Kings Dominion doesn’t have a rollercoaster that comes close to the week that was known as Patrick Henry Patriots baseball.
It began Thursday as the Patriots welcomed Douglas Freeman to Ashland. The Rebels had only one loss coming into the game, against the Patriots on April 16. A first-place tie with Freeman in the Colonial District was at stake, but the Rebels had other ideas.
The pitching combo of Daniel Lynch and Miller Trevvett handcuffed the Patriots’ offense, allowing just one hit as Freeman avenged their lone loss with a 5-0 victory.
“They’re number one in the district and the region for a reason,” said Patrick Henry head coach Sam Hart. “I think we kind of snuck up on them the first time, so they probably circled their calendar.”
Patrick Henry hurt themselves with key defensive errors, especially in the outfield. The Patriots sorely miss both Andrew Strong and Nathan Steele, at the plate, but on this occasion, in the field. A clean catch in the first inning in left field would have saved two Freeman runs and prevented Patrick Henry from playing from behind the entire game.
An immediate concern after the loss was bouncing back 24 hours later to play J.R. Tucker. The Patriots finished poorly down the stretch a year ago, and at 10-3 in the Colonial after Thursday, there was much to play for.
“It’s Senior Night, and two of them are in foot casts, so we’ve got to come ready to play,” shortstop Chesdin Harrington said.
And they did.
Kyle Palmer pitched a shutout and hit a three-run walk-off homer to send the Ashland faithful home early as Patrick Henry routed Tucker 11-0 in five innings Friday. Brandon Lloyd also homered and had four RBI. As low as the Patriots felt after the weak performance a day earlier, they were equally as high sending off six seniors in such dominant fashion.
But the high ride would be painfully short, as Patrick Henry welcomed Hanover to Ashland Monday night and suffered a disheartening 13-0, five-inning loss to the Capital District leaders. The Hawks scored four in the first, then Anthony Zona and Hayden Moore combined for a one-hitter. Harrington, who had the only hit in the Freeman loss, had the lone hit Monday.
Patrick Henry, 11-3 in the Colonial and 12-6 overall, finish the season Thursday at Deep Run and will be the number three seed in next week’s Colonial District tournament to be held at Tucker.