The top-seeded Park View High School varsity baseball team overcame an early 2-0 deficit to score four runs in the fifth inning and hang on for a thrilling 4-3 victory over fifth-seeded Colonial Heights HS on Friday to earn a date in the Class 3, Region A title game.
The win also earned Park View its first bid to the VHSL state baseball tournament since 1971.
The Dragons’ victory was the third this season over the Colonials and improved Park View to 21-1 on the season, while Colonial Heights saw its season come to an end with a 9-13 mark.
“We finally hit the ball (in the fifth inning),” said Park View coach Michael Barmoy. “We had a few chances here and there but that one inning was when we were finally able to make something happen.”
The Dragons will play host to second-seeded Tabb HS on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Dragon Field for the regional title game and then open state tournament play on Tuesday, Junes 4 against either the Group B champion or runner-up.
Barmoy said hitting will again be the key for the Dragons in the regional title game.
“You have to put some runs on the board,” said Barmoy. “We have struggled at times hitting against the better teams. We’ve got to hit.”
The Colonials jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning on Friday when the first two batters reached on errors and both scored on Park View’s third error of the game.
Park View’s Justyn Hudson and the Colonials’ Nick Hess then hooked up in a pitching duel for the next four innings.
The Dragons finally got going in the fifth inning when Hudson led off with a triple and Trevor Tanner doubled to put the first run on the scoreboard for Park View.
After a flyout by Jarrett Hamby, Cameron Sheets drew a walk and Jaison Dugger followed with a shot to right centerfield that got over the outfielder’s head as Dugger raced around the bases to beat the throw at the plate for a 2-run inside-the-park homer that gave the Dragons a 4-2 lead.
Colonial Heights cut the lead to 4-3 in the top of the sixth by taking advantage of a single, an error, and a groundout.
The Colonials got a double to lead off the top of the seventh, but Hudson fought back to get a groundout, a strikeout, and a ground ball to shortstop for the final out of the game after the Dragons intentionally walked the bases loaded to set up a force play.
Hudson earned the complete game victory to improve to a perfect 9-0 on the season. He struck out 10 while scattering three hits and walking three.
Park View catcher Brandon Rolfe went 2 for 3 to pace Park View at the plate, while Dugger, Hudson and Tanner added one hit apiece.
Park View senior hurler Mason Mills was dominant on the mound in Park View’s 1-0 victory over Lakeland in a regional quarterfinal contest in South Hill last Wednesday night. He struck out three while scattering four hits in the complete game victory.
Park View scored the only run of the game in the sixth inning when Sheets doubled and scored on a fielder’s choice by Rolfe.
Justin Clary and Jefferson Barmoy led Park View with two hits in the contest, while Hamby and Sheets added one apiece.
The Park View defense played well in the game, committing only one error.