By Owen Gotimer
Leesburg (April 15, 2016) — After struggling through his last few games at the plate, Tuscarora High School (1-0, 9-2) senior shortstop Joey Skov stepped into the box in midseason form against Broad Run High School (0-2, 7-5) on April 14 in Leesburg as the Huskies overcame an early one-run deficit to defeat the Spartans, 10-4, in their Conference 14 opener.
“The past couple of games I haven’t gotten a hit,” Skov said. “It felt good to get one then another one then another one.”
Leading off the bottom of the first for the Huskies, Skov singled before Tuscarora meticulously moved him around the bases at which time senior third baseman Bryce Pearson drove Skov in on a ground out to the shortstop. The Huskies erased an early 1-0 Spartans lead.
“Offensively, I felt good, especially after Monday night when we only had five hits, which is baseball, right?” Tuscarora head coach Mark Bauer said. “That’s going to happen; sometimes you’re going to show up and you’re not going to hit.”
That wasn’t the case for the Huskies in this one.
Tuscarora senior ace Cole Gabriele followed up Pearson’s fielder’s choice with a booming double down the left field line as the Huskies took the lead from which they would never look back.
“It was like restarting the game when we got the first run, then we got up one,” Skov said. “We had the momentum rather than being down.”
A big reason why the momentum didn’t sway from the Huskies was Skov’s night at the plate. He followed his first inning single and run with a drag bunt single in the second which turned into a run three batters later when senior catcher Noah Lacy got his first hit of the night.
Already 2-for-2, Skov singled and scored again in the fourth inning on another Lacy single.
And if you thought it couldn’t get any better for Skov, his two-run double in the fifth inning would make you rethink those thoughts.
“Joey’s had a rough little stretch here and he broke out of it tonight,” Bauer said. “We’ve been staying after it and getting some extra BP. He just wasn’t seeing it well, but tonight he came out and really sparked us. He set the tone for us.”
While his night at the plate was already headline material, Skov inherited a Gabriele baserunner in the sixth inning before pitching his way out of the jam earning the two-inning save.
“I think it’s good to have a lefty with movement like Cole and then have a righty with movement like me come in just to switch it up from the other side,” Skov said.
Gabriele – a Mary Washington-commit – never really seemed to settle in in the win, but he did pitch himself out of some tough jams throughout the night as Broad Run reached base in all seven innings.
Broad Run junior shortstop Matthew Ritchie was a problem for the Huskies’ staff reaching base in four of his five at-bats scoring a run in the first inning and driving one in in the seventh, but his effort wasn’t enough to lift the Spartans.
“Any win in Conference 14 right now is going to be a big deal because if you look at everyone’s schedule they all have one loss, one loss, one loss,” Bauer said. “It’s a good first step on our part.”
Tuscarora has about a week off before they travel to Springfield for a non-conference match up with Robert E. Lee on April 20 while Broad Run is back in action with a Conference 14 clash at home against Ashburn-rival Stone Bridge on April 19.
“We have to keep playing like we did tonight,” Skov said. “Hit the ball, throw strikes, make plays.”
Skov 4-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R, 3 SB
Breeden 0-2, BB, sac bunt, SB, K
Marinelli 0-2, 2 BB, R, K
Lacy, N. 2-4, ROE, 3 RBI, K
Pearson 0-4, RBI, R
Gabriele 1-3, 2B, RBI, R
Daughtry 0-0, BB, SB
Knuff 0-2, 2 BB, R
Drummond 0-2, 2 HBP, RBI, R
Lacy, J. 1-2, K
Bednoski 1-1, RBI, 2 R
Ritchie 1-3, 2 BB, RBI, R
Sullivan 1-3, BB, sac fly, RBI
Buck 0-3, BB, K
Ravelo 1-4, RBI, 2 K
Hale 1-3, HBP, R, SB, 2 K
Gorey 1-2, SB
Johnson 1-2, 2B, K
Coniglio 1-1, R
Lindenfeldar 1-3, BB, R
Smallwood 1-2, 2 BB, RBI
Gabriele W 5+ IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 7 H, 5 BB, 5 K
Skov S 2 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 1 K
Brocke L 3.1 IP, 6 R, 3 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 2 K
Miller .2+ IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 HBP
Crawford 2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K