The James Monroe Mavericks and Mount View Golden Knights have been going in different directions this week.
James Monroe ran its winning streak for the week to five on Friday, thumping Mount View 18-3 and 13-2 in a pair of games that each went 4 1/2 innings. The Mavs (6-11) racked up 21 hits on the day.
“We’ve hit the ball well all week,” said James Monroe head coach Nick Newberry. “We’ve probably averaged 15 runs this week.”
“I knew if we got everything together, and started playing like we can, we had a chance to win.”
The Golden Knights, now 1-9, are looking for answers.
Mount View senior catcher C.J. Lester said, “It’s real hard, right now. We’re real young. We just need a lot of practice, and it’s hard to do it, with the weather right now.”
Reed McNeer, Connor Boothe and Caleb Brown each drove in five runs for the Mavericks.
Brown was 3 for 3 with five walks, a double and two triples. Boothe ended 2 for 4 with four walks. McNeer was 3 for 7 with a double, triple and four stolen bases.
McNeer pitched the first game, sitting down the first nine batters he faced in order, and striking out six of the first seven. In his five innings on the mound, he struck out 11 Knights, allowed just two singles, and walked three.
“He threw the ball extremely well,” Newberry said. “He’s been throwing the ball good all year; we just haven’t helped him out a whole lot.”
McNeer said, “It felt really great. Our catcher was making the right spots, calling the right pitches, and I was hitting the spots.”
James Monroe needed just two pitches to take a 1-0 lead, and it came quickly off a McNeer triple and Boothe’s RBI groundout. The Mavericks batted through their order in both the third and fourth frames, scoring 14 runs.
McNeer needed 10 pitches to wrap up the fifth inning and earn the win via the 10-run rule.
Mount View got the jump on the home squad at the start of game two. Channing Vineyard drew a walk and scored on an RBI groundout by Marquis Bonds. Chris Muncy doubled up the left-field line. He then scored on a throwing error.
Being down on the scoreboard was nothing new to James Monroe this year. But they didn’t stay down for long.
Boothe and pitcher Cory Lilly drove in runs to tie the game 2-2 in the first. Jared Boone put the Mavericks ahead in the second, scoring on an error after leading off with a triple.
Newberry said, “Until this week, we’d been down 3 or 4 to nothing in the first inning, every game. ... We actually are starting to answer that a little bit, bouncing back and fighting back a little bit instead of folding. The kids are starting to get it.”
James Monroe finished it off with a nine-run fourth inning and their defense produced a scoreless fifth.
Muncy was 2 for 4 in the two games combined, and one hit was a double. He stole two bases and scored a run in each game.
“We’ve had a long week,” said Mount View head coach Sylvester Barner. “My relieving pitchers have been putting in a couple of more innings than what I’ve been wanting them to. I think ... they’re wearing down a little bit.”
“I’ve got a couple of guys hurt. We’re a little bit young. The killer instinct isn’t there yet, to finish off innings.”
Both schools are on spring break next week and will play their next games on Thursday. The Mavericks host Summers County and Mount View will play a doubleheader at Wyoming East.
Barner said, “It’s been four games in the last seven days. ... We’ve been very busy. We need that off week, next week.”
Lester summed up, “Just got to move forward and work harder.”
— Contact Tom Bone at
At James Monroe High School
Mount View.........000 30 — 3 2 3
James Monroe....135 9x — 18 14 2
Channing Vineyard, Steven Brown (3) and Marlin Mrrs. Reed McNeer and Landon Shires. WP - McNeer. LP - Vineyard.
Mount View.........200 00 — 2 6 1
James Monroe....220 9x — 13 7 2
Terrell Bell, Chris Muncy (1), Dion Diggs (4) and C.J. Lester. Cory Lilly and Caleb Hatfield. WP - Lilly. LP - Muncy.