Falls Church teams got off to a fast start in the District 4 all-star competition, with each team going undefeated in the opening week of play. As of July 1, the 9-10 team was 3-0, the 10-11 team 2-0, and the 11-12 team 1-0.
11/12 All Stars Get Defensive in Opening 4-1 Win over McLean National
On Saturday, June 1, Falls Church pitcher Mitch MacKeith and catcher Michael Evans kept McLean hitters off balance for four innings at the plate with a combination of precisely located fast balls and timely change ups. MacKeith ended the evening with eight strikeouts and was aided by a number of stellar defensive plays to keep McLean off the board but for one run. In the second inning, MacKeith used two strikeouts and a great play by second baseman Hayden Hall on a deflected ball to nip the runner at first base, to end the inning. MacKeith gave up his only run in the third inning, but with runners on second and third and only one out, got a strikeout and then made a difficult play on a dribbler down the first base line, for the third out. In the fourth inning, third baseman Danny Leonard made a key play on a one-hop shot, aided by a leaping catch by first baseman Joey Gorman. Leonard also made a heads-up play to nail the lead runner at second base on a bunt down the third base line, thwarting any possible McLean rally. Frankie Hall relieved MacKeith in the fifth, using a strikeout, as well as two ground ball outs to second baseman Dalton Taylor, to stifle McLean’s bats. In the sixth, any comeback by McLean was erased by shortstop John Todd being in perfect position to catch a tough pop up down the third base line and right fielder Richard Marsh tracking down two fly balls to secure the win for Falls Church. Offensively, Falls Church was led by MacKeith and Taylor with two hits a piece, as well as an RBI single by Evans.
Falls Church 10-11 All-Stars Alive in the Tournament
Third baseman Vincent Kanyan slammed a two-run walk off homer in the bottom of the seventh inning, in a stunning victory for the Falls Church 10-11 All-Stars over the McLean Americans on Thursday night, June 28.
The game got off to a rocky start for Falls Church, as McLean tallied four runs on the strength of four base hits and two walks. In the bottom of the inning, Falls Church fought back for two as Matt Ledder and Lucas Cherry scored with Ledder and Ethan Anderson collecting hits. McLean added a run in the second on singles by Phil Loria and Matt McCreary, putting McLean up 5-2.
In the bottom of the inning, Falls Church came roaring back in dramatic fashion. Alex McMillen gained first on catcher's interference, followed by a solid single to center by Vijay Menon. That set the stage for pinch hitter Nicholas Roberson, who tied the score with a three-run shot over the left field fence. Ledder and Anderson each collected singles before Falls Church was retired with the score 5-5.
McLean pulled ahead in the third, as Caleb Beatty hit a single to right and scored on a Falls Church error, but Falls Church clawed back to even again in the bottom of the inning. Catcher Conor Boyle took first on a single, pinch runner Anthony Wagner stole second, took third on a passed ball, and scored on a Menon single to left, making the score 6-6.
Jesse Jones came on to relieve Alex Handley in the top of the fourth and allowed only two singles and a walk for the rest of the game. Fine defensive play by Vincent Kanyan at third, Ethan Anderson at second, Maggie Goldsmith in left and a double play by Jones himself helped the Falls Church cause.
On the mound for McLean, reliever Joseph Alusi shut down Falls Church in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, allowing only a single to left by Ledder. In the bottom of the seventh, Lucas Cherry rifled a liner that was speared by McLean shortstop Charlie Fitzner for an out, but Ethan Anderson battled for a single to center to set the stage for Kanyan. Kanyan hit the first pitch over the center field fence for the dramatic victory.
Playing Reston at Crabtree Field in Reston June 27, the Falls Church 11s unleashed a fierce hitting attack to win 20-11. The Falls Church All-Stars collected 16 hits with 13 runs batted in. Reston scattered 11 hits, including a home run by Justin Miller to score their 11 runs.
Ethan Anderson started for Falls Church and pitched four solid innings, allowing only two walks and striking out five. Jesse Jones struck out two in a couple of strong relief innings. Lucas Cherry, Vincent Kanyan (two), Anthony Wagner and Maggie Goldsmith all hit doubles. Goldsmith's bomb came at a critical time to put Falls Church ahead for good at 12-8. In addition, Vijay Menon, Matt Ledder (two), Cherry (three), Anderson (two), Alex McMillen and Nicholas Roberson (two) collected singles in the contest. Vijay Menon contributed solid play at short, including a back handed stab for the final out of the game.
9-10 All-Stars Jump to 3-0 in Tournament Play
The Falls Church Kiwanis Little League 9/10 All-Star team has jumped out to a 3-0 start in tournament play in District 4. Drawing on both Majors and Triple A players, the 14-member team is benefiting from the return of several players who were on last year’s 9/10 team, including Patrick Evans, Ryan Leonard and Daniel Butler.
The team won its first game against Arlington American on Wednesday, June 27, by a score of 10-0. Pitcher Chris Meador allowed one hit during the game, throwing just 37 pitches and allowing only three base runners. Meador retired the first eight batters in order. Falls Church’s offense was equally strong. Tim Carr was 3-for-3 at the plate and scored two runs. Ryan Leonard was 1-for-2 with a double, scoring two runs. Will Iacobucci also went 2-for-2. Third baseman Ben Torpe set the tone for the evening with an excellent play on a sharp grounder to third to start the game. Meador’s performance was aided by strong defensive play the rest of the game.
In their second game, the 9/10 All-Stars overcame a four-run deficit to defeat McLean American 13-10 on Saturday, June 30. Although Falls Church had a 5-2 lead after the first inning, McLean National stormed back with seven runs over two innings to lead the game at 9-5 at the end of the third inning. Relief pitcher Daniel Schlitt then stepped in to hold American to only one more run during the rest of the game, striking out six batters in three very strong innings. Meanwhile, Falls Church rallied in a spectacular fifth inning to score seven runs. Chris Meador hit a double, driving in two runs, and Daniel Butler singled in a run, his third hit in four trips to the plate. Center fielder Tim Carr batted 1.000 over the first two games.
Falls Church’s winning ways continued on Sunday, July 1, with a 15-0 victory over McLean National. Catcher Patrick Evans blasted a three-run home run in the fourth inning, straight over the center field fence, leading a nine-run scoring outburst for Falls Church. In addition to Evans’s spectacular home run, both Ryan Leonard and Will Iacobucci hit doubles in the fourth, each driving in two runs. It was another very strong outing for the steady Chris Meador, who pitched his second complete-game shutout of the week. The defensive combination of Sam Selby at shortstop and Ryan Leonard at first base help keep McLean scoreless. In the final inning, strong defense b the Falls Church infield helped seal the victory, including a game-ending double play turned by shortstop Selby, second baseman Butler and first baseman Leonard.