Cox outlasts Maury to advance to Class 5 Region A semifinals

·2 min read

Cox and Maury have been two of the best baseball teams in Hampton Roads all season.

So when the Falcons and Commodores realized that they would meet in the quarterfinals of the Class 5 Region A tournament Thursday at War Memorial Stadium, they knew only one team would see their season go on.

As expected, the two teams battled back and forth before the Falcons held off the Commodores 5-4. Cox (11-1) will meet Hickory, which beat Gloucester 3-1, in Tuesday’s semifinals.

“When you get to this point in the season, you’re going to have to go through the ringer,” said Cox coach Matt Ittner. “So whether it’s the first game, second game or third game, everybody is here for a reason. They’re all good and they’re all confident, and you got to come to play.”

The Falcons scored one in the first inning when catcher Ethan Anderson scored from third on a throwing error to first.

They added two more runs in the third inning. Sam Slevin stole home for the first run and Gavin Spencer hit a bloop single to right to bring home another one.

The Commodores, who were the top-ranked team in Hampton Roads for most of the season, battled back in the fifth inning.

Shortstop Tre Keels beat out an infield hit and later scored on right fielder Kennedy Jones’ infield single. First baseman Matthew Phillips tied the game with a two-run homer to right.

The Falcons regained the lead in their half of the inning when first baseman John Bastiaans smashed a two-run double to right center for a 5-3 lead.

“I knew he was struggling to find the zone,” Bastiaans said about the Maury reliever. “I knew the fastball was coming and I was ready for it. It was a big hit, an insurance run and it sealed the deal for us.”

Maury made it close in the sixth inning on Keels’ RBI single to center, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Commodores’ season came to an end. Keels finished the day with three hits.

The Falcons, who have nine seniors, are glad to be moving on. Last year, they saw their season get canceled due to COVID-19.

Now they want to make the most of this opportunity.

“After losing last year where I thought we had a shot to compete for a state championship, I’m ecstatic to be back on the field with a group of guys that I love playing with,” said Anderson, who actually reclassified so he could graduate this year and head to Virginia a year earlier. “I can’t wait to see where this season will take us.”

Class 5 Region A quarterfinals

Cox 5, Maury 4

Maury 000 031 0 — 4 5 2

Cox 102 020 x — 5 5 2

Larry Rubama, 757-575-6449, larry.rubama@pilotonline.com

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