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MHS begins baseball tournament play

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Members of the 2014 Middlesex High School varsity baseball team are, front row from left, Alex Fitchett, Greg Pitts, Mason Phillips, Kyle Lawson, Jacob Kirby, Adam White and Maurice Nelson; back row, Kyle Shelton, Austin Cooper, Chris Blake, Matt Horne and Trey Blankenship. (Photo by Larry Chowning)

by Tom Chillemi

Middlesex High’s only two varsity baseball Conference 42 losses this season have been to undefeated Mathews. Mathews defeated second place Middlesex 7-3 on Friday at the Deltaville Ball Park in the teams’ regular season finale.

The Chargers (6-2, 7-7) may get one more chance to avenge those losses to the Blue Devils—if they got past third-seeded West Point in the semifinal game of the Conference 42 Tournament on May 28.

Middlesex defeated West Point twice in the regular season, but for the tournament game the Chargers were down two starters who were injured.

Mathews also was scheduled to play the winner of the King and Queen-Charles City play-in game on May 28. The winner will play the victor of the Middlesex-West Point game on the home field of the higher seed on Friday, May 30, at 5 p.m. for the championship.

Mathews 7, Middlesex 3
The regular season finale on May 23 was “one of those games where the other team hit the ball to the right spot,” said Charger coach Tim Blake.

Mathews scored a run in the first and third innings. With 2 out in the fourth inning, Mathews scored 3 more runs for a 5-3 lead.

In the fifth, Middlesex pitcher Kyle Shelton was one strike away from ending the inning when a Mathews batter connected for a 2-run hit that pushed the lead to 7-3.

In the first four innings Mathews capitalized on a pair of swinging bunts, bloopers, and slow rollers in the right place that got them on base. “That’s baseball,” said Blake. “We just never get those breaks.”

Charger pitcher Kyle Shelton had Mathews “off balance,” said Blake. “They couldn’t square the ball up and they were not hitting it hard . . . but were just hitting it to the right place.”

Shelton pitched 5 innings and gave up 7 runs. “They were all earned runs but they were not tattooing the ball,” said Blake.

Middlesex scored 2 runs in the first inning and one in the fourth.

At the plate for Middlesex, Alex Fitchett had 2 singles; Shelton singled and scored; Adam White singled and had two RBIs; and with singles were Austin Cooper, Chris Blake, Mason Phillips, Matt Horne and Jacob Kirby.

posted 05.28.2014

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