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Glover’s big game leads Deerfield past Southland

Knights beat Southland, 11-1, in five innings

Deerfield-Windsor’s Justin Glover connects on the first of his two third-inning home runs in Friday’s win against Southland Academy. (Staff Photo: John Millikan)

Deerfield-Windsor’s Justin Glover connects on the first of his two third-inning home runs in Friday’s win against Southland Academy. (Staff Photo: John Millikan)

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Deerfield shortstop Corey Toole fires to first base for an out during Friday’s game against Southland. (Staff Photo: John Millikan)

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Deerfield’s Justin Glover, left, celebrates with teammate Ryan Toole after a third-inning home run Friday against Southland. The Knights hit two homers in the third inning, which keyed their 11-1, five-inning victory. (Staff Photo: John Millikan)

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Deerfield pitcher Justin Glover throws during the second inning of Friday’s game against Southland. (Staff Photo: John Millikan)

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Deerfield first baseman Steven Williams tags out Southland runner Ford Roach. (Staff Photo: John Millikan)

ALBANY — This time next year Deerfield-Windsor baseball coach Rod Murray will be sporting the black and gold colors of Southland Academy.

For now however he is deferring all attention to his players, who took center stage Friday afternoon in Deerfield’s 11-1 home thrashing of the Golden Raiders.

A large portion of said attention went to sophomore Justin Glover, whose dominance on the mound and at the plate easily made him the game’s top performer.

“It all started on the mound with Glover pounding the strike zone and throwing an awesome baseball game,” said Murray, who earlier this year signed on to take over Southland’s football program. “Offensively from top to bottom I thought we swung the ball well on all accounts. We did well defensively so it all ties together and makes for a good Deerfield win.”

It was a win that moved the Knights up in the standings to 9-2 and 2-1 in GISA Region 3-AAA.

“This was a good day, a good team effort,” Glover said after his 10-strikeout performance over five innings of work. He also smacked two homers in the third inning. “My off-speed stuff wasn’t there (Friday) and my mechanics felt a little out of whack, but I found a way to fight through it.”

Glover did not limit his brilliance to shutting down Southland. After hitting a solo shot over the right-field wall in the bottom of third inning, he returned in the same inning where he smacked a three-run homer to cap a seven-run third inning for the Knights.

“Honestly when I’m out on the mound I am not thinking about what I’m going to do at the plate,” admitted Glover, who had never achieved hitting two home runs in one inning. “That was extra. I just got two good pitches and drove them. We hadn’t been hitting the ball very good the past few games so it was nice to come out and put a bunch of runs up on the board.”

Up 4-1 in the third inning after Glover’s first home run, the Knights began to build their lead as Steven Williams also connected for an outside-the-park hit. Charles Crosby crossed home plate thanks to a double from Davis Long, who eventually scored himself.

Still batting in the third inning, Deerfield scored its seventh run when John Shenker singled home Will Akins. Shenker finished 2-for-3 with a home run early in the game, while Williams also reached base twice.

Corey Toole was responsible for the team’s final run as he singled in Crosby in the fourth inning.

“This was one of our more complete wins in all aspects of the game,” Murray said. “Then you throw in the spirit in the dugout, and everything is positive. The kids are sold out to what we believe in, and they put it all on the field (Friday).”

Deerfield will try to earn its second region win in a row a week from now in a rematch of Friday’s game.

“It will be the same thing – don’t give them any breaks and look to keep it going,” Glover said.