The Mathews High School baseball season came to an abrupt and unfortunate end last Wednesday, as Nandua proved superior to the visiting Blue Devils. The top-seeded Warriors beat Mathews, 9-3, to advance to the regional championship game.
Nandua lost to King William; both teams, however, earned berths in the Group A, Division 2 state championship tournament, which began Tuesday.
Last Wednesday’s game began with a scoreless two innings before Nandua finally struck with three runs in the bottom of the third, and another in the next inning. Nandua’s pitching held the Devils hitless until the top of the fifth inning, when Mathews narrowed the lead with three runs.
Ryan Ewell led off the inning with a walk followed by Reggie Johnson’s single which was the Devils’ first hit in 12 innings versus Nandua’s ace and VMI signee Austin Heenan. After Zack Jarosz reached on an error scoring a run, Deondre Foster doubled down the left field line, knocking in two and causing a pitching change by the Warriors. After giving up two unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth, the Devils threatened in the top of the sixth when Johnson hit a line drive to the shortstop with the bases loaded resulting in an inning-ending double play.