PORTSMOUTH – Often times in sports, when something is on the line bigger than just an individual game, teams play at an extremely high level to ensure that they achieve what they set out to achieve prior to first pitch in this instance.
In the case of their game against Northwest Tuesday, the Portsmouth Trojans were playing for senior second baseman William Sturgill. It being senior night for the lone Trojan senior let his teammates know that Wednesday would be special, and they performed exceptionally well to the occasion.
“He’s meant a lot to the program. It was important to send him out on a high note it being senior night, it was pretty special,” said Portsmouth head coach Josh McGraw of his senior following the Trojans 14-0 win over Northwest Wednesday night. “He’s just a great kid. A good player, but we’re talking about a National Honor Society student, a four year baseball player. Those kids are hard to come by nowadays. It was important for us to send him out on a high note, and we played really well.”
Portsmouth didn’t just play really well Wednesday, they played extremely well. Every swing of the bat for Trojan batters one through nine felt as if they were able to make contact, it would result in a hit. That was most evident in the bottom of the second inning when the Trojans scored eleven runs on ten hits to open up an 11-0 lead.
“We came in to today with a good attitude, ready to work,” McGraw said. “We weren’t intimidated at all at the plate even though we start a lot of freshman and sophomores. They’re not freshman and sophomores anymore, we’re at the end of the year and they’re playing pretty well. Fourteen hits for the game, sometimes you’re lucky to get fourteen hits during batting practice. To have fourteen hits in pretty much four innings of work was awesome to see.”
While Portsmouth scored fourteen runs in their win over Northwest Wednesday, they also limited the Mohawks to zero runs. Freshman Daewin Spence’s effort on the mound was a big part of that. That, combined with a strong defensive effort from his eight fielders not including himself helped Spence achieve a one hitter in five innings of work, the lone hit given up coming in the top of the fourth inning.
“Threw a one hitter, probably should have been a no hitter but we didn’t call the right pitch. That’s something as a that we look back on like, ‘Wish we had called a different pitch’. He’s been our leader on the mound, he’s one of our leaders. He’s had a great year and I’m looking forward to him getting better. Really excited about what his future’s going to hold because it’s going to be pretty special.”
Spence helped himself out from the plate by finishing 1/2 with a two RBI double, a run scored, and a walk. Bryce Wallace led the Trojans at the plate by finishing 1/2 with a two RBI triple during that eleven run bottom half of the second inning. Drew Roe finished 2/2 with two RBI, Haden Yeradi finished 1/1 with two RBI, Caeleb McGraw finished 1/3 with one RBI, Jack Workman finished 3/3 with an RBI and a run scored, Seth Porter finished 1/2 with an RBI, and Sturgill finished 1/3 with a run scored.
Following Wednesday’s win, Portsmouth will travel to Bainbridge for their Division III sectional semifinal matchup with four seeded Paint Valley next Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. For McGraw moving forward into next week, he says his group of Trojans are going into their matchup with Paint Valley with the mindset of playing it like any other game.
“For us, it’s business as usual,” McGraw said. “We’re going to prepare like we always do. The big thing is we’ll have rest for our pitchers which is much needed. Get them ready and we’ll go and compete. Paint Valley is a good ball club, play in a great league in the SVC. Those teams over there, it doesn’t really matter what their record is because they can play. Tournament baseball is something some of our freshman haven’t experienced yet, but I’m excited for it and I’m excited to see what we’re able to do next week.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved