The James River baseball team took time out to honor some veterans and used the occasion to sweep Staunton River on a big night in Springwood last Friday.
River has an annual “Military Night” and this year Mike Lee and Wayne Hammons were honored with quilts. River coach Matt Gouker’s mother, Theresa Gouker, made the quilts and his dad, Tom Gouker, joined her to present them. They are a part of a national group named “Quilts of Valor.”
The Knights then took two from Staunton River, 7-3 and 14-2, to make it an even more memorable night. In the first game, two pitchers combined to toss a no-hitter for the Knights. Heath Andrews went the first four, striking out eight and allowing three unearned runs. Jonas Wilkes pitched the fifth and struck out one to complete the no-hitter.
River had six hits in the opener. Andrews and John Austin had two hits each and Ben Bailey scored three runs.
In the nightcap, the offense exploded for 10 hits and 14 runs. River blew the game wide open with seven runs in the third inning.
Dalton Hall had three hits, including a double and a triple, and scored three times for the Knights. Wilkes had two hits and Austin drove in three runs. Andrews had a hit and walked three times in four trips to the dish.
Hammons, who saw his grandfather honored with a quilt, pitched the first three innings and picked up the win, allowing just two hits. Taylor Wilson pitched the fourth and fifth to finish out the game, allowing just one hit.
The sweep evened River’s season record at 3-3 and the Knights jumped to the winning side of the ledger Monday with an 11-10 win at Rockbridge County. That avenged a prior loss to the Wildcats in the season opening game.
River had an eight-run lead in the fifth inning, but had to hold off a late Rockbridge charge to seal the win. The Wildcats scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh before Hall came on to get the last out.
Logan Campbell started for River and allowed three runs in four innings. Wilkes pitched the fifth and sixth, giving up two runs, and Wilson came on to pitch the seventh. The Knights gave up five earned runs before coach Gouker called on Hall to get the final out.
Hall and Austin had three hits each to spark the offense and Andrews had a grand slam home run in a seven-run fifth inning uprising. Andrews and Hammons had two hits each and Andrews finished with five runs batted in.
The Knights will try to keep the momentum going today as they take a three-game winning streak to Roanoke to take on William Fleming. On Friday the Knights are back home to host Northside.