The Mathews High School varsity baseball team won its Tidewater District opener last Thursday against the visiting King William Cavaliers, 10-4, then to Northumberland on Friday, 7-2, and game against Virginia Central Home School, 9-6 on Tuesday.
Against King William, the Devils jumped out to a 4-0 lead against the Cavaliers as Chris Davis led off the game with a double, followed by a walk to Daniel Mitchem. Nick Stump then had a sacrifice fly and Chase Kemp had a single followed up by a Tyler Roberts double. Roberts came around to score on Ryan Ewell’s double.
Mathews added another in second, thanks to a few walks. King William fought back with four of their own in the top of the fourth, but the Devils who responded with two more runs in the bottom half of the inning on a walk by Davis, hits by Mitchem and Stump and a sacrifice fly by Kemp. The Devils picked up insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
Ewell started the game and went three innings, giving up four runs on two hits and three walks, striking out three. He ran into trouble in the fourth: Stump came in and shut the door on the Cavaliers and got the win, giving up no runs on two hits with four strikeouts.
Offensive leaders for Mathews were Kemp (2-for-2), James Pavik (2-for-4), Davis (1-for-3), Mitchem (1-for-2), Stump (1-for-3), Roberts (1-for-2), Deondre Foster (1-for-1) and Ewell (1-for-2).
"This was a real big game for us, serving up notice we may be young but we are here to play ball," said MHS head coach Nick Naglieri.
The next day, a different Mathews team showed up to play ball at Northumberland, and fell to the Indians, 7-2. "We struggled at the bat and made the Indian pitchers look like Cy Young," Naglieri said. Mathews managed to pick up four hits. The runs were scored on one hit, combined with several walks and wild pitches.