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CB Drifters pound JM Yellow Jackets & Raiders

They came to play! Reminiscent of the Drifters of legend, the current team opened the regular season with a blast. After two victories over Battlefield rival James Monroe, and the Raiders of Rappahannock High School, the Drifters (2-0) are setting a course for a season filled with excitement.

With two solid mound outings by Gavin Lutz, and Nick Graves, the “Black & Gold” could arguably be the Cinderella team floating under radar in the Northern Neck.

Earlier in the preseason, thanks to strong pitching from Graves, Lutz, Kamron Smith, and Josh Thomas, the Drifters defeated Chancellor, giving them confidence going into the regular season.

CB 10 – JM 0
Opening day at Monroe Park presented favorable weather conditions for the visiting James Monroe Yellow Jackets, and the host Colonial Beach Drifters. The boys of summer, aka “Black & Gold” gave the fans their money’s worth, as they pummeled the Yellow Jackets for 10 runs in five innings.

Lutz went the distance, limiting James Monroe to one hit, while striking out seven, and walking one batter. “Gavin was masterful today with his command, and his ability to pound the strike zone consistently all day,” Swope said. “Our defense was superb, and the top of our line-up went 12 for 14, with eight runs batted in, and eight runs scored—not bad!.”

The Drifters produced five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Later in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Drifters added four more runs. However, in the bottom of the fifth, Graves plated a triple that scored Gonzalez to win the game, 10-0.

Stat wise, the Drifters had a banner day: Graves went 4-4, featuring a triple, double, two singles, four RBI’s; Smith drove in two runs, on three singles, and accounted for three runs scored; Dez’John Parker sliced a RBI single, and scored. “These three kids are going to have a lot to say about Drifter baseball folklore history before their careers run out,” Swope said.

Other Drifters that contributed at the plate included: lead off hitter Dion Gonzalez, two singles, one RBI, two stolen bases, three scored runs; left fielder and cleanup hitter Jason Vickory, two singles, one RBI, one stolen base, one run scored; Sidney Horton, hit-by-pitch, stole a base, one run scored.

CB 14 – Raiders 4
The Drifters offense exploded in Washington, VA. They feasted off of Raider pitching for 14 runs, while pounding out 18 hits. Six players accounted for multi-hit games. Four “Black & Gold” pitchers posted nine strikeouts, while walking nine batters.

Nick Graves had another solid mound outing with three innings of work, struck out four, allowed two runs (one earned), and one hit, before picking up the win. At the plate, Graves drove in two runs, on two singles, and scored one run.

Drifter relief pitching included: Kameron Smith also pitched an inning of relief, allowing one run; Josh Thomas pitching an inning, allowing one earned run.

Graves teammates accounted for the following offensive stats: Smith, four hits, two triples, one double, four RBI’s, four scored runs; Thomas, three hits (double, two singles); Gonzalez, two triples, two RBI’s, two runs scored; Vickery, two singles, one RBI; Travis Irvine, RBI double, two runs scored; Lutz, two singles, two runs scored; Horton, sacrifice bunt, RBI groundout, one run scored; Devin Davis, one RBI single; Devante Harris, one RBI single.

Heading in the week, the Drifters host King & Queen (March 20th, scores not available due to press deadlines), and travel to James Monroe on Thursday, March 22nd. On Saturday, March 24, they will travel to Frederick, MD, to play the Maryland School for the Deaf.

Leonard Banks

Sports Editor

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