The Lord Botetourt baseball team hit three home runs in the Region 3D semifinal, clinching a spot in the state tournament, then hit four more in the regional championship game to win the tournament. LB was scheduled open state play Tuesday at home against Brookville.
Tuesday’s results were too late for publication, but if the Cavaliers won they will advance to Friday’s state Class 3 semifinal at Kiwanis Field in Salem. The LB-Brookville winner will play at 10 a.m. against the winner of a quarterfinal round game between Tabb and Warren County, and the championship game is at Haley Toyota Field, home of the Salem Red Sox, at 1 p.m. Saturday.
The Cavaliers got seven home runs from six different players in two wins last week, earning LB a region trophy and a home game to open the state tournament. In the Region 3D semifinal the Cavs clinched a berth in the state with a 5-2 win over Christiansburg in Daleville. Carson Peggins, Dylan Fralin and Jared Arnholt all had home runs for the Cavaliers.
Brae Farrell started on the mound and picked up the win, going four innings and allowing just one run to improve to 4-3 on the season. He struck out nine and gave up just two hits before Arnholt pitched the final three innings for a save, fanning five.
That put LB in Thursday’s championship game against Abingdon, who beat Staunton River, 1-0, in the other semifinal. The championship game was nothing like that as the Falcons and Cavaliers combined for 20 runs in a 13-7 Botetourt win in Daleville.
Lord Botetourt was the pre-determined host of the tournament, so the Cavaliers were visitors in the game as Abingdon was the No. 1 seed and LB was sixth. Botetourt scored three runs in the top of the first and never trailed in the game, but they never could feel comfortable until they scored five runs in the top of the seventh.
It seemed every time the Cavs scored, Abingdon was right there to answer. Botetourt led 3-2 after one inning, 8-5 after five, and 10-6 after six. Farrell and Connor Fuhrman had fifth inning home runs for LB.
“They wouldn’t go away,” said LB coach Todd Smith. “They’re a good team.”
The Cavaliers finally had some breathing room in the seventh. Meade Mayo’s long homer to right got the inning started, then Peggins hit his second home run of the week, a three-run blast, to put the Cavaliers up by seven at 13-6. It was LB’s 24th home run as a team this season.
Matt Oliver picked up the win on the mound with five and two-thirds innings of work, improving his personal record to 4-1. Ramsey Vassar got the last out of the sixth and worked the seventh for a save.
With the win the Cavaliers improved to 15-8 overall as they entered state play.
“We’re playing pretty well right now,” said Smith. “Brookville has a good team, but at this point of the season all the teams are good. We won’t see anything but good pitching from now on.”