Falcons Fall To SA In VCC Tournament Championship Game

Published 2:18 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2013

BLACKSTONE – The Fuqua School baseball team came up one game short in its quest to sweep the Virginia Commonwealth Conference regular season and tournament titles with a 5-4 loss to Southampton Academy on Saturday afternoon at Kenston Forest's Bridgeforth Field.

The Falcons, who defeated the tournament hosts 9-3 in Friday's semifinal round, gave up two runs in the fifth inning to fall behind in Saturday's championship game and were unable to recover.

“We lost to a dadgum good team,” said FS head coach Ted Cunningham. “These two teams are as evenly matched as anyone, and we've had some great games over the last two years. We knew this wouldn't be any different. At this point in the season, you have to play error free ball. We had some mental errors. Very uncharacteristic ones, and they capitalized on them.”

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Fuqua, which had a chance to move into the top spot entering this week's VISBA Division III State Tournament, will be the third seed, and were scheduled to host Alliance Christian on Tuesday afternoon at Gilmer Field.

“Alliance will be a tough opponent,” said Cunningham. “They beat Isle of Wight, which was the top team in the last poll, in their tournament quarterfinal, so, we will not have an easy one to start the state tournament.”

Against Southampton on Saturday, the second seeded Raiders jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second and never trailed. The Falcons scored single runs in the bottom of the third and fourth, but gave up a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to fall behind 5-2, before answering with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth, but were unable to get past second base in their final two at-bats.

Trent Jacobs (1-3) led the Falcons on the afternoon with a two-run home run, while Carter Cunningham (1-3) also had a solo home run. In fact, the two long balls accounted for Fuqua's only hits of the game.

Logan Byrd went the distance in the loss, giving up five runs (all earned) on eight hits, while walking three and striking out six batters.

The loss halted a nine-game win streak by the Falcons that dated back to a 6-3 loss to Steward School on April 8.

Against Kenston Forest on Friday, Fuqua scored two runs in the bottom of the first and another three in the bottom of the third to take a 5-1 lead, before KF managed to cut the Falcons' lead to 6-3. Fuqua added three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a commanding lead.

Cunningham (2-4) and Andy Ware (3-3) hit home runs for the Falcons. Both had three RBI on the afternoon and Ware scored three runs.

Davis Cyrus went the distance in the victory, giving up three runs (all earned) on nine hits while walking two and fanning six KF batters.

Big Inning Dooms FS Softball In VCC Semis

BLACKSTONE – After upsetting Kenston Forest last week, the Fuqua School softball team knew they were going to get the best the Kavaliers had to offer in Friday's VCC Softball Tournament semifinal game played at Kenston Forest. For the better part of four innings, though FS played from behind, it looked like the Falcons were going to get away with tugging on Superman's cape.

Then, the Kavs hit the bottom of the fifth. Fuqua gave up six runs in the fifth and went on to lose 8-2.

“That one bad defensive inning did us in,” said FS head coach Robert Schmidt. “You can't let them get a lead on you, and we did that, but we were hanging in there until then.

“I felt we did a lot better job of putting the ball in play than we have been doing, but Kenston Forest made the plays. We got runners on base, but we really weren't able to get them across to score. They put pressure on us, and kept it on us until we broke. That's what they do so well.”

Fuqua earned the No. 4 seed in the VISSA Division III Softball State Tournament, and was scheduled to host Amelia Academy on Tuesday afternoon. It will be the fourth time the Falcons have played the Patriots.

All games have been played on Al Smith Field. Fuqua split a doubleheader with the Patriots two weeks ago, and eliminated AA from the VCC Tournament in the quarterfinals last week.

“We'll have to put this one behind us and be ready for the state tournament,” said Schmidt. “We're playing pretty well right now, for the most part, but this is the time of year that everyone can say the same thing. If we can do what we're capable of, hopefully, we can make a run [this week].”