Caroline’s bats were no match for Michael Brumfield’s arm in Monday’s Region I baseball quarterfinal.
The Warhill High ace struck out 11 batters to lead the Lions to a 7-0 shutout over the visiting Cavaliers.
Brumfield struck out five batters and gave up just one hit in his first two innings. Those quick two innings pumped up the Lions’ offense, which went to work in the bottom half of the second.
Brumfield drew a leadoff walk before Tyler Klinedinst and Clay Frost hit back-to-back infield singles to load the bases. Back at the top of the order, the Lions’ Luke Patterson hit a sacrifice fly to right field to plate Brumfield for a 1-0 lead.
Caroline continued to struggle in the top of the third. The team’s lone runner, who reached on a walk, was caught stealing for the third out of the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Jordan Hackney singled to right with one out. One strikeout later, Klinedinst posted his second hit of the game with a liner through a gap in the infield.
Frost followed with a walk, and the bases were again loaded for the Lions. With two out, Patterson popped a hit to right to plate Hackney. At the end of three innings, Warhill was up 2-0.
The Lions were back at work in the fifth. With one out, Frost and Patterson hit back-to-back singles. After Pat Daly hit into an out, Hunter Hux drew a walk to load the bases for Warhill.
Senior catcher Blake Wills then stepped to the plate. On a 1-2 count, Wills drilled the ball into deep center for a two-run double for a 4-0 Warhill advantage.
Caroline threatened in the sixth. After a strikeout, Cavaliers shortstop Alex Jeter reached on a fielding error. Caroline pitcher Joe Shiflett then doubled to center. But with two runners in scoring position and just one out, Warhill was ready to keep Caroline scoreless. Rory Smith flied out to right field, and just when it looked as if a runner would score, Shiflett was caught off the bag and tagged out. And the Cavs remained scoreless.
The Lions went on to plate three more runners in the bottom of the sixth. Brumfield and Frost both singled to second base. With two outs, Patterson doubled to shallow center to score two runs. Patterson scored on a dropped third strike for the final run.
Patterson paced the Warhill offense with three hits and four RBI. Frost also had three hits, while Wills, Hackney and Klinedinst had one hit each.
Brumfield pitched a complete game, striking out 11, allowing three hits and just one walk. In five innings of work, Caroline starting pitcher Shiflett struck out 10 Warhill batters.
Warhill will play at Southside District champion Southampton at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in a semifinal. The winner will head to the state Group AA tournament.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun