Following a doubleheader sweep by the home Lexington Chops, I was approached by a Chops player. The player asked if I was the writer of a previous game report which detailed the bizarre ending of the Rails-Chops’ last meeting. Answering “yes” to the player’s question, the young man replied “thank you” and ran off to be with his celebrating teammates. Imagining my rather unkind words as bulletin board material, I understood the player’s meaning, yet stood by my previous statements. I write what I see. Having been labeled as a mouthy group several weeks ago, today Lexington did their talking with their bats, gloves and pitches.
Rails righty Trent Cundiff (JMU) faced Nick Boles, a lefty from King College in North Carolina in the lid lifter at historic Holt-Moffitt Field. The Chops struck first on Brandon Schott’s (MD Eastern Shore) RBI single scoring Houston Ison (Rockingham CC). The Rails got their bats moving in the third with Will Kaufman’s third home run of the season, scoring Kendal Fowler (Walters St.), a double by third baseman Jacob Clifton (Roanoke College) and an RBI single by DJ Russ (Emory & Henry).
Cundiff cruised through the first four innings allowing no earned runs and while striking out four. In the fifth, Cundiff uncharacteristically loaded the bases on three walks, sending Zach Burkhart (Guilford Tech) to the plate. Burkhart (the young man described in my opening) added an exclamation mark to his words by smashing a bases clearing triple to straight away center field. The Chops added two more runs in the inning and led 6-3, a lead that would hold delivering a game one win for the Chops. Boles went the distance for Lexington, allowing six hit and notching five strikeouts.
Game two proved to be even more challenging. Tyler Lequire (Brevard College), who had held the Rails to just one run earlier in the season, was again dominant on the mound. The Rails righthander Martin Henderlite (Lynchburg College) faced the tall task of halting the Chops’s momentum. Due to the wonderful invention we call “GameChanger”, I managed to score the game, although both game’s stats are suspect. Blinking on and off like a nervous modem, I bid farewell to this cyber menace and embraced my pencil and scorebook.
In the home first my friend Mr. Burkhart drove in Ison with his fourth hit of the day. A fourth inning double by Alex Pittman (Limestone) drove in the games’ second run, and a a two run single by Nicholas Patterson shut the scorebook on the Rails. Henderlite surrendered just five hits and struck out five in six innings of work. Leguirre struck out nine, allowing just two hits,( a single by Clifton and a pinch hit double from Kaufman) to cap his complete game victory.
I accept my role in creating motivation through my column. Burkhart was 5-6 on the afternoon. You’re welcome Zach.
The Rails finished in fourth place in CVCL play with a 18-14 record and will face the Smokey Mountain Big Train in the first round of the conference tournament at 7:30 in Mockville, NC. This is the best season in the team’s four year history.