DALEVILLE — Lord Botetourt’s 2019 baseball team swatted 25 home runs.
Once again, the Cavaliers could not swat the Brookville Bees.
Botetourt played in its first state baseball tournament game in school history Tuesday night, but the Cavaliers found a familiar postseason obstacle as Brookville scored a 6-2 road victory in a Class 3 quarterfinal.
The loss ended the Cavaliers’ season at 15-9, while Brookville (19-8) advanced to its second state semifinal in the last three years Friday in Salem against Tabb. First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Kiwanis Field.
Tabb defeated Warren County 7-5.
Brookville knocked Botetourt out of Region III tournaments in 2010 and 2011, and Tuesday the Bees rode a strong pitching performance by left-handed starter Brennan Abbott and 1 ⅓ innings of perfect relief by freshman Jed Howard to get the job done.
“Jed, a ninth-grader, he had to come in on a big, big stage like this … that’s as big as it gets for Brookville baseball,” Bees coach Chris Glaize said.
Abbott allowed four hits, struck out nine and walked just one on 99 pitches in 5 ⅔ innings to run his record to 9-0.
Brookville carried a 4-2 lead into the seventh before designated hitter Kevin Breimann’s pop fly in left field barely eluded Botetourt freshman shortstop Connor Fuhrman for a two-out, two-run single.
“We’d come back against people all year,” Botetourt coach Todd Smith said. “I thought with two runs [down], we’re OK. That did us in.”
Howard was happy with the four-run lead with three outs to go.
“That completely relieved me,” the lanky left-hander said. “I was very nervous but those runs gave me confidence.”
Brookville scored single runs in the first and fourth innings, and Botetourt with one of its own in the bottom of each inning on an RBI single by Meade Mayo and a solo home run by Carson Peggins.
The Bees went ahead for good at 3-2 in the fifth as leadoff hitter Zach Thompson singled, stole second base and scored on a single by catcher Jared Glinski.
“We wanted to score and not let them answer,” Glaize said. “They answered the first two. We wanted a run, and then get back out there and put a zero up.”
Thompson caused Botetourt trouble all night.
He singled and scored in the first inning on Abbott’s single, and the senior shortstop added a solo home run off reliever Jared Arnholt in the sixth.
Botetourt starter Brae Farrell allowed just five hits in five innings and worked out of two bases-loaded jams, but Thompson was a thorn in his side.
“[Thompson] is playing on my travel team this summer,” Farrell said. “I know how fast he can be so I just kind of worried about what he was doing on base rather than getting the batter.”
Farrell, a junior right-hander who gave up a solo home run to Glinski in the fourth, knows the ups and downs of playing in Botetourt’s small ballpark, where the Cavaliers defeated Christiansburg and Abingdon last week to win the Region 3D title.
“It’s tough knowing that a pop fly could carry out of here, but you’ve got to focus on keeping it down,” Farrell said. “The one I did give up tonight was a high pitch and it just carried on out of here.”
Glinski and Abbott each had two hits, while Howard had a single in the two-run seventh.
Glaize credited his team for not salivating over the cozy dimensions of the field.
“Our approach just stayed the same,” the Brookville coach said. "We took great at-bats from the first inning on. We put the ball in play and got the big hits when we needed them.”