Dreher takes first win over Redhawks

Branden May (18) toed the mound for the Redhawks against the Dreher Blue-devils.

For the first two innings against Dreher Friday night, the Westwood baseball team was perfect.

The same could not be said for the next five innings of the Redhawks’ season opener, which was a 7-1 defeat to the Blue Devils at the Westwood baseball field.

“We lost focus, and that’s what we’re working on,” Redhawks head coach Jonathan Burroughs said. “We’ve got to be mentally tough enough to not let that lack of focus happen. It’s a huge part of this game.”

The Redhawks got to Dreher starting pitcher Matt Campbell early.

Matthew Oxendine singled to lead off the game, but was out at second when Anthony LaCola bunted. LaCola moved to third by the time Bryce Henson lined out for the second out, and scored on a wild pitch as Campbell faced Rashawn Green.

Green was hit by a Campbell pitch, but Ethan Barton flied out to end the inning. Meanwhile, Westwood starting pitcher Brandon May worked two clean innings, striking out four.

“He was pitching well,” Burroughs said. “He was pretty much shoving it through the first two innings.”But the Redhawks’ 1-0 lead didn’t go past the third inning.

The Blue Devils led off the third with back-to-back singles from Ryan Campbell and Eddie Mattocks. Hunter Mullinax moved them to second and third base on a fielder’s choice, and then May created some of his own trouble.

He hit both Dada Washington, which loaded the bases, and Ethan Mattocks, which scored Ryan Campbell. Then he walked Jay Washington to score Eddie Mattocks.

Ben Williams fouled out for the second out of the inning, but Dada Washington tagged up at third and rushed into home under the tag to score. Jay Washington ran to second on the play, but was tagged out to end the inning.

Dreher was up 3-1 by the end of that frame, and Matt Campbell had settled down significantly since his trouble in the first. Campbell went the distance, scattering five hits, striking out eight, walking two, and hitting one.

The Blue Devils got two runs on two hits and two Westwood errors in the fifth, and two more runs on two hits in the seventh.

“Dreher’s a well-coached team, they always are,” Burroughs said. “They’re always going to run some good plays and keep you on your toes.”

May worked four-plus innings before running into trouble in the fifth. He gave up five runs on four hits, issued three walks and hit three batters. He struck out four.

Brandon Anderson finished out the fifth and went into the seventh, striking out two, walking three, and gave up two runs on two hits and a Redhawks error.

“But we saw some good things tonight, but we also had 10 walks and hit-by-pitches,” Burroughs said. “You’re not going to beat many people by giving them 10 free baserunners. Throw that in with a base hit here, a misplay there, and here we are, 7-1.”

Westwood plays three games in as many days next week, hosting Richland Northeast Tuesday, Irmo Wednesday, and traveling to York Thursday.

“We’ve got a lot we can build on for next week,” Burroughs said.

 

Dreher            003      020      2          –           7 7 0

 

Westwood     100      000      0          –           1 5 3

WP: Matt Campbell LP: Brandon May

Hitters: Dreher – Ryan Campbell 2-3, Eddie Mattocks 2-3. Westwood – Jab Bennett 3B.