"Writing goals is only the first step, dediciating the commitment to make them reality is most important."
Tuesday May 1, 2012 V vs. Cumberland 5:00
Thursday May 3, 2012 V vs. Amelia 5:00
Baron Beat Down
Early Deficit Erased as Barons Slaughter Cougars
Tuesday, April 24th saw the Nottoway Cougars arrive in Skipwith looking to avenge an early-season 7-2 home loss and even the season series with the Bluestone Barons and early on it looked like they might do just that.
The Barons continued an unfortunate trend of falling behind early as Freshman Darius Baskerville was touched for five runs in the first. Over Spring Break, the Barons also spotted Park View seven runs in the first before roaring back for the 11-10 win. Baskerville may have gotten off to a shaky start but his offense certainly picked him up scoring four runs in their half of the first. The offensive outburst was highlighted by team leader Dequan Smith’s bases clearing triple that scored centerfielder Josh Balducci and short stop Tre Watson with no outs. First Baseman Jeremy Balducci followed Smith’s triple with a triple of his own making the score 5-3 in favor of Nottoway. Second Baseman Tyler Griles pulled the Barons within one with an RBI double scoring Balducci from third.
Baskerville settled down beginning with a scoreless second inning. On the game, Baskerville faced twenty-three batters, striking out four and allowing three walks; not bad for a Freshman pitching at the Varsity level. The Barons wasted no time in their effort to gain the lead in the second, as Josh Balducci reached after getting hit by a pitch and promptly scored when Tre Watson hit a triple to left-field, the Barons third triple of the game. The Barons scattered nine more runs over the next three innings with RBI’s from Dequan Smith, Josh and Jeremy Balducci, Baskerville, and Sophomore Deion Mosley.
If the Cougars had any dreams of mounting a comeback, Senior Reliever Chad Overby quickly dashed them. Building off of his dominating relief appearance in a non-district game against Garden City in which he struck out seven of the twenty-one batters he faced (an eye-opening ratio of 1:3 in strikeouts to batters), Overby pitched a spotless fifth inning, striking out one and getting the other two outs on pop flies.
The District win put the Barons in favorable position as they near the home-stretch of the 2012 season.
- Justin D. Kirkland
Spring Break Dragon Slaying
While most students were filling their Spring Break with naps, playing video games, and wasting time on Facebook, the Bluestone Barons were caught in a fierce battle with long-time cross-county rival Park View. The Varsity Barons hosted the Park View Dragons on Thursday, April 12th in a six o’clock game that started off rocky to say the least.
Starting pitcher Ja’von (Noose) Smith gave up seven runs in the top of the first and it didn’t look good for the apparently vacation minded Barons. In the bottom of the first, the Barons showed that while they were on Spring Break, their bats certainly were not. After taking a beating in the top half of the inning, the Barons used the bottom half to exact revenge scoring six runs, highlighted by Ja’Von Smith’s bases clearing triple that narrowly missed being an inside-the-park-homerun; Smith was called out at home after a collision at the plate.
Smith was replaced by J.V. standout Darius Baskerville on the mound to begin the second inning and Baskerville showed grit and determination well beyond his years. Baskerville kept the Barons within reach as the game winded down.
With the Barons and Dragons tied at eleven in the top of the seventh inning and the Dragons threatening with runners on, the Barons turned to Jeremy Balducci. Balducci, who shined on J.V. last season, suffered a shoulder injury over the summer that, until Thursday, had limited him to only one inning in relief. He provided just that for the Barons.
Balducci slammed the door on the Dragons, leaving two runners stranded as the game headed to the bottom of the seventh. Balducci, however, wasn’t done yet. He had further heroics in mind as he stepped to the plate with his twin brother, Josh, in scoring position at second and one out in the bottom half of the seventh. Balducci saw the pitch he liked and got the result the Barons loved as he crushed a walk-off double to straight-away center scoring Josh Balducci.
As the Barons celebrated the sweet 12-11 victory over their hated rival, the smile on the Barons face made it abundantly clear that while napping is fun over Spring Break, winning is more fun.
