The Mathews High School baseball team advanced to the second round of the Region A tournament with a 5-4 win over the visiting Essex Trojans on Tuesday.
With the win, Mathews was scheduled to travel to the Eastern Shore yesterday to face the top-seeded Nandua Warriors. The winner of this game will advance to the Region A championship game and will have earned a spot in the state tournament, which begins next Tuesday.
The Essex game began with a single run posted by each squad in the first inning. The game was a tug-of-war contest after that, as Mathews scored another run in the second (a solo homer by William Scott Smith), Essex with two in the third and Mathews with two in the fourth. The Trojans drew even in the fifth and the score remained knotted at 4-4 for the next five innings.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the 10th when Elisha Kane (pinch running for reliever Colin Cook, who drew a two-out walk) scored from second base on an error from the Essex left fielder on a long fly ball in the gap, hit by Deondre Foster. This run provided Cook with a win, and compensated starter Ryan Ewell for a stellar eight-inning performance. Ewell allowed all four earned runs, but struck out a total of 12 batters to escape multiple threats by the Trojans. The only RBIs for the Devil offense were supplied by Foster (one) and William Smith (two), who also had an RBI single in addition to his home run.