SHENANDOAH JUNCTION — Nothing positive could be found by Jefferson in the ashes left after its messy, 8-1, loss to Martinsburg.
Only the baseball-beautiful weather could be saluted as the Cougars failed to hit, had 11 strikeouts against a pitcher they had earlier beaten, had three pitchers given rude treatment by the Bulldogs, and chopped up fielding plays into errors and poor throws.
Martinsburg right-hander Chris Longdo sliced through the Cougar regulars and pinch hitters with equal disregard. He was going to be effective because he didn’t walk any, but his high number of strikeouts made it more comfortable for a Bulldog defense that only had to field three groundball outs. Martinsburg committed two infield errors anyway.
Without any walks or customary Martinsburg mistakes, Jefferson’s five hits didn’t cause much stir . . . and only a seventh-inning run when the Bulldogs already had eight runs.
Jefferson’s usually reliable left-hander, freshman Bradley Davis, couldn’t command either of his pitches and found himself behind, 2-0, when Tyler Mason set a fastball to the opposite field for a two-run double in the first.
Davis was removed after walking two of the first three Bulldogs he faced in the second. Jefferson reliever William Viands was greeted by two consecutive singles. And Martinsburg had a 4-0 lead.
Viands would face 14 batters and eight of them would reach base, two of them on infield errors.
Once Longdo got free from a problemed first where Paul Witt and Andrew Grove had hits, he faced only minimal trouble from the Cougar lineup. His strikeouts really piled up in the late innings. He fanned nine of the last 12 outs he achieved in the fourth through the seventh inning.
Jefferson pitchers combined to walk six, hit a batter and allow 10 hits and only Andy Disque and Casey Billmyer had any real effect on the Bulldogs. Disque got four outs and Billmyer pitched one inning.
The Cougars committed three errors and saw a run score on a passed ball.
Jefferson was 12-5 overall after splitting its last six games. Those six games had the Cougars struggling to find hits or runs . . . but the game against Martinsburg was the most frustrating because of the long list of problems in other areas.