-Justin Kirkland, 4/20/12
Varsity Barons Kick-Off Season With Slugfest Win!
There is an old saying: “Defense wins championships.” While that may be true, the Barons showed that defense is not vital to winning individual games. On Wednesday, March 14th the Barons opened the 2012 season with an 11-9 home win against the Brunswick Bulldogs.
Things got off to an ominous start for the Barons when Baron catcher Ian Jones dropped a pop fly in foul territory off the bat of the Bulldogs’ leadoff hitter. Starting pitcher Gage Elliot eventually walked the batter, however the Barons’ defense buckled down and got out of the first inning unscathed. The Barons’ offense got off to an equally rough start quickly going three-up-three-down in the bottom half of the first.
Fittingly, the Bulldogs got on the board first when Elliot walked in a run with two outs in the top of the second inning. The Barons answered in the third with a two-out rally capped by first-baseman Chad Overby’s bases-clearing double. Overby spent little time on the base paths as a wild pitch followed by an errant throw to third allowed him to promptly score giving the Barons a temporary 4-1 lead. While the Barons never trailed again, the defense struggled mightily.
Totaling four errors, the Barons gave up seven unearned runs. Many of the mistakes can be chalked up to opening day jitters and general rust. What the Barons did prove is that they can win a close, sloppy game. The Barons defense and pitching looked much improved in a rain-shortened game at Greensville the following day, allowing only one run in four innings.
It may not have been pretty but the Barons sit at 1-0 on the season as they travel to Nottoway on Thursday, March 22nd to open up James River District play. There is also another old saying: “A win is a win.”
-Justin D. Kirkland, 3/20/2012
Baron Baseball Officially Begins
On Wednesday, March 7th, the Bluestone Barons took the diamond for the first competitive outing of the spring. While the official season does not begin until March 14th, the Barons played host to both the Greensville Eagles and the Generals of William Campbell in a spring exhibition.
The Barons played the Eagles first, with the Eagles and Generals squaring off afterwards, and the Barons finished the night by taking on the Generals. This friendly competition was conducted with the primary focus being on scouting talent, making adjustments, and getting a good idea of the team’s strengths and weaknesses.
After playing two scrimmages, it’s easy to see that defense and pitching are certainly strengths for the 2012 Barons. In the two games the Barons played Wednesday, they allowed a combined three runs, allowing only scattered hits. Pitchers Gage Elliot, De’Quan Smith, Ja’Von Smith, and Chad Overby looked healthy and strong as they frequently overpowered hitters; especially De’Quan Smith whose velocity impressed the sizable crowd on hand.
Offensively the Barons looked a tad rusty, which is to be expected in the first competitive outing of the season. The Barons, at times, looked sluggish against live pitching and had trouble catching up to William Campbell’s fast-ball. The offense was highlighted by Senior Chad Overby who went 3-4 in the two games with two singles and an RBI double against the Eagles.
All told, the Barons looked promising. Coaches Medley and Powell said that they liked what they saw. When asked about the lack of offensive production, the Barons were held scoreless against William Campbell, Assistant Coach Brian Medley said, “I’m not worried. These boys will be ready come opening day.”
-Justin D. Kirkland, 3/8/2012
2009 Southside District Co-Champions
2009 Louisburg Easter Tournament Champions
2006 Louisburg Easter Tournament Champions
2012 Varsity Barons
Front: Dequan Smith, Gage Elliott, Tyler Griles, Kevin Murphy, Ian Gregory, Drew Edwards
Back: Coach Brian Medley, Tre Watson, Chad Overby, Jeremy Balducci, Josh Balducci, Marcus Tucker, Deion Mosley, Ian Jones, Head Coach Dan Powell
Not Pictured: Javon Smith
2012 JV Barons
Front: Travis Finch, Savon Mason, Antwaun Tucker, Keith Patrick, Josh Rowson, Jay Dunn, Matthew Wilkinson
Back: Coach Zach Carter, Corey Duffer, CJ Richardson, Kashawn Hilliard, Darius Baskerville, Damian Winbush, Watt Pittard, Josh Briggs, Coach Tyler Reese