The E.C. Glass baseball team recorded thrilling victories in the regular season, most notably defeating Jefferson Forest and Liberty Christian in the final stretches of Seminole District play.
The Hilltoppers topped those triumphs in thrilling fashion Wednesday evening.
First baseman Ryan Litchford’s diving catch in foul territory secured the final out, as eighth-seeded E.C. Glass stunned top-seeded Western Albemarle, 2-1, in the Region 4D quarterfinals in Crozet.
Glass (12-8) punched its ticket to the region semifinals and will play at Salem on Friday at a time to be determined. The Spartans edged Louisa County, 2-1, in another quarterfinal.
WA (17-3) loaded the bases with two outs against Cooper Campbell. Two straight reached on a walk and a third was hit by a pitch.
Luke Craytor fouled off a 1-1 pitch into foul territory down the first-base line. Litchford made a diving grab that set off a wild celebration as the Hilltoppers kept their season alive.
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Carter Jones gave Glass a 2-0 lead with his two-out, two-run single in the second inning. It scored Campbell and Scooter Ball (2 for 3).
Starter Mike Harpster was again dominant on the mound. He struck out 11 over six hitless innings.
“He’s good,” Western Albemarle coach Skip Hudgins told The (Charlottesville) Daily Progress about Harpster. “He was around the strike zone. He threw strikes, and he’s got a good live arm. We never really solved him.”
The Hilltoppers’ lone miscue of the game led to WA getting into the scoring column.
Tommy Williams reached on a one-out error. A hit batter and a two-out walk loaded the bases, and Daniel Jones drew a six-pitch walk to force in Williams.
Harpster escaped the jam and retired seven of the final eight batters he faced.
Jefferson Forest 8, Pulaski 0
Peyton Smith allowed just two hits and didn’t give up a run in his six-inning start, the top third of the lineup combined for seven hits, and Jefferson Forest cruised to a win over Pulaski in the Region 4D quarterfinals in Forest.
Smith threw three hitless frames before Pulaski’s Cole Albert finally singled in the fourth; Smith got out of the frame with a groundout and strikeout. Smith walked four batters, allowing one to advance to second, but that’s as close to anyone got to scoring against the starter, who also fanned 10.
Blaine Reedy was the only other player with a hit for Pulaski (11-9).
Leadoff hitter Breckin Nace led JF (18-4) at the plate, going 3 for 3. Sam Bell was 1 for 3 with a double, the Cavaliers’ only extra-base knock of the night, and had two RBIs. Evan Mace also went 2 for 2 with two RBIs.
Forest now will host Orange County in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday. The Fighting Hornets beat Halifax in the quarterfinals.
Blayz McGarry went 2 for 3 and gave Nelson a 4-0 lead in the second inning with his three-run home run, and the Governors tacked on another five runs in the third to take an early lead they never relinquished in a win over Radford in the first round of the Region 2C tournament.
McGarry, Ty Mauer, Michael Fitzgerald, Blake Victory and Tre Terry each had two hits for Nelson (11-9), and Jace Martin threw a complete game, walking two and fanning six in the win.
Allen Hamblin led the Bobcats (7-11) at the plate, going 3 for 3 with a double. Starter Taylor Stambursky lasted just 2⅓ innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on six hits.
Nelson now will travel to Appomattox for a matchup with the Raiders (17-1) at 6 p.m. Thursday. ACHS beat Nelson twice in the regular season by wide margins.
Floyd County 11, Gretna 1
Elijah St. George struck out six and went 2 for 4 at the plate as the Buffaloes defeated the Hawks in the Region 2C first round at Radford University.
St. Clair pitched a complete game in the six-inning victory. He scattered five hits and walked two.
Wyatt Chaffin had two doubles and three RBIs, and Davis Goff had a triple and three RBIs for Floyd (8-12-1).
Jackson Moore drove in Haden Moon in the fourth inning for the Hawks (5-16).
Jefferson Forest 2, Amherst 0
Dylan McNerney had Jefferson Forest’s number in two regular-season meetings and through six innings of Wednesday’s Region 4D quarterfinal matchup.
One inning was all the Cavaliers needed to get to the Amherst ace and end the Lancers’ hopes of repeating as Class 4 champions.
Addison Compton, Ciara Nauful and Madison Simmons combined for three seventh-inning doubles, with Nauful and Simmons each driving in a run, and sixth-seeded Jefferson Forest upset third-seeded Amherst to advance in the Region 4D tournament.
The victory moves the Cavaliers (12-8) into the semifinal round, and they will travel to face second-seeded Halifax County (17-2) on Friday. The Blue Comets defeated Pulaski County 6-0.
