Wood baseball pulls away to defeat Judges

By ROBERT STOCKS | The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — A strong first inning is typically what James Wood pitcher Trenton Campbell tries to deliver when he’s on the mound, but the opening frame against Handley on Thursday didn’t turn out like the Colonels junior envisioned.

The Judges scored two runs on three hits in the top of the first, but Campbell kept Handley’s bats quiet after that.

Campbell gave up just two hits after the first and tossed five scoreless innings, while the Colonels scored at least one run in every inning except the first in a 7-2 Northwestern District victory over Handley at R. Charles Hott Field on Thursday night.

Although Campbell (2-0) said it was far from his best outing on the mound, he felt good about giving his team a quality start after a shaky opening frame.

“The first inning kind of shook me a little bit, but after that I just came out strong and threw strikes,” said Campbell, who also went 2 for 4 with two runs scored. “They got up on me in that first inning, and I’m not used to that. Usually my first inning is my strongest inning — three up, three down. I wasn’t used to that but it felt good to come back strong, get over it and just pitch well to get the team a win.”

Handley (2-9, 0-3 district) took the lead in the top of the first after John Rosa’s RBI single. The Judges added another run after a throwing error by James Wood second baseman Hunter O’Gorman.

With a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the second, James Wood’s Brady Renner drove in Tanner George with a double to right.

James Wood (5-7, 1-2) tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third.

With two outs, Ben Russo (2 for 4) singled off of Handley starter Dwight McGinnis (1-4) and advanced to second after Handley center fielder Cam Bentley was late getting the throw to second. Campbell followed with an RBI single to tie it at 2.

Colby Monroe doubled down the right-field line to plate Campbell with the go-ahead run.

“[McGinnis] threw me a pitch outside and I just went with it,” said Monroe, who went 2 for 3 with an RBI. “I just stayed with [the pitch].”

And from there, Campbell stayed in command, mixing in a nice breaking ball with his fastball to keep the Judges off balance.

He struck out five and just allowed two singles from the second through the sixth inning.

“We started out hot and ready to play like we have the past couple games, but [Campbell] cooled off our bats by throwing a lot of strikes — and a lot of strikes with his breaking ball,” said Handley coach Pat Wingfield. “He took control later in the game.”

While Campbell put up zeros for five innings, James Wood, which totaled 12 hits, scored at least one run in every inning the rest of the way.

Colonels courtesy runner Tyler Matthews scored on a fielder’s choice after Tylor McBride hit a grounder to second. Handley second baseman Jacob Torian threw to the plate, but Matthews beat the throw to put James Wood ahead 4-2 in the fourth.

An inning later, Campbell got things started with a one-out single. Monroe followed with a single to put runners on first and third.

The Colonels added an insurance run on a first-and-third situation with Monroe breaking for second base. Handley catcher Jimmy Vitola’s throw to second was high, and that left the Judges with no chance to get Campbell with the return throw to the plate.

James Wood added two more runs in the sixth, getting an RBI groundout from Joel Smith, and then Russo drove in another run with an RBI triple to right to extend the Colonels’ lead to 7-2.

Colonels coach Brent Lockhart liked how his team responded after Handley jumped out to the early 2-0 lead.

“Handley did a great job just putting the ball in play to put some runs up early, but I’m glad our guys kept our composure,” Lockhart said. “We came back and scored every inning but the first, so the hitters did real well.”

Lockhart also liked the way Campbell kept his composure.

“Every time Campbell goes out on the mound for us he does a great job,” Lockhart said. “He’s got two really good pitches that he throws. We’re later in the season, so we’re able to throw him more innings than we could in the beginning. He’s really coming around well.”

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