Gobblers .500 After 5-2 Victory

Posted: May 6, 2014

Broadway’s Jacob DePoy pitches in the first inning of the Gobblers’ win Monday over Harrisonburg. (Photo by Michael Reilly / DN-R)

BROADWAY — On a cool, clear Monday evening, the baseball gods finally smiled down on Broadway High School.

Luck has not been on Broadway’s side this season, BHS coach Charlie Shepard said. But after a convincing win over Spotswood on Friday, the Gobblers returned to the diamond and capitalized on four Harrisonburg fielding errors and used 5 2/3 strong innings from starting pitcher Jake DePoy to beat the Blue Streaks 5-2.

“Jake pitched well, we hit the ball well, executed the things we needed to execute. … Maybe the bad luck is behind us,” Shepard, whose team reached .500, said. “We hit that stretch, but we played well Friday, we played well today and the kids are playing their tails off and you’re seeing the results on the field. When the luck was going against us, we just kept working. Now we’ve had two solid games back-to-back.”

It was just DePoy’s second win of the season, although he has pitched into the sixth inning in every start. He finally got some run support Monday, beginning in the third inning when Broadway scored three runs, getting RBIs from its seventh and eighth hitters in the order.

Tanner Skidmore had the biggest hit, a two-RBI single to give Broadway a 2-0 lead. Kyle Evick then hit a looping double to left field to score Bradley Ritchie, boosting the lead to 3-0.

“It’s a relief for us because we’ve been hitting the ball right on the nose just right to people,” Skidmore said. “Finally they got through the gaps and stuff, so it feels good.”

Harrisonburg starting pitcher Matt Shifflett, who entered the game with a 1.33 ERA in 21 innings, was less than sharp after a week-plus layoff due to rain. HHS coach Kevin Tysinger said Shifflett’s fastball velocity was lacking to go along with lackluster control. The senior pitched four innings and allowed four runs on seven hits, falling to 2-2 on the season.

“We wanted to attack his fastball,” Shepard said. “We were putting the bat on the ball. … Then they made that one mistake which kind of opened the door.”

Shifflett wasn’t helped by his defense. Harrisonburg’s infield committed four errors Monday, which led to three Broadway runs.

HHS (6-4) has now committed 29 errors in 10 games.

“You can’t make mistakes,” said Tysinger, who took the blame for the Streaks playing flat. “When the team you’re playing is putting the ball in play, you’ve got to make plays. They put the pressure on us and when we made mistakes they capitalized on it.”

Skidmore said making the easy plays was the key.

“It’s really important because there’s more routine plays than base hits,” Skidmore said. “With runners in scoring position [our pitchers] buckled down and got ground balls and pop-ups and kept them off balance most of the game.”

The loss was the Streaks’ first against a Valley District team after starting the season 5-0. It was just the third time this season Broadway (8-8) has won back-to-back games.

Broadway’s DePoy and reliever Ethan Mathews stranded nine HHS runners on Monday. Mathews, a junior right-hander with the deceptive delivery, struck out Scott Wise with the Streaks threatening with the bases loaded in the sixth inning.

“The one thing we have done all year is pitch well,” Shepard said. “We’ve thrown the ball well and when we’ve played defense we’ve won. Tonight, other than the one [error], we played very well.”

Harrisonburg          000 001 1 — 2 8 4

Broadway                003 110 x — 5 8 1

Shifflett, Kiser (5), Wise (6) and Chris Whitelow; DePoy, Mathews (6) and Morris. W—DePoy (2-2). L—Shifflett (2-2).

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