Baseball: Heritage Senior Cameron Taylor Uses 10-Strikeout Performance to Lead Pride Past Rival Loudoun County

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By Owen Gotimer
LoCoSports Editor-in-Chief
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Leesburg (April 18, 2017) — Heritage High School senior starter Cameron Taylor used a 10-strikeout performance to lead the Pride past Conference 21B-rival Loudoun County High School, 3-2, on April 17 in Leesburg.

“He was working ahead of most hitters,” Heritage head coach Ryan Price said. “He was just filling up the strike zone, mixing it up with the breaking stuff and just overpowered some guys tonight with his fastball.”

full-time-baseball-advertTaylor – who is committed to play at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County next spring – got ahead of hitters early, striking out the first five he faced.

“Cameron was pumping it up a little bit tonight,” Price said. “Once we saw that we were able to climb a little bit and get guys swinging through it, it made it a little easier to keep calling high fastballs.”

Kyle Gotimer Heritage Baseball

Heritage senior catcher Kyle Gotimer caught three runners stealing in the Pride’s 3-2 win over Loudoun County on April 17. Full photo gallery by Tim Gregory!

Heritage pushed across all the runs they needed in the third as senior first baseman Nate Craner and senior catcher Kyle Gotimer hit back-to-back RBI singles, before senior designated hitter Alex Feldner grounded out to drive in the Pride’s third run of the inning to take a 3-0 lead.

“Getting runners on is huge. That’s been our goal all year: hit, hit, hit. But obviously you have to piece hits together. One hit an inning isn’t going to get it done,” Gotimer said. “When I got up there with runners on, I was just thinking backside. It worked out, and Colin [Shea] was able to get around.”

All three of the runs Loudoun County junior starter James DeProspero allowed were unearned as a shaky Raiders’ defense allowed two Pride batters to reach on errors in the third.

“You got to rely on your defense,” Loudoun County head coach Nick Price said. “James isn’t a guy who’s going to go out there and strike out 15 guys. He’s going to go out there and work the zone, and our defense has to make plays behind him.”

Will Schroeder Loudoun County Baseball

Loudoun County junior shortstop Will Schroeder kept the Raiders in the game when he hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to cut the Pride’s lead to 3-2. Full photo gallery by Tim Gregory!

On the other hand, Heritage’s defense and pitching success went hand-in-hand, as Taylor took a perfect game into the fourth inning, surrendering his only two hits of the game in the fourth.

“I located my fastball well, especially on the inner half,” Taylor said. “I kept them off balance with my curveball and changeup.”

The first Raider hit came off the bat of senior centerfielder Ryan Askew, who hit a bloop single to lead off the fourth inning. Then, on a hanging change up, Loudoun County junior shortstop Will Schroeder parked a two-run home run over the left field fence, to trim Heritage’s lead to one.

“It’s the spark that we needed,” Nick Price said. “But Taylor had his good stuff working early. I’ll give credit to my guys. They wore him down and got his pitch count up. But it was too late, he was effective tonight. Hats off to him.”

Nate Craner Heritage Baseball

Heritage senior first baseman Nate Craner got the scoring started when he singled in senior left fielder Chris Baer in the third inning. Full photo gallery by Tim Gregory!

In Schroeder’s next plate appearance, the Pride elected to intentionally walk the North Carolina-commit. Just two pitches later, on a fastball away, Gotimer threw Schroeder out trying to steal second base.

“Schroeder is a dominant hitter. He puts the bat on the ball all the time and hits it hard every time he puts the bat on it. He’s tough to pitch to. So we went with the intentional walk in his last at-bat,” Gotimer said. “We saw him creeping so we threw over. Then he kept creeping. I got a fastball on the outside half of the plate and just went after him. I made a good throw, Kyle [Howard] made a good tag, and we were able to get the job done.”

Heritage entered freshman closer Dylan Saale to shut down any inkling of a Loudoun County chance in the seventh, capped by Gotimer catching another runner to end the game.

The loss — plus a win against Dominion on April 18 — pushed Loudoun County to 4-2 in Conference 21B.

With the win over the Raiders, Heritage improved to 4-1 in Conference 21B and has a week full of non-conference match ups before resuming Conference 21B play on April 28 against Rock Ridge in Leesburg.

“It’s a very competitive league. Every single team is in it. Everyone is going after each other,” Ryan Price said. “As the standings start to wind down, we certainly want to have the target on our backs.”

HeritageABRHRBIBBKSB
Colin Shea3100000
Nate Craner2111000
Kyle Gotimer3011000
Alex Feldner3001010
Dylan Saale2000020
Cameron Taylor2010100
Kyle Howard2000010
Patrick Tyree1000010
Chris Baer2100000
Jason Richards0000100
Kyle Howard2000010
Luke Schaub1000000
Matt Lannes1010000
Pride Totals24343260
SAC: Craner
HeritageIPPHRERKBB
Cameron Taylor  W692222101
Dylan Saale S11010010
Pride Totals7102322111
Loudoun CountyABRHRBIBBKSB
Ryan Askew3110020
Will Schroeder2112110
Patrick Burke3000020
Hunter Keim2010110
Will Penberthy2000010
Brandon Kelman3000020
James DeProspero1000000
Trey Ferraro2000010
Joe Alexander2000000
Mike Mozeyko1000010
Raiders Totals212322110
HR: Schroeder
SAC: Penberthy
Loudoun CountyIPPHRERKBB
James DeProspero L46133051
Ryan Askew21810011
Raiders Totals67943062
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About Author

Owen Gotimer has a passion for helping people grow and self-educate through new media. Owen spent his college years at Syracuse University, where he studied broadcast and digital journalism in the renowned Newhouse School of Public Communications. In his "free time", Owen volunteers as a varsity baseball coach at John Champe and is the president of the Jeffrey C. Fowler Memorial Scholarship.

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