Three Run Blast Keys Knights' Win Over Central

Published 3:35 pm Thursday, April 11, 2013

VICTORIA – The Buckingham County High School baseball team knows the importance of a quick start. The Knights got it in a 7-3 victory over Central of Lunenburg on Tuesday night in Victoria.

Up 2-1, after giving up a run in the bottom of the third to the hosts, Jesse Hickman answered with a three-run home run over the rightfield fence in the top of the fourth inning that put the Knights (2-3, 2-1 JRD) ahead 5-1. The blast, that scored leadoff hitter Cam Johnson and Dylan Davis, gave starting pitcher John Edwards some wiggle room.

“We wanted to get on them early, and we kind of did that,” said BCHS head coach Mike Jones. “Everyone wants to get that momentum going in their favor as early as they can, but I think it's even more important for some teams than it is for others.

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“Jesse's home run really helped John. John had just given up that run and the home run settled him down. I told him before he went back out there [for the bottom of the fourth inning] that he had some cushion and he didn't have to force anything.”

Edwards retired the Central line-up in order in the bottom of the fourth, and he padded the Knights' lead in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly to deep center field that scored Justin Smith from second base.

John Saxon reached base and scored to make it a 7-1 game in the top of the sixth when Davis reached on an error, but Buckingham squandered a bases loaded, no out opportunity to break the game wide open.

A batting order error by Buckingham took off an insurance run in the top of the seventh, and a tired Edwards gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh, but the Knights had enough cushion to allow him to complete a three run, five hit, seven walk and nine strikeout performance.

Davis and Johnson led the Knights offensively. Davis was 2-4 with a double and a run scored, while Johnson was 2-4 with a walk and a run. Hickman was 1-3 with the three run home run. He was also hit by a pitch and walked intentionally. Saxon singled, scored two runs and had an RBI.

Buckingham was scheduled to host Cumberland on Thursday afternoon, and will travel to Goochland on Tuesday.

“The district is pretty wide open right now,” said Jones, whose Knights lone district loss was a 1-0 setback to Amelia. “Everyone has a loss. It's really hard to pick out a team and say 'that one is the favorite.' We had ample opportunities to score in that loss to Amelia, but I feel that we have made a ton of progress offensively since that loss. Our pitching has been solid, and our defense has always been a strength, so if we can keep it up with our bats, we should be right in there battling with the rest.”