William Monroe and Western Albemarle high school baseball teams faced off for the first time since 2011 last Thursday, where the Dragons fell to the visiting Warriors 12-6.
Monroe saw an early lead after senior Logan Jones ran the first one in for the Dragons at the bottom of the second. However, an out-of-the-park home run by Western’s Nathan Fink at the top of the third allowed Fink, Jackson Thornton and Wyatt Hull to cross home plate.
Down 3-1, Monroe head coach Mike Maynard told his team to not be defeated.
“We’ve won a lot of games over the last six or seven years, and I could see that defeated look in their eyes already. We cannot have that look,” Maynard said.
Maynard’s message translated to sophomore Hunter Powell, who hit a home run of his own at the bottom of the third, putting Monroe down by one.
“Hunter Powell is probably the hardest worker I have,” Maynard said. “I’m really proud of him. He’s had a great early part of the season; he has my highest on-base percentage and just played really well.”
After Powell’s home run, senior Braydon Collier tied up the game at 3-3 after crossing home. Monroe put up one more run before the end of the third inning, giving them a 4-3 lead going into the fourth.
It was the fifth inning that did the Dragons in after allowing five Western Albemarle players to advance home after a series of errors and earned runs. With the score now 9-4 in favor of the Warriors, the Dragons saw themselves with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth. Collier was able to walk one in on an error, but Monroe was unable to run anymore in.
“I think we gave them 11 or 12 walks tonight, which is not like us,” Maynard said. “I don’t know where that came from. We knew they were going to be good, but we didn’t play all aspects of the game.”
A hit deep in the outfield for the Warriors by Hull allowed Hull, Andrew Barrese and Jackson Thornton to put up three more runs at the top of the sixth, advancing Western’s lead to 12-5. Monroe found themselves with the bases loaded again at the bottom of the inning, but was only able to walk Powell home.
Neither team put up anymore runs in the final inning, ending last Thursday’s match-up in a 12-6 non-district loss for Monroe.
Monroe (2-4) will face Western Albemarle High School again on April 19 at 6 p.m. at Western. The Dragons won’t play at home again until Thursday, April 25 when they take on cross-town rival Madison County High School at 6 p.m.