Nauful and Simmons (2 for 3) connected with two outs for their RBI doubles against McNerney, and that was enough for Gillian Farris to complete her one-hit shutout.
Farris retired the final 11 batters she faced, walked one and struck out six.
McNerney was brilliant in the two regular-season meetings against the Cavaliers. She threw a no-hitter in a 9-0 win April 1, and then fashioned a one-hitter in a 4-0 triumph April 29.
She limited the Cavaliers to one hit through the first six innings Wednesday, but Compton’s double with one out sparked the seventh-inning rally.
McNerney walked one and struck out three.
Tyah Charlton, named the Seminole District player of the year Tuesday, had the Lancers’ lone hit with a leadoff single in the second inning.
The Lancers end their season with a 15-5 record.
Brookville 11, Broadway 1
Ashley Ferguson and Liz Pennington each homered in a seven-run second inning, Destiny Calloway scattered three hits and struck out 10, and the Bees easily defeated the Gobblers in five innings in the Region 3C first round.
Ferguson’s solo homer sparked the seven-run frame. Pennington went 3 for 4 with three runs scored, and her two-run blast in the second put the Bees (14-6) ahead 7-0.
Calloway also had a big day at the plate. She went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBIs.
Jada Fyffe and Reagan Hunley drove in two runs apiece for the Bees.
Taylor Suters had a double and a run scored for the Gobblers (6-15).
Wilson Memorial 7, Liberty 5 (9 innings)
In Bedford, Wilson Memorial (9-12) beat Liberty (6-13) in extra innings to end the Lady Minutemen’s season in the first round of the Region 3C tournament.
Ambrye Taylor threw a one-hitter and did not allow an earned run in a complete-game outing to help Nelson past Glenvar in the first round of the Region 2C tournament.
Nelson scored twice in the first and went up 7-0 before Glenvar finally got on the board in the sixth.
Gabriella Powell had the lone hit for Glenvar (7-12), which was seeded fifth in that half of the bracket.
Fourth-seeded Nelson (11-8) got a pair of hits and two runs scored from Laney Thacker, Chandler Giles had two RBIs, and Taylor complemented her good day in the circle by going 1 for 3 with a triple and RBI at the plate.
The Governors face a quick turnaround and a tall task for Thursday’s quarterfinals. They will travel to Appomattox to take on the undefeated and top-seeded Raid
ers, the reigning Class 2 state champs, at 6 p.m.
Gretna and Floyd County had the same number of hits, and the Hawks took an early lead, but mistakes led to their downfall in the first round of the Region 2C tournament at Christiansburg High.
The Hawks (3-18) committed four errors and, after going up 3-0, gave up six unanswered runs.
Mallory Dalton threw five innings and gave up six runs (only one earned) on five hits, walked three and fanned six. She also went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Liberty Christian 6, Waynesboro 0
Second-seeded Liberty Christian topped seventh-seeded Waynesboro in shutout fashion in the Region 3C quarterfinals, setting up a semifinal matchup with No. 3 seed Charlottesville in the semifinals.
Liberty Christian 7, Turner Ashby 2
Third-seeded Liberty Christian swept doubles play and took four of six singles matches in a win over sixth-seeded Turner Ashby in the Region 3C quarterfinals.
Catherine Mowry and Carla Fernandez-Fournier teamed up for a win on the No. 1 doubles court, adding another win to their streak after recently capturing the region doubles title, and both won their singles matches in straight sets. Lilly Anderson also earned a straight-sets victory in singles play.
The Bulldogs will travel to Fort Defiance for the semifinals at 4 p.m. Thursday.
In Penn Laird, eighth-seeded Liberty was shut out by top-seeded Spotswood in the Region 3C quarterfinals.
In Bedford, eighth-seeded Liberty (8-10) saw its season come to an end in the first round of the Region 3C tournament as it fell to ninth-seeded Fluvanna.
James River (Buchanan) 5, Nelson 1
In Buchanan, Nelson (6-8-1) fell to James River in the first round of Region 2C tournament.
In Charlottesville, 10th-seeded Rustburg (6-9-1) was defeated by seventh-seeded Monticello in the first round of the Region 3C tournament.
In Palymyra, eighth-seeded Fluvanna cruised past ninth-seeded Liberty (6-10-2) in the first round of the Region 3C tourney.
Appomattox 5, James River (Buchanan) 2
In Appomattox, the Raiders earned an easy win in the first round of the Region 2C tournament, beating James River (Buchanan) at Bragg Stadium. ACHS now will play Alleghany in the quarterfinals (time and location are to be announced).