseball rolled past King George and into the Region 4B quarterfinal round on a fiery 11-0 stand.
"I think it was a really big win for us," said Powhatan's Addison Price, who against King George batted 1-for-2 and scored a run. He noted their recent struggles - the Indians had lost 4 of their last 5 games going into the postseason - but added that they're "coming out and playing baseball like we used to."
"We live to play another day," he said.
"I know in my standpoint - I'm a senior and I didn't want it to end here," said Powhatan's Trevor Waters, who batted 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs. "And all the guys, we talked about it before the game that, if you're not doing it for yourself, do it for the seniors and for this team and for this organization. We've had a really strong year in the beginning, fell off a little bit and we've gotten back to where we are."
The Indians piled on 14 hits overall in Tuesday's game. Eike also batted 2-for-4, while Connor Woodel, Tanner Ritt and Aidan Voorhees each batted 2-for-3 with Woodel plating two teammates and scoring once, Ritt adding an RBI and Voorhees plating a run while scoring twice. The Indians were able to beat several throws to first base for infield singles and reaches on bunts.
"Today we started looking for fast balls early in the count and hitting them, driving them to the other side, moving runners over, bunting, doing the small stuff that gets runs," Waters said, with Woodel agreeing that they were "doing the small things and looking to hit the ball opposite field mostly."
Before the Indians could unleash their bats, Eike set the tone right away on the mound, striking out the side in order in the top-half inning. The Virginia Tech commit tossed a complete-game 1-hitter in addition to fanning 15, and he threw 66 strikes on 99 pitches.
"He's been really big for us this year," Waters said of Eike. "We all knew he was going to be a big part of our pitching staff because we lost so many pitchers last year. He really had to step up and he's filled that role greatly."
When Powhatan stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the first, lead-off batter Colby Cheatham set the tone for his offense by sailing a double deep into the left field corner. Waters then landed a bunt, and he reached first base as the erroneous throw by King George on the routine play skipped on by, enabling Cheatham to barrel home for the 1-0 lead.
After a sacrifice fly by Cameron Sprouse and an RBI single by Waters added a pair of runs to Powhatan's advantage, the Indians blew the game wide open on an incendiary 7-run 3rd frame. Sprouse reached base on a fielder's choice to have a hand in a runner coming home, Voorhees slapped a short scoring grounder up the middle that a King George infielder stopped from skipping further out, Ritt launched a line-drive RBI single, Waters helped another teammate come home on an error in right field, Price with the aid of an infield error initiated yet another runner to score and Woodel drilled a single for 2 RBIs. Chase Gayness added a 1-run single in the fifth.
Cheatham overall scored 3 runs, Sprouse had 2 RBIs and a run scored and courtesy runner Caleb Kersey scored twice.
Powhatan will take on Courtland on Thursday, May 23 at 4:30 p.m. for the right to advance to the Region 4B semifinals. The players expect to face their ace pitcher.
"I think we just have to put the ball in play and we'll do good," Woodel said.
"We've been looking at them the same they've been looking at us," Waters said of Courtland, "and I think we'll have a good chance of beating them."