With his team trailing Salem 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday, Jefferson Forest’s Evan Mace delivered a two-run double off Eli Bowery that gave the Cavaliers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, and JF staved off elimination 6-5 in the Region 4D quarterfinals at Forest Middle School.
The win sets up a semifinal meeting between JF and top-seeded Amherst, which will be played at Amherst at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Lancers (10-2) won both regular-season meetings between the two schools, including Monday’s regular-season finale, 6-5.
Fourth-seeded JF (9-4) fell in a 2-0 hole when the No. 5 Spartans scored twice in the first inning. The Cavs made it 2-1 in the second, scoring on a Salem error. Adam Woodall’s grounder in the bottom of the fourth went for a fielder’s choice that scored Alex Whitaker, and Woodall scored on a passed ball that same inning for a 3-2 JF lead.
Bowery tied the game at 3 with a double in the fifth, and his teammate, Hunter Bayne, delivered a single to right for a 4-3 lead. That’s how things stood when Mace delivered his second double of the day with one out in the sixth.
Connor Maggi took the no-decision for JF, throwing five innings and allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks. He fanned 10. Domenic Rowlands earned the win. He did not allow a hit in two innings of relief and struck out four.
Peyton Smith went 3 for 3 and walked to start JF’s sixth-inning comeback. Woodall was then hit by a pitch. Both runners scored on Mace’s double. Will Kese joined Mace with two hits on the day.
Northside 11, Staunton River 4
In Roanoke, Corey Sigmon struck out eight over six innings, Luke Roberts drove in three runs, and Northside defeated Staunton River in the Region 3D first round.
The Golden Eagles’ season ends with a 6-7 record.
Staunton River cut the deficit to 5-3 thanks to a two-run fifth inning, but Northside responded by scoring six runs in the bottom half of the frame to seize control.
Aidan Brown went 2 for 3 with two doubles and three runs scored.
Grey Clary went 2 for 3 with three RBIs but also suffered the loss on the mound. He allowed seven runs (two earned) on three hits, walked three and struck out three.
Tunstall 5, Staunton River 4
In Dry Fork, Noah Mills converted on Tunstall’s fourth penalty kick goal, Juan Villafuentes recorded four saves in the penalty kick period, and the Trojans edged Staunton River in a Region 3D first-round matchup.
The Trojans converted on four penalty kicks compared to the Golden Eagles’ one.
Staunton River raced out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Frank Ortiz and Brysone New, but the Trojans fought back to tie the match at 2-2 on goals from Maddox Bowman and Noah Mills.
New put the Golden Eagles ahead 3-2 on his free kick from 35 yards out, but the Trojans responded on Mills’ second goal that forced overtime.
Both teams scored in the first two overtime periods, and neither team scored in the third and fourth extra periods to force penalty kicks.