King William beats Nandua

Special to the Review

King William's head coach Jay Blanton preaches that the little things will win the big games.

The instruction paid off for the Cavaliers in the Conference 33 semi-finals on May 24, when back-to-back sacrifice bunts plated the tying and winning run in the bottom of seventh inning.

"I am speechless right now," said Blanton following the win. "This team could have folded when we gave up that run in the top of the inning, but we have battled all year, and we preached to them that if you do the little things, you will win the tight games. It paid off for us today."

The Cavaliers took a 3-0 lead into the top of the fourth with hits by Jacob Shepherd, who stroked a double to left and a single by Travis Shumate.

Shawn Parker led of the third inning with a single to center and was brought home with singles from Adam Schools and Shepherd.

"I don't think we played our best game today," Blanton said. "We could never get in a rhythm at the plate or on the mound. However I think Ryan (Huffman) pitched well enough to keep us in the game. This was a big win for this group of players because it ensures us of moving on to the regionals."

Nandua tied the score in the top of the sixth inning and then took a lead in the seventh on a crushing double to deep center field.

Schools led off the seventh for the Cavaliers with a single to left, which was followed by a single by Shepherd, placing runners on first and second with no outs. Then came the back-to-back bunts.

"This team really showed what it was made of today," Blanton said. "We didn't play our best, but we still were able to win. Instead of going home disappointed, we are getting ready for the championship and the regionals, all because we battled and did the little things."

Copyright © 2019, The Virginia Gazette