On Saturday, the Falls Church Colts 18U AAU team remained sharp on their summer campaign, splitting a doubleheader with the Potomac Vandals at George Mason High School (GMHS). The Colts won the first game 4-3 before dropping the latter contest, 11-7.
Zach Glenn and Carl Hollinger, both rising juniors at Langley High School, were facing many of their teammates from the spring season who now play on the Vandals. For six innings, the pair held the familiar foes in check, limiting Potomac to just two runs.
After the leadoff batter for Potomac reached, singled and scored three batters later, Hollinger settled down for the four innings that he was on the hill, allowing one unearned run on three hits, striking out one Vandal, and stranding three runners on base. The righty was then lifted in the fifth due to a high pitch count in favor of Glenn.
The following inning, Glenn induced a perfect 6-4-3 double play to kill a Potomac rally which threatened to take the lead. However in the bottom of the sixth, the Vandals tied up the game at two off a double to the left field wall. Glenn then ran into more trouble but, after loading the bases with two outs, promptly blew a high fastball past the next Vandal to quell the threat.
Although the unusually quiet Colts’ bats failed to muster runs through six frames, timely runs propelled them to victory. With the score knotted at two in the top of the eighth inning, GMHS senior Andrew Lieber drove a two-out, seeing-eye single through the left side.
With Stephen Razzi pinch running for the first baseman, the Vandal pitcher balked, sending Razzi to second. A double to right-center by Marshall High’s Jake Bennett brought in Razzi for the go-ahead run. Insurance was added when Kyle Barrand singled past the shortstop, giving the Colts a two-run lead entering the bottom of the frame.
After a bloop single scored a Potomac runner, Barrand induced a fly ball to Ben Taylor in right field, sending the Colts to a 4-3 win. In addition to receiving the win on the mound, Barrand went 3-3 with a walk on the afternoon. Tyler Roth and Mike Wolfe, both rising juniors at George Mason, each went 1-3.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Colts found no shortage of runs, but the Vandals were just a little bit sharper at the plate, producing timely runs to edge out the victory, 11-7.
The south-paw Bennett was tagged for three runs on three hits in the top of the first inning, but the Colts answered right back in the bottom half of the frame. Quinn Casteel, Brian Lubnow and Barrand all scored, evening up the contest.
Two sacrifice flies in the top of the third put the Vandals up 5-4, and scored three more in the fourth to chase Bennett after 3.2 innings on the hill. Potomac tacked on insurance against sophomore Jimmy Bumgarner in the seventh before Lubnow came on to stifle the outburst, striking out the two batters he faced.
Down 11-5 with just three outs remaining, the Colts mounted a small rally. Lubnow singled to start the inning and was plated by a Lieber double. Taking advantage of a seemingly unaware pitcher, Lieber swiped third base, and was promptly plated by Bennett.
Lubnow continued his hot hitting in the second game, rebounding from a hitless first outing with a 4-4 contest. Lieber, likewise, remained timely at the plate, driving in two runs on three hits. Even though Bennett received the loss on the mound, he smacked two doubles, plating two Colts.
With the split, the Colts’ record now stands at 5-2-1 on the summer season in the NVTBL Varsity League. They return to action on Thursday at Langley High School before returning home to George Mason on Saturday for another doubleheader.