Fluvanna County’s Maxx Turner was looking forward to the matchup with Monticello’s Sean Byrnes. The respective aces for both teams delivered a classic, both going seven innings and surrendering just one run. The duel was so good that extra innings were required. And when the Flucos got into the Mustangs bullpen, they capitalized on the oppurtinity by tacking on the go ahead without getting a hit only to have Turner deliver an RBI triple to lead the way to 3-1 victory in eight innings.
“With Byrnes and Turner throwing, you knew when you walked out on the field what you were going to get,” said Fluvanna coach Mike Sheridan. “The umpire the plate is going to have to go home and ice his arm because he had to call so many strikes. What happened tonight was we were able to take advantage of the little things. When there was a mistake, we took advantage of it and that was the difference.”
In a game that had great pace with both Turner and Byrnes mowing down batters, the first four innings blew by with neither the Flucos nor the Mustangs being able to plate a runner.
In the fifth, Fluvanna manufactured its first run when Robbie Via reached on an error and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Alec Turley.
Monticello answered in the bottom of the fifth with John Page reaching base after getting hit by a punch only to have Nate Fox deliver an RBI triple to tie things up back at 1-1.
Things stayed that way for the next two innings. Both Fluvanna and Monticello put runners on base in the seventh, but couldn’t drive them home.
“It was a great pitchers duel, both of us side arm pitchers with a slider, it was good stuff, good competition,” Turner said. “This is my last year so I’m just trying to go out and there every time (with the mentality) to go out with a bang.”
The Mustangs went to the bullpen in the top of the eighth and Fluvanna was able to manufacture its go ahead run and pick up a big piece of insurance shortly after. The Flucos took the lead when Bright was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. After stealing second and advancing to third on a wild pitch, Dylan Garrett came through with an RBI sacrifice fly. Then after Joe Osteen reached on an error, Turner cranked an RBI triple to make it 3-1.
“Dylan’s big play just got me fired up,” Turner said. “I guess I was just ready to pounce after that. If we play with the intensity we had tonight, I think we’ll be good the rest of the way through.”
Turner took the mound in the eighth and got out of a significant jam unharmed. The Mustangs got Justin Flavorakis on with a lead off walk and then saw Robbie Dean reach on a single. But with two outs Turner came up with a check-swing strikeout in the dirt and ended the threat and the game.
“That was just a heck of a ball game with both Sean and Maxx going back and forth,” said Monticello coach Corey Hunt. “It was a game where just one clutch hit or one clutch play on defense was going to make the difference and it did tonight. Fluvanna played a great game and they deserved the win. We had our opportunities but just couldn’t get that one clutch play.”
On the night Turner struck out 11 batters to earn the complete game victory. He also went 3 for 4 at the plate. Ryan McLaughlin was 2 for 3.
For the Mustangs, Byrnes walked away with a no-decision but struck out nine batters. Deane finished 3 for 4 while Fox went 2 for 4.
The Flucos host Louisa County on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
The Mustangs host Powhatan on Monday at 6 p.m.