Entering the March 19 match up with Madison County, Orange County was undefeated. The Hornets start eight seniors and are very experienced. That experience showed in their 10-0 win over the visiting Mountaineers.
Madison got off to a promising start in the contest. With two outs in the top of the first, Connor Houser reached base after being hit by a pitch. Corey Helmick then drew a base on balls to put Mountaineers on first and second. Madison looked poised to take an early lead when William Graves hit a sharp grounder. However, the Hornet shortstop made a good defensive play to get the third out of the inning.
Madison threatened again in the top of the third when Alex Kreh led off the inning with an infield hit. Houser followed with a base hit to left and the Mounties appeared to be in business. Helmick laid down a sac bunt to advance both runners. However, a base running mistake ended in Madison not scoring in the inning.
The Mountaineers final threat occurred in the top of the fourth inning. Hugh Wingate singled to open the inning. After a Dusty Horrocks fly out to center, Wingate was caught stealing for the second out of the inning. Samuel Estes instigated a two out rally with a base on balls. Aaron Henshaw reached on an infield hit and Luke Ford loaded the bases with another walk. Madison was unable to get a two out hit. That would be the Mounties last scoring chance.
Houser started on the mound for MCHS. He held Orange to one run through the first two innings; allowing two hits and striking out three Hornets. Orange tacked on two unearned runs in the third on a Madison error, a hit and a base on balls. When the dust settled, OCHS led 3-0. Wingate and Todd Davis come on to pitch in relief. The OCHS bats came alive in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring seven runs to account for the final 10-0 score.
Trey Deane took the mound for the Mountaineers the next night as Madison hosted Nelson County. Deane threw 5.1 innings, striking out 12 Governors. However, Madison faltered late and lost the game 6-2.
The game was scoreless entering the home half of the fifth inning. Davis reached on an infield hit; Kreh drew a walk and Wingate reached on another infield hit to load the bases. With bases loaded and two outs, Houser lined a base hit to left field (his third hit of the game) to drive in Davis and Kreh and give Madison the 2-0 lead.
Nelson scored six runs in the top of the sixth to steal the win. On the night, Deane and Graves combined to strikeout 15 Governors but it was not enough to capture the win.
The Mountaineers match up with William Monroe was rained out Friday. No make up date has been set. Madison was scheduled to travel to Luray Tuesday after presstime and to Nelson Wednesday before hosting Orange Friday at 7 p.m. You can follow the Mountaineers on the Game Changer app.