What had been a solid week for the Mason High varsity baseball team had a sour end at Madison County Tuesday night. Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the young Mustang pitching staff, stalwart through much of this season, faltered. Walks and hits mounted, as did the Madison run total.
The eight-run sixth triggered the slaughter rule and sent Mason to its first Bull Run District loss of the season.
“Despite the loss to Madison, I'm please with our progress,” Mason Head Coach Adam Amerine said. “I feel we are getting better each day. Some of our kids are still neophytes when it comes to varsity experience, so we will have our bad stretches at times.”
The stretch heading into the Madison County contest was anything but bad for the Mustangs, who had rattled off three straight wins, including victories over Briar Woods on March 31 and Manassas Park on April 11.
Senior Mike Straub paced the Mustangs on the mound against Manassas Park, allowing just two hits and no earned runs, while racking up five strikeouts. Mason met with little success at the plate, earning only three hits off of the Cougars' Gipper Breeden, but capitalized on a few defensive miscues to provide the necessary margin of victory.
Lonnie Millard, Andrew Lieber and Evans Mandes all drove in a run in the Mason win.
Mason will need to rekindle that hot streak when it faces defending state champion Strasburg. The Rams were handed their first loss of the season by Manassas Park on Tuesday, pointing to another highly competitive year in the Bull Run District.
“Who knows how it will finish in May,”Amerine said. “We just need to continue to worry about ourselves and get better each day.”