FAIRFAX (WAVY) – The Nansemond River High School seniors knew what was at stake, and they all welcomed the challenge. “Coming into this game, we knew we wanted to make history; not only for our school, but for the City of Suffolk,” said senior center fielder Dion Jordan.
And they did.
With a 5-3 win over Mountain View at the Robinson Secondary School, the Warriors won the 5A baseball state championship, and brought the first ever baseball title back to Suffolk.
“I don’t know what to say. It’s indescribable,” said Chris Henderson right after his team celebrated with a dogpile. The senior designated hitter scored in the first inning, and in the sixth provided maybe the biggest hit of his career with an RBI double that broke a 3-3 tie.
Nick Lees sprinted home to give the Warriors a 4-3 lead, and Henderson capped the scoring with a dash home after a bad throw to third from the catcher, who was trying to catch Henderson stealing.
Gage Williams pitched five and a third innings for the Warriors, while Matt Holt provided the final five outs. Head coach Mark Stuffel said his team felt so good after the win, they could probably play one more game, even having survived a brutally hot and humid afternoon.
“This is what we work for. It’s awesome,” said Stuffel. “It’s the first time we’ve ever been able to end the season with a win, and it feels great.”
Maybe the neatest part of the celebration came after the parents and friends were done with the first round of pictures. Some of the parents, gathered in left field shouted, “Put on your caps!” The seniors weren’t able to attend graduation, since they were playing in the title game.
So the 11 seniors took pictures with their caps on, slide their tassels to the left, and then threw their caps in celebration, as they would had they attended the graduation ceremony. But they would have gladly missed it again.
“Being the first (to win a baseball title in Suffolk), it’s something we can tell our kids,” said Jordan.