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Baseball gears up for 18-inning day at Hooker Field

March 8, 2016

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Eight doubleheaders so far this season should have the Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) baseball team well prepared for Wednesday’s (Mar. 10) extra mile at Hooker Field.

The Patriots host Region X, Division I Guilford Tech at 1 p.m. and NJCAA, Division III Rockingham Community College at approximately 4 p.m. in a pair of 9-inning games. Unlike the previous doubleheaders against one team over two 7-inning games, they’ll have have to play an extra four innings or more in hopes of winning four straight games for the first time this season.

PHCC first-year coach Frank Jagoda said he looks forward to seeing his team build upon its four-game series win over the weekend against Division I Potomac State. It was the first series win this season for the Patriots after taking three of four.

Guilford Tech enters with an identical 8-9 record as Patrick Henry. Both teams are mirror images of one another offensively as each have scored 93 runs and have hit 11 home runs. The Patriots have a slightly better team batting average, raising it back above .300 to .306 after Sunday’s (Mar. 6) 20-hit performance.

Rockingham comes in hot, having a six-game win streak snapped in a 3-2 loss to New River on Sunday which kept it from earning a four-game sweep.

“We have a good opportunity to play some quality opponents during the mid week. Both teams come in playing good baseball so far this year, and we look forward to getting out and playing two ball games,” Jagoda said. “Any time you get to compete against teams within an hour from home you get a little different buzz.”

Franklin County High School graduate and freshman Jared Bridges will get his first start of the season in the opener. Bridges has only 3 1/3 innings of work this season and will have a chance to extend himself in Game 1. Jagoda said he also looks to get some significant innings from freshman Rhett Miller (Spartanburg, S.C.), sophomore Frederic Gerdtommarkotten (Verl, Germany) and freshman Cody Powers (Mechanicsville, Va.). Jogada added that he wants to see his secondary arms go out and command the strike zone while also limiting free bases.

Freshman Brandon Nania (Murrysville, Pa.) had a big weekend against Potomac State and has become a key cog in the meat of the Patriots batting order. He is the lone PHCC hitter to have an average over .400, upping his number to .404 over the weekend. He leads the team with eight doubles and a .638 slugging percentage. Sophomore Rashad Stewart (Dinwiddie, Va.) is picking up steam, as well, after notching a hit in each game last series and his 20 hits and six stolen bases leads the team.

Guilford Tech sophomore outfielder Matt Orth is the big bat PHCC has to contain in the opener. Orth has six home runs and seven doubles while driving in 24 runs over 17 games. Of his 20 hits, 14 have gone for extra bases, posting a gaudy .797 slugging percentage.

Rockingham freshman outfielder Marque Jackson is another power bat the Patriots must contend with. He has .709 slugging percentage along with five doubles, five triples and a pair of home runs among his 18 hits. His lone downfall are his team-high 16 strikeouts.

PHCC has a quick turnaround as it caps the week with a four-game, doubleheader series against Division III Jamestown Community College on Friday and Saturday. The series also concludes a 10-game homestand for the Patriots.

Filed under: Baseball

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