POQUOSON — A bad week got a lot better for Warhill High's baseball team on Friday, although redemption did not come easily. The Lions rallied from behind with four runs in the final two innings as they rode the bat and arm of Michael Brumfield to a 6-4 win at Poquoson.
The victory eased the pain of a forfeit loss earlier in the week. Scheduled to open the season against fellow Bay Rivers District heavyweight York on Wednesday, the Lions forfeited the game as punishment for posting a video to YouTube of the players dancing that Warhill administration deemed inappropriate.
"The way the situation proceeded, we needed a galvanizing moment," Warhill coach Joe Henzel said. "First we were going to play a marquee matchup, then it didn't happen.
"Then we had to fight today and keep battling. We needed that kind of excitement on the heels of what happened."
Brumfield provided much of the excitement. His two-out two-run single in top of the seventh inning gave Warhill (1-1, 1-1 district) its winning runs.
And after working his way out of jams for most of the afternoon, Brumfield finished on the mound in fine fashion. He retired the final seven batters, getting the last two outs of the game via strikeout with his curveball.
"We were extremely mad (about the forfeit), somewhat at ourselves," Brumfield said. "It means so much to know we can bounce back."
Poquoson (1-1, 1-1) ensured it would be a battle with solid defense and by putting pressure on Brumfield by getting on base often. The Islanders led 2-0 in a bottom of the second that included Gregg Chauvin's RBI single, but stranded a runner in scoring position and three more over the next two innings.
Clay Frost tied it up at 2-apiece by driving in two runs for Warhill with a single in the top of the fourth. Poquoson snatched the lead back at 4-2 on Michael Nestor's double in the bottom of the fifth.
Warhill struck back in the top of the sixth, scoring twice to tie the game at 4-all, one of the runs coming on Thomas Richardson's double. Brumfield retired the Islanders in order in the sixth, then guided Poquoson reliever Chase Pinder's low, outside breaking ball to right field in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded to break the tie and give the Lions a two-run lead.
That held up as Brumfield's curve and changeup kept the Islanders at bay in the seventh.
"I'm proud of our kids," Poquoson coach Ken Bennett said. "They played well, especially defensively, but Warhill got one more clutch hit than us."
The guy who got it, Brumfield, talked about it importance following an emotional week.
"This made us closer as a team," Brumfield said. "We made it as a team, we went down as a team and we came back as a team."
WARHILL 6, POQUOSON 4
Warhill000; 202; 2 – 6 7 2
Poquoson 020; 020; 0 – 4 6 1
WP: Brumfield (1-0), LP: Pinder (0-1). Standouts: Warhill, Richardson 2-4 (double, 2 RBI), Brumfield 2-3 (2 RBI). Records: Warhill 1-1, 1-1; Poquoson 1-1, 1-1.