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Barons finish out season on upbeat note, claim 5 seed in region action

South Boston News
Bluestone’s Josh Hite is out on this play at third base in the team’s 8-1 win over Cumberland. (Mike Moseley photo) / May 22, 2019

The Bluestone varsity baseball team closed out the regular season last week by going 1-1 in James River District action and finishing the year in fourth place.

The Barons were on fire last Tuesday as they won their final game, 8-1 over the Cumberland Dukes on Senior Night. The day before, the team faced off against the No.2 team in the district, Randolph-Henry, and lost by a respectable score of 10-6 — especially considering the game was tied up until the final inning.

Bluestone was set to begin Region 2A competition yesterday (Tuesday) hosting the Nottoway Cougars. The Barons enter the game as the No. 5 seed; Nottoway is seeded No. 12. Bluestone defeated the Cougars twice in the regular season, by scores of 7-4 and 9-6.

If the Barons win on Tuesday, they will travel to the Eastern Shore to take on the No. 4 seed, Nandua on Thursday. Bluestone finished the season at 9-7, 11-7 overall. The Warriors are out of the Eastern Shore-A District.

Bluestone has a good group of pitchers with Jordan Hill, Landon Allgood, Scott Nutter and Nathan Newcomb, all seniors, who have provided some quality time for the Barons on the mound. Josh Hite, a junior, has also pitched well for the Barons as well as freshman, Peyton Chavis. These players also can play at other positions in the infield and outfield

Senior catcher Brendan King — who signed a letter of intent last week to attend Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, West Virginia to continue his education and play baseball for the Battlers baseball team — has been solid behind the plate for the Barons. Larry Bullock, a junior, has played well at the second base and shortstop positions.

Bluestone has some serious speed and steady hands in the outfield with Chris Gregory and Issac Walker leading the crew. But really, the entire team has played just like that — as a team, providing Barons’ fans with some great memories this season.

The Barons also bring a great approach to the plate, having good success at hitting the ball this season. The Barons dedicated their season to former head coach Tyler Reese, who died after last year’s season was over.

Hopefully the team’s grit and determination will continue this week as the Barons make their run for a VHSL Region 2 and State 2A championship.

Bluestone 8,
Cumberland 1

The Barons celebrated Senior Night with an 8-1 thumping of the Cumberland Dukes.

The Bluestone defense, behind the solid pitching of Scott Nutter, held the Dukes off throughout the entire game. The only run put up by Cumberland came in the top of the second inning on a line drive by the ninth batter in the line-up, scoring the leadoff bat, who reached base on an error at short. The remaining innings for the Dukes were uneventful and scoreless.

The Barons’ offense went to work in the bottom of the second, with the bottom half of the line-up reaching base and scoring on base hits. Chris Gregory started the inning, singling on a ground ball to left center. Scott Nutter, followed suit by also singling on a ground ball to left center, advancing Gregory.

Landon Allgood reached base on an overthrow from the shortstop to first, scoring Gregory. Jordan Hill hit a line drive double up the third baseline, scoring Nutter and Allgood. Isaac “Polo” Walker reached base on a ground ball to left, and Josh Hite reached base on a fielder’s choice and drove in I. Walker. Out on the play was Larry Bullock, who had reached base on a walk.

The next two outs for the Barons were recorded on strikeouts, closing the inning with a score of 5-1 in favor of the Bluestone.

The Barons weren’t able to score again until the bottom of the fifth, when Brendan King hit a line drive single to left and reached second on an errant throw. The hit and error brought in two runners, Josh Hite, who reached base on a hard ground ball single to right, and Nate Newcomb, who reached on a walk.

The Barons added another run in the bottom of the sixth as Newcomb’s hard ground ball single to right, drove in I. Walker, who reached base on an error at third for the win.

Scott Nutter took the victory, throwing 5-1/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits, striking out five. Jordan Hill threw 1-2/3 innings out of the bullpen, allowing no runs on one hit and striking out one. On offense Landon Allgood, Josh Hite and Jordan Hill had RBIs.

Monday, May 13
Randolph-Henry 10, Bluestone 6

The fourth-place Barons put up a good fight against second-place Randolph-Henry, remaining tied up until the last inning before taking the 10-6 loss.

Baron freshman Peyton Chavis started on the mound, facing four batters in the top of the first inning. The first two R-H batters made it on base due to errors in the field, with one scoring. However, a fielder’s choice turned into a double play, for the first two outs of the frame. The Barons escaped further damage on a pop-out to Nate Newcomb at first base.

In their turn at bat, the top of the line-up for Bluestone reached base on a hard ground ball single to left by Larry Bullock, a Josh Hite single deep to right, and a Nate Newcomb single on a ground ball to left. The fifth batter in the lineup, Joseph Walker, reached base on an error at short, scoring Bullock. Then Hite tagged up and scored on Chris Gregory’s fly out to center field.

The Barons closed the first inning leading the Statesmen, 2-1.

The Statesmen struck back in the top of the second and scored four runs (two earned and two unearned). Going into the bottom of the second, the Barons were trailing by three runs. After an out by the eighth batter in the line-up, Chavis began the inning with a double on a fly ball deep into left field (Nathan Hite ran for Chavis).

Bullock followed with a single and Newcomb’s double on a fly ball deep into right scored both Chavis and Bullock. Brendan King singled on a ground ball to center (Camrin Morton ran for King) and Walker’s line drive single to left, drove in Newcomb to score the third run of the inning tying the game with a score of 5-5.

Neither team scored in the third inning, and each team only scored one run in the fourth, with the score remaining tied at 6-6. Newcomb scored on a solo home run to keep the contest tied in the bottom of the fourth.

The fifth and sixth innings were scoreless for both teams. Going into the top of the seventh inning, the Statesmen put a man on base when the third batter in their line-up hit a line drive up the middle, followed by a base on balls to put two runners on. A pitching change was made by the Barons: Landon Allgood came out of the bullpen to relieve Chavis, and recorded the first out of the seventh on a strikeout. Allgood finished the top half, giving up two unearned runs.

Chavis left the inning giving up two earned runs as R-H pulled ahead, 10-6.

The Barons went into the bottom of the seventh with a four run deficit and a new pitcher on the mound for the Statesmen. Walker started the inning on a positive note, reaching base on an error at short, but unfortunately, the remaining batters in the frame struck out to end the contest.

Peyton Chavis took the loss, throwing six innings, allowing eight runs on seven hits, and striking out five. Nate Newcomb went 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run, a double and two RBIs.

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