Baseball team tops Allegheny in Region playoffs

Numerous  Flucos receive Jefferson District honors 

By Duncan Nixon

It was an unusual game from a run scoring standpoint when the Flucos hosted the Alleghany County Cougars on May 22. It was expected to be an even game as the Flucos came in with a 16-4 record and the Cougars were 15-4-1. 

In the first inning, each team had one base runner but the third and fourth batters for each team struck out. In the top of the second, the Cougars again had one base runner, but two strikeouts. In the bottom of the second, the Flucos broke the game wide open. Twelve Flucos came to bat and eight runs crossed the plate. 

A walk, a hit by pitch and a bunt single loaded the bases for the Flucos. Freshman second baseman Brody Shields then doubled down the left field line to clear the bases. The Flucos had more than enough runs, as it turned out, but they did not let up. Shields moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by senior center fielder Luke Black and sophomore shortstop Sam Loving lofted a sacrifice fly to deep left field to score Shields easily. With two out, the Flucos were not done. Junior pitcher Caden Harris singled. Catcher Cody Peck was hit by a pitch. First baseman Warren Maddox singled to score a fifth run. DH Carson Raines worked his second walk of the inning to load the bases. Junior left fielder Jackson Fields blasted a triple to deep right center to clear the bases for the second time in the inning. The Flucos had eight runs and those were the only runs scored in the game.

The Fluco pitching was strong throughout the game. Caden Harris pitched five and two thirds innings allowing three hits and walking two. He struck out six. Harris is not overpoweringly fast, but he showed good control of his pitches and his lefty curve proved troublesome to a Cougar line-up that contained a number of lefty batters. Fluco Coach Joel Gray lifted Harris in the fifth and Raines came in from DH to pitch a scoreless two and a third innings. He was aided by the defensive play of the game, a diving catch in left field by Fields. The Cougars never had a base runner past second base. The Fluco batters went quite against the Cougars reliever, but the damage was done. A play-off shutout is a significant achievement. After the game, Gray noted that he was pleased with his pitching and commented that both pitchers are underclassmen. He also commented that the Flucos got some timely hitting. Certainly, two extra base hits with the bases loaded were timely. 

The Flucos now move on, and will play their next game at home. It was scheduled to be played on Saturday the 25th, weather permitting.

Before the Class 3 Region C play-off began, the Jefferson District announced its All-star teams and individual honors. The Flucos garnered numerous awards. Caden Harris, Cody Peck and Sam Loving were all selected to the first team All-Jefferson district, at pitcher, catcher and shortstop. Second team selections were   junior Cam Via, pitcher, Warren Maddox first base, Brody Shields second base, Jackson Fields outfield and Caden Harris outfield. Loving, only a sophomore, was named player of the year, and Gray was selected as coach of the year.

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