A roundup of games from the Falls Church-Kiwanis Little League.
As the Falls Church Little League continued to celebrate its 60th anniversary, it was a big week for power hitters. Richard Marsh and Lucas Cherry of the Red Sox each hit two home runs, while Shaheed Chambers of the Rangers hit a grand slam into the right field bleachers at Westgate Park. It was Chambers's first-ever at-bat in an organized baseball game.
Muckdogs vs. Mudcats — The Muckdogs collected their first win of the season on April 17, with 15-8 win over the Mudcats. John Fleming and Craig Fischer blasted two doubles each, and Matt Padgett added a hit. Tyler Nelson and Christian Farrace had great stops to anchor the Muckdogs’ infield.
Ironbirds vs. Express — The Ironbirds began their season April 16 with a come-from-behind 15-14 victory over the Express. In the first Inning, Ironbird infielder Corey Lauer, who batted three for three with an RBI, executed a nice defensive play when he scooped up a hard hit ball and tagged a runner to end the inning. Josh King got the offense going when he ripped a shot into left field, clearing the bases and just missing a grand slam when he held up at third. With the game tied, Adam Johnson hit a two-out single into center field to drive home the winning run. For the Express, John Putziger, Kevin Gaston and Armando Marquez each contributed three hits. Jacob Lusk smacked a double and Taylor Cannon added a hit.
Riverdogs vs. Storm — On April 15, behind the pitching of Matt Nicholson and Nick Lillis, the Riverdogs squeaked out a 7-6 win over the Storm, with a game winning hit by Matt Hoskins. The Storm were led by the strong pitching of Liam Strobel and David Gartner.
Storm vs. Lugnuts – Led by the three-up and three-down pitching of Liam Strobel and Jack Gieseler’s four RBI, the Storm held off the Lugnuts 9-3 on April 17. The Lugnuts were led by Evan Rusk and Connor Freeman, each of whom doubled. A late rally by the Lugnuts was squelched by Storm third baseman Ben Sharrer, who snagged a sharp shot out of the air up the third base line to end the game.
Storm vs. Rockhounds — The Storm got off to a good start against the Rockhounds when pitcher David Gartner retired two batters and caught a pop-up to leave the Rockhounds scoreless in the first. The Rockhounds came back strong in the second with a Crosby Gamble triple. Cole Jackson's game-ball-worthy-run and Lou Lindsay's two-RBI triple in the third helped to seal the 17-11 Storm win.
Cardinals vs. Mets — The Cardinals won their first game of the 2008 season with an 11-7 victory over the Mets on April 15, at Westgate 2. Cardinal highlights included fine pitching performances by Thomas Beddow, who struck out three batters, Matthew Livingston, who struck out three in his first-ever pitching outing, and Brandt Cole, who struck out three to close out the sixth inning. The Cardinals’ bats were hot, with Thomas Beddow, Annie Ferguson and Matthew Livingston hitting two singles apiece, and Jake Deeley adding a double and a single. The Mets had a big fourth inning, with multiple players contributing hits. Pitcher John Peterson was superb in the sixth, striking out all three batters that he faced.
Marlins vs. Cardinals — The Marlins defeated the Cardinals 9-5 behind the strong pitching of Cole Casteel and Jack Rasmussen. Thomas Beddow and Matt Livingston also turned in strong performances on the mound for the Cardinals. It was a defensive struggle, with the Marlins clinging to a 2-1 lead before both teams finally broke through in the sixth. Lindsay Charters, Charlie Bernicke and Billy Smith had two hits apiece to lead the Marlins' offense.
Cubs vs. Nationals — The Cubs used timely defense and strong pitching to defeat the Nationals 9-1 Monday. The Cubs were led by pitcher Ryan Leonard, who pitched five innings, striking out seven and surrendering one run. Closer Daniel Schlitt was strong in the final inning, striking out two batters. Nationals’ starter Jesse Jones shut down the Cubs for two innings, but hits by Will Iaccobucci and Austen Adcock got the Cubs’ offense started in the third. Cubs' outfielder Jacob Eye made a great throw to cut down a Nationals runner at third after a double by Ethan Anderson. Cubs’ second baseman Daniel Anderson had a key double play to end one of two National’s rallies. After the Cubs outburst in the third, the Nationals shut down the Cubs bats on stellar pitching by Daniel Butler and Chris Meador.
Nationals vs. Mason District Pirates — A total team effort by the Nationals Saturday afternoon earned them an 11-3 victory over the Mason District Pirates. Each Falls Church team plays two games against a team from Mason District during the regular season. Starting pitcher Chris Meador struck out five, allowing only two runs over four innings of work. The Pirates had excellent pitching for four innings by Miguel Rodriguez, who struck out seven. With the game still undecided entering the sixth inning, the Nationals' sealed the win with eight runs. Key hits included a triple by Daniel Butler and a double by Daniel Donovan. Devon Johnson went 2-for-3 for the winners, with James Sturges adding two hits, including a double. Excellent fielding by Donovan and Nate Thatcher rounded out the victory. Mason District's Martin Ryan went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Cubs vs. A’s — The two teams battled for the second time in a week on the hottest day of this early season. The early innings were marked by a pitching duel between the A's David Mathis and the Cubs’ Austen Adcock. Mathis gave up just one hit and had five strikeouts over his first three innings, while Adcock allowed just two runs while recording eight strikeouts. The Cubs did all their damage at the plate in the bottom half of the fourth, as left fielder Will Iacobucci doubled in two runs. Coming up with the bases loaded, shortstop Daniel Schlitt doubled, driving in all three runners. The A's Dakota Ruiz, Aidan Fitzpatrick and Matthew Ledder each had hits in the fifth to bring the A's closer, but the Cubs' Vincent Kanyan did a stellar job in relief, along with Schlitt, as the Cubs held on to win 7-4. Kanyan also led the Cubs offensively ending the day with two hits.
Red Sox vs. Orioles — On April 14, Richard Marsh led the Sox over a determined Orioles squad, pitching a complete game shutout while striking out 12, and blasting a home run, triple and double to spur the Sox to 6-0 win. Lucas Cherry added a home run for the Sox, who evened their record at 1-1. Jack Manon banged out a hit for the Orioles, a hard shot through the hole to left field.
Red Sox vs. Yankees — Three times they were down to their last at-bat, and three times they overcame deficits, with the final run coming with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, as the Sox edged a spirited Yankee squad 12-11. Richard Marsh and Lucas Cherry blasted home runs for the winners, the second for each player this season, while a red-hot Evan Tracy sparked the Yankees' attack, going 5-for-6 at the plate and scoring four runs. Drew Spera combined some strong fielding at second base with two clutch hits for the winners. Beau Butz blasted two hits for the Sox, including a double, and Sam Selby added two doubles and the game-winning single.
Called on to cool the Yankee firepower, Dalton Marsh pitched strong in relief to collect the win.