NEWPORT NEWS ——In what was billed as a pitcher's duel between two seniors expected to go in the early rounds of the MLB draft, there was only one 1-2-3 inning. That didn't come until the fifth, by which point neither ace was on the hill.
Menchville knocked Kecoughtan left-hander Jake Cave out after three innings and survived some shaky relief work for an 8-7 win Tuesday afternoon in the Peninsula District. Right-hander Deshorn Lake got the win, and Cave took the loss. But it was the hitters who decided it.
"What it came down to was two good baseball teams," Monarchs coach Phil Forbes said. "It didn't come down to two players."
Cave left after three innings, during which he threw 88 pitches and allowed four earned runs. Lake worked four innings (85 pitches) and allowed two runs on three hits with three walks. Though Lake was more effective, neither had his best stuff in front of at least two dozen Major League Baseball scouts.
Menchville (2-1) took a 1-0 lead on Cave in the first on Josh Moore's two-out RBI double. In the second, Evan Forrest and Jeff Gray drove in runs with singles, and another run scored on catcher Tim Robinson's throwing error.
The Monarchs led 8-3 going into the top of the seventh. But after reliever Emory Chopp got into some trouble, it was 8-6 with the bases loaded and two out. And Cave, who had doubled and homered in his two previous at-bats, at the plate.
Forbes moved Forrest, a left-hander, over from first base and gave him specific instructions: Do not give Cave anything he can hit. Forrest obliged, throwing four off-speed pitches that missed. Cave walked, which made it 8-7.
"He's a great hitter, so I was just didn't want to give him anything he could take over the fence," Forrest said. "Just off-speed and away."
That brought up Kippy Holbrooks, who had struck out looking in the sixth with the bases loaded. This time, he grounded to short to end the game.
"We came back," Kecoughtan coach Chad Ochsenfeld said. "We had every chance to win the game."
It seemed unlikely that the Warriors (2-1) would have that chance. Not only did the Monarchs knock out Cave early, they pounded Kecoughtan's bullpen. Forrest, Gray and Moore each had two hits. Center fielder Hunter Webster went 3-for-3.
"Our philosophy coming in was to be aggressive and believe we could do it," Forbes said. "Be aggressive on the bases and be aggressive at the bat. That strategy worked, and the kids were successful at it."
MENCHVILLE 8, KECOUGHTAN 7
Kecoughtan;002;010;4—7 9 1
Menchville;130;301;x—8 11 1
WP: Lake (1-1). LP: Cave (1-1). S: Forrest (1). Standouts: Kecoughtan, Cave 2-3 (2B, HR, 2 RBI), Matheson 3-4, Ware 2-3. Menchville, Forrest 2-3 (2 runs), Gray 2-3 (RBI), Webster 3-3 (run, RBI). Records: Kecoughtan 2-1, Menchville 2-1.