Wildcats Defeat Blues In Baseball Opener, 6-1

Jonathan Schwab

Thursday, March 16 – In the season opener between cross-county rivals, the Rockbridge County High School baseball team defeated Parry McCluer 6-1 on Thursday in Lexington.

Both teams were scheduled to open the season on Tuesday, but wintry conditions postponed those games, and they were able to get Thursday’s game in under a sunny sky and temperatures in the upper 30s.

The Wildcats scored four runs in the second inning and relied on the steady arm of Reeves Whitmore, who pitched a complete game, striking out nine and allowing four hits and two walks. In a stretch from the fifth to sixth inning, Whitmore threw five consecutive strikeouts.

After a scoreless first inning, RC’s offense got going in the second. The Wildcats drew two walks, and Joshua Lawhorne doubled with a fly ball to right field to drive home Brandon Minter and Dustin Mays. Daniel Sorrells then hit a grounder to center field to bring in Lawhorne, and RC took a 4-0 lead when Ty Bennett doubled on a grounder to left field to score Sorrells. 

The Fighting Blues contained RC’s offense the next three innings, led by the pitching of Zach Claytor. In 5.2 innings, Claytor struck out six and allowed five hits, four walks and two earned runs before Matt Thompson pitched for the Blues for the final out. 

PM got on the scoreboard in the sixth when Hayden Bartley ran home on a wild pitch, but RC retired the side by catching a fly ball in center field.

RC scored its final two runs in the bottom of the sixth. A single on a grounder by Lawhorne brought home Noah Ramsey, and Lawhorne ran home on a wild pitch.

The Wildcats and Blues, who spilt the season series last year, will meet again at PM next Thursday at 5 p.m.

Before then, both teams will play on Tuesday, with the Wildcats visiting Fort Defiance on at 5 p.m. and the Blues playing host to Nelson County at 5:30 p.m.

For the full story and photos from the opener, please see our March 22 newspaper.


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