Game summaries from Falls Church Kiwanis Little League Tournaments.
Raptors 13 — Rattlers 10: Second baseman Nick Haddock fielded a grounder and flipped the ball to first baseman Ryan Barrett for the final out as the Raptors won the championship game against the Rattlers on June 11 by a score of 13-10. Barrett’s three-RBI double and Haddock’s two doubles helped the Raptors jump to an early lead they never relinquished. Third baseman Charlie Gartner’s out at third base to end the third inning and Haddock’s double play to end the fourth helped keep the Rattlers at bay. That changed in the fifth when the Rattlers scored six runs, but the Raptors were able to hold on to secure the championship.
Raptors 9 — Ironbirds 8: On June 9 the Raptors beat the Ironbirds 9-8 in the second round of tournament play. The Ironbirds led the game 8-4 at the top of the fourth and were threatening to run away with the game when third baseman Quinn Lipetz caught a sharp line drive to end the Ironbirds’ drive. Down to their last at-bat, the Raptors rallied behind sluggers Diego Joaquin, Alexander Savinski and Khavren Hoyer to score five runs and win over a very tough Ironbirds team.
Riverdogs 17 — Sand Gnats 4: Strong pitching by Zach Christopher, Mike Curtin and Jack Fletchall led the Riverdogs over the Sand Gnats in the championship game on June 12. The Sand Gnats started out strong in the first inning with two runs by Carter May and Ryan Henderson. Sand Gnat pitcher David Miller allowed only one run in the bottom of the first. Riverdog relief pitcher Mike Curtin held the Sand Gnats scoreless in the top of the second inning. The Riverdogs got going in the second with runs scored by Dimitri Rike, Lowell Weissman, Paul Pacheco and Matt Nicholson.
Riverdogs 9 — Storm 8: Behind the strong pitching of Lucas Hertzog and David Gartner, the Storm held the Riverdogs scoreless in the first two innings. The Storm’s offense generated two runs in both the second and third innings behind the hitting of Lou Lindsay, Ben Sharrer, Jack Foster and Liam Strobel. The Riverdogs tied the game in the bottom of the third, scoring four runs on back-to-back triples by Nicholas Lillis and Dylan Galt. Jack Geissler’s hitting led the Storm as they thundered back for four runs. When the game resumed after a one-day delay caused by lightning, Matt Hoskins scorched a bases-loaded triple, coming around to score later. With the game tied in the bottom of the sixth, the Riverdogs’ Nicholas Hutzell singled, stole second and third, and came home on the game-winning hit by Mike Savory.
Pirates 7 — Dodgers 6: The Pirates won the tournament championship game on Thursday, June 12, in a thrilling upset over the Dodgers. Outstanding pitching was turned in by the Dodgers’ starter Zack Lang and Pirates’ Jessica Manning, Liam Pitman and Casey Lauer. The Dodgers scored two runs in the first inning and four runs in the second inning on two singles by Robert Guenther, a double by Jake Abruzzi and singles by Nate Jones and Chris Porter. In the top of the fifth, the Pirates scored five runs on singles by Liam Pitman, Alex Lesser, Doug Bossart, Matt Valley, Brock Taylor and Gray Adcock, leaving the game at 6-6 in the middle of the fifth inning.
In the top of the sixth, the Pirates’ Michael Behrens crushed a lead-off triple, scoring the go-ahead run a few pitches later on a hard-hit grounder by Christian Rhodes. In the bottom of the sixth, the Dodgers’ Jimmy Porter blasted a double to deep left field. With two out, Chappy Asel drove a ball to deep center field, only for the Pirates’ centerfielder Adcock to make the catch for the final out. The entire Pirates team rushed the field to tackle Adcock at second base in celebration of the championship.
Pirates 5 — Cardinals 3: Exceptional pitching by the Cardinals’ Thomas Beddow, who had five strikeouts in two innings, and Brandt Cole, with four strikeouts in two innings, held the Pirates scoreless through four innings. The Pirates’ Michael Behrens was equally effective, striking out seven over three and one third innings, allowing only two runs. Logan Nesson took over on the mound for the Cardinals, striking out seven of the batters he faced. The Pirates scored in the fifth when Aidan Christopher walked, eventually to come around and steal home. In the bottom of the fifth, Pirates’ catcher Christopher nabbed two Cardinals’ runners attempting to steal home. Down 2-1 and facing elimination, the Pirates scored the tying run when Jessica Manning singled and eventually stole home. In the top of the eighth, the Pirates’ Christopher and Liam Pitman singled and came home on another hit by Manning, who then scored on a single by Doug Bossart. The Cardinals rally in the eighth fell short, as Gray Adcock, Casey Lauer and Bossart made strong defensive plays to ice the game for the Pirates.
Orioles 3 — Nationals 2: In a rematch of the top two regular season teams, the Orioles defeated the Nationals 3-2 on Saturday to claim the Tournament Championship. The matchup once again pitted starting pitchers Alex Handley for the Orioles and Jesse Jones for the Nationals who each pitched complete games. Jones allowed three runs on five hits with six strikeouts. Handley allowed two runs on four hits with six strikeouts in the tightly contested game.
The Nationals opened the scoring with two runs in the top of the third inning. Jack Nordhuizen led off with a single. Chris Meador and Ethan Anderson also contributed singles in the inning. The Orioles didn’t answer until the bottom of the fourth when Jamie Handley doubled home Alex Handley and Vijay Menon to tie the game. An inning later, Tyler Waters reached base for the Orioles with a walk and then stole second. Waters advanced to third on a wild pitch before Menon put the ball in play to drive in the go-ahead run.
The Orioles’ defense did an outstanding job to limit the Nationals’ powerful bats. Marcus Bunaugh at third base and Will Bernicke at shortstop each made dazzling plays to cut down the Nationals hitters. Vijay Menon at first base made two amazing scoops of errant throws to record outs.