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March 21, 2012
By Robert Niedzwiecki
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER- If the Sherando baseball team can continue to play like it Tuesday night, Warrior opponents might not be looking forward to playing that additional third regular-season district game against them this year.

Sherando did it all in Tuesday's district season opener, riding strong pitching, defense, hitting and baserunning to a 12-1 win over James Wood at R. Charles Hott Field.

The scary thing is that the Warriors (3-1, 1-0 Northwestern) feel they'll be even better.

"Like coach said, we're not where we should be," said senior Tre Porter (1-0), who allowed just one earned run, four hits, one walk and struck out eight over six innings. "But we're at a good place right now where if we keep hitting the ball, then we're going to be a tough team to beat."

The Warriors - who scored five runs in the second to seize control and had a four-run sixth - only picked up nine hits. But they took advantage of those and made James Wood (1-2, 0-1) pay for six walks, two hit batters and six errors.

Sherando applied pressure whenever it could, stealing seven bases, gunning for extra bases on balls in play, and running out bunts and infield grounders hard. All nine Sherando starters reached base, and the only one who didn't score was first baseman Tyler Quinn, who knocked in two runs with sacrifice flies.

"We tried to keep the offensive pressure on by getting some of our leadoff hitters on, and we ran the bases extremely well tonight," Sherando coach Pepper Martin said. "And we hit the ball up and down the lineup. Even some of our outs were hit well."

Martin particularly liked the manner in which the Warriors achieved their hits. Martin noted that many came with two strikes, with one of the most damaging being the two-run line-drive single to left field by Reid Entsminger on a 1-2 count that made it 5-0 in the first.

"What really pleased me the most is the adjustments we made at the plate during at bats," Martin said. "There are a lot of hitters that can hit with no strikes or one strike, but with two strikes, it gets a lot harder."

And with a 5-0 lead, Porter didn't have any intention of throwing anything but strikes. Even though Porter's changeup and curveball weren't at their sharpest in the early innings, Porter trusted his defense (just one error) to make plays, and overall he threw 49 of his 71 pitches for strikes.

"The first couple of innings, I really only had a fastball," Porter said. "Coach just told me to stay inside myself and stop turning my shoulder out, and I think it was in the fourth inning my curveball starting coming back, and then my changeup came back in the fifth inning. As the game went on, my pitches progressed."

The Warriors were able to wait until Tuesday to have Porter make his first start because of how much faith they have in their pitching staff.

Though Sherando suffered a 12-8 loss to Kettle Run last week, the Warriors have allowed just four runs in their three wins, and they've already used eight pitchers.

"In four games, we've used four different starting pitchers, so we do have some pitching depth," said Martin, who also got a 1-2-3 seventh inning with two strikeouts from John Bentley.

Also leading the Warriors Tuesday were Taylor Loudan (2 for 3 with two runs and an RBI), Porter (a double and an RBI), Jacob Carney (two runs) and Logan Bucher (2 for 4 with a double and an RBI).

James Wood coach Jared Mounts gave a lot of credit to Sherando for putting together a solid game, and he gave credit to his team for battling. But he said the Colonels can't afford to make as many mistakes on defense as they did Tuesday.

"We've got to make the plays when he can," Mounts said. "They had a sacrifice bunt [in the second inning] and we don't get an out. We tell them how errors prolong innings and rotates their batting order over. We've got to make the routine plays, and if we make those plays, we'll keep it close and at least be in the game."

Dakota Orndorff had a double and an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the third inning to lead the Colonels. Addison Barber (1-1) started and took the loss, giving up six runs, six hits and four walks (two intentional) in four innings.

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