Senators down rival CR

CAMDEN — Dave Gordon realizes now he probably put too much pressure on his players.

In previous seasons, the Dover High baseball coach thinks he made too big a deal out of the Caesar Rodney rivalry.

“I feel like I built this game up way too much in past years,” said Gordon. “That’s me being a young coach.”22dsn CR vs Dover Basball 002

But Gordon says he’s learned his lesson and taken a more-relaxed approach to the crosstown series.

Whether that attitude was the difference or not, the Senators used an eight-run fourth inning to roll to a 9-1 victory over the Riders in their Henlopen Conference Northern Division showdown on Thursday.

A year after snapping a frustrating five-game losing streak against CR, Dover (6-2 in conference, 9-2 overall) now has back-to-back wins over the Riders (5-3, 5-5) for the first time in recent memory.

Gordon said it was the first time the Senators won on CR’s field in perhaps a dozen years.

“It’s always a good thing to beat somebody in your conference, especially CR,” said senior Jordan Hutchins, who pitched a complete-game three-hitter. “It’s really special to beat them on their field. We haven’t done that in a while.”

“I feel like at Dover, when we build games up, we get a different result,” said Gordon. “Everything is different — it’s not us. At the end of the day I’m like, ‘Why did I do that?’

“I just let it happen today. … We just rolled it out.”

The fact that Hutchins retired four of the first six batters he faced gave Dover some confidence, too.

Finally, leading only 1-0 after squandering some early chances, the Senators broke the game open in the fourth.

Dover scored its eight runs after sending 11 batters to the plate, collecting five hits and three walks to go along with a pair of CR errors in the outburst.

Sophomore Jarvis Worthy ripped an RBI double early in the inning before Dwight Wilson and Dmitri Floyd followed with run-scoring singles. Senior Tevin Thomas then lined a two-run double to right center.

“Those were some of our best swings of the year,” said Gordon. “That’s stuff we work on so it’s great to see them come out and execute that.”

Thomas finished with a pair of doubles and three RBI to lead Dover’s 10-hit attack. Garrett Lawson and Hutchins both added a pair of hits.

The Riders’ only run came in the fifth when Jake Chandler was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on an infield single by John Campiglia.

Along with allowing only three hits, Hutchins also struck out seven. Not bad for a guy who’s better known as a shortstop.

“I think he’s one of the best players in the state,” Gordon said about Hutchins. “He’s that good of an athlete that he can do that. We’re going to roll with him and Garrett (Lawson) the rest of the way and see what we’ve got.”

“They gave me a lot of runs today,” Hutchins said about his teammates. “It made my job easy.”

Thursday’s victory keeps Dover in the middle of the crowded Henlopen North title race. Six of the seven teams in the division went into Thursday with four or five conference wins.

The Senators, who host Cape Henlopen in another big game on Tuesday, know they have to keep getting better.

“There’s a lot of games left on the table,” said Gordon. “We can always play better. There’s always something you can improve on and that’s what we talked about.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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