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Joe Williams pitches Battlefield baseball past Freedom-South Riding

With the Battlefield players’ mustache experiment earlier in the season a bit of a non-starter — the Bobcats had more scruff than fluff — junior left-hander Joe Williams has decided to see how long he can grow a curl out of the back of his cap.

“He’s looking like the guy from ‘Grease,’ ” junior catcher Nick Feight said.

Hey, if Williams, an effective pitcher up from last year’s junior varsity, keeps pitching like he did Friday night in a 5-3 win at Freedom-South Riding, the Bobcats will let him wear his hair however he wants with minimal razzing.

Williams went the distance, striking out five and walking none while relying on his trusty curveball. He also threw out a runner at home on a bunt attempt for the first out of the fourth inning after the first two Eagles had reached base.

Feight hollered “Four!” and Williams fielded the ball and fired home.

“Play of the game right there,” Williams said. “They had all the momentum going up there and we just stole it from them on that play.”

Battlefield’s win completed a regular season sweep in the series and enabled the Bobcats (14-2, 6-1) to pad its lead over Patriot (11-3, 4-2) and Freedom (11-3, 4-3) in the Virginia AAA Cedar Run District.

Burned by the bunt in past games against Freedom, Battlefield emphasized bunt defense in practice this week. The Bobcats were plenty opportunistic on the bases themselves, taking advantage of four walks, four errors, a wild pitch, two sacrifice bunts, a sacrifice fly and another flyout that moved a runner from second to third.

Three of the Freedom errors came in the sixth, when Battlefield scored three runs to stretch the lead to 5-1. Freedom senior ace Zach Newell left the mound that inning after the first two batters, junior Cameron Skaff and senior Daniel Tavenner, banged out hits, the latter an RBI triple.

“Offensively when you get up, it kind of minimizes the things that they can do,” Battlefield Coach Jay Burkhart said.

Feight drove in the Bobcats’ first two runs, with a sac fly in the first and a two-out single in the fifth.

Williams, whose brother John pitches at George Mason University, is 5-0 this season.

“He’s been a great surprise for us, somebody that can be our number two, number three , come in in relief,” Burkhart said. “We flip him the ball and feel great calling pitches where he’s 3-1 and we’re able to throw a curveball for a strike. We’ve just got a lot of confidence in him right now. It’s showing right now on the mound, too.”

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