Falling short in a hard fight on the diamond

Published 10:49 am Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Fuqua School’s varsity baseball team fought like a champion in Monday’s state championship game in Colonial Heights, recovering from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game in the top of the sixth inning and take the game to 10 innings. But No. 1 Walsingham Academy finally broke the stalemate in the bottom of the 10th to defeat the No. 3 Falcons 6-5 and clinch the title.

“Somebody’s got to lose,” Fuqua Head Coach John Adams said. “I was just hoping it was going to be the other team. I’m pleased with my guys, though. I’m really proud of how they played and how they fought. I can’t say (enough) how pleased I am about their grit and fight, making it to the championship and making a heck of a game of it in 10 innings.”

Fuqua held a 1-0 lead after the first inning, but then the Trojans went up 2-1 in the second.

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After two scoreless innings, Walsingham opened up a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, but the Falcons were far from done. In the top of the sixth, junior Christian Adams singled, followed by senior Clay Osborn and then junior D.J. Williams was walked, loading the bases. Sophomore Drew Osborn hit a three-run triple and then Fuqua was able to tie the game up before the inning was over.

Williams relieved Christian Adams on the mound and was a standout for the Falcons.

As if to cement Fuqua’s resilience in extra innings, Williams ended the eighth and ninths innings with a strikeout after being supported with superb defensive play from his teammates.

Coach Adams affirmed an error at third base on a tough defensive play led to the Trojans’ winning score.

The Falcons (13-5) reached the state final for the second straight year in exciting fashion Sunday when they defeated No. 7 Brunswick Academy 6-5.

Fuqua took a 5-4 lead on a solo home run by Drew Osborn in the bottom of the fifth.

“I was getting up there just wanting to get on base for my team,” Osborn said, “but in the back of my mind, I knew I was going to hit a dinger.”

The Vikings tied the game up in the top of the seventh after a balk, but then Fuqua sophomore Colton Copley hit a walk-off single to give his team the win.

Osborn went 3-for-4 on the day. Copley, who also pitched the first three innings, throwing two strikeouts, went 3-for-5 at the plate, hitting three singles.

Senior Hunter Gilliam earned the win on the mound, pitching for four innings and throwing six strikeouts.