Carney’s pitching paces Dover to 1-0 win over Milford

Andrew Carney, seen earlier this season, picked up the win for Dover on Thursday,

DOVER — When he saw his coach, Dave Gordon, heading for the mound, Andrew Carney admits he thought maybe he’d be leaving the game.

After all, Milford High had the bases loaded in the fifth inning of its scoreless baseball showdown with Dover on Thursday.

“I had a little doubt that he might take me out,” said Carney, the Senators’ left-hander. “But usually when he comes out, he comes out to give me a pep talk. He has faith in me.”

Sure enough, Gordon left Carney in and the senior rewarded him by getting the final out of the inning on a fly ball.

That ended up being a pivotal moment in the Henlopen Conference matchup. Dover scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the fifth before posting a 1-0 victory over the Buccaneers.

In stretching their winning streak to 13 games in a row, the Senators (11-1 in conference, 14-1 overall) set up an even bigger conference showdown. Dover goes to Sussex Tech (10-0 in conference) on Tuesday for a 4:15 p.m. matchup that may well decide the Henlopen title.

Milford fell to 10-2 in conference, 13-2 overall.

Gordon did only go out to talk to Carney to let him catch his breath. Carney ended up allowing just two hits and striking out five in five shutout innings to earn the win.

“I said, ‘I’m not here to take you out,’ ” said Gordon. “‘I’m here just to give you a breather. I believe in you. I know you can get this kid out.’ And he did the job.”

Of course, by now, Gordon has a lot of reason to believe that Carney and his teammates can get themselves out of most tight situations.

Thursday’s win was Dover’s second-straight 1-0 victory and fifth one-run win of the season. The Senators have also posted five shutouts and haven’t allowed a run in their last 18 innings.

“If we were in this situation two years ago with this young club, I don’t know,” Gordon said with a smile. “But I’m proud of them. … You can only control what’s in front of you and today it was Milford. They got it done.”

“We can definitely hit better,” said right fielder Nathan Turner. “But we trust our pitchers, we trust everybody to make plays. We have a lot of confidence in everybody on the team that we’ll be good in one-run, close games.”

With Milford’s Chad Reichold, who’s committed to Wake Forest, pitching a four-hitter, Dover found a way to manufacture a run in the bottom of the fifth.

The Senators got a break when catcher Chris Dabney hit a high infield pop-up. The ball came down right on the mound and a Milford infielder tripped and fell before he could make the catch.

Dylan Jacobs then put down a nice bunt single before a walk to Hiram Davis loaded the bases. Finally, Turner brought home the contest’s only run when his sacrifice fly to left scored pinch-runner Gabriel Skay.

The Senators had to chance to add to their lead when Alec Rodriguez followed with a single. But the Bucs’ centerfielder, Jaxon Turner, made a nice throw to catcher Mason Morris to cut down Jacobs at the plate.

Reliever Dom Velazquez only needed that one run, though. The right-hander came in and retired Milford in order over the next two innings, throwing just 18 pitchers to record the last six outs.

“We figured we’d see Velazquez at some point,” said Bucs coach Nick Brannan. “Carney did a very good job early. Baseball. … this is the way it’s supposed to be played. Good pitching and good defense is going to keep you in a lot of things.

“We’ve got to find a way to break through offensively. We’ve yet to do that against these two teams (Dover and Sussex Tech). We can play with anybody, we really can. We’re a young team — three freshmen in the infield — it’s going to happen.”

Of course, Gordon would like to see the Senators hit the ball better, too. Not counting an 11-1 victory over Woodbridge, Dover is averaging just three runs a game in its last six contests.

“Like I told them in the huddle, I still believe this is a great lineup,” said Gordon. “I really do. I see it in practice every day. We come out here and we spray balls all over the field. Maybe it has to be the right time.”

Sports editor Andy Walter can be reached at 741-8227 or walter@newszap.com.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.
Facebook Comment