Following a recent slide in which the Falls Church Colts fell to .500 for the first time all season, the 18-under AAU team has found their stride, pounding out timely hits and playing solid defense, as the summer team took three in a row last week to bump their record to 8-5-1.
In a complete turn-around from the previous week’s efforts in which the Colts committed a combined 24 errors and gave up 38 runs in three contests, the Falls Church team has only allowed nine runs and botched just five balls in as many games.
The Colts snapped out of their three-game losing streak last Tuesday against the Headfirst Gamers, eking out a 5 – 4 victory at George Mason High School. Falls Church came surged ahead quickly, plating three runs in the bottom of the first inning. After that, however, the Headfirst pitchers settled down, scattering six hits over six innings.
In the fourth, the Colts scored the go-ahead runs Quinn Casteel singled and Kyle Barrand reached on an error. Casteel was thrown out on a fielders’ choice by Brian Lubnow, but clutch hitting by Andrew Lieber put Falls Church in the lead for good as the rising senior at George Mason doubled in two runners.
On the defensive end, Casteel ran into some trouble in the second inning when the Gamers tagged the rising junior with four straight singles and four stolen bases, scoring three runs. Zach Glenn then came on the bump, hurling two innings of one-hit ball before giving way to Jake Bennett. Bennett closed out the game with three innings, allowing one run on two hits.
Last Saturday, the Colts stayed hot with a doubleheader sweep over the DC Dynasty, behind an offensive outburst by Lieber and stellar pitching by the entire Falls Church staff.
In the first contest, George Mason junior Tyler Roth pitched a complete game, allowing only two hits and two unearned runs in an 107-pitch outing, his best of the summer. Both Dynasty runs were scored in the sixth inning off a two-out error, while the righty Roth went on to strike out four batters on the afternoon.
The Colts plated five runners in the third inning and never looked back. The frame was led off by Stephen Lubnow’s single. Ludnow was promptly driven in by Mike Wolfe. Mike Ward then doubled to drive in Wolfe before Lieber doubled to plate both Ward and Brian Lubnow.
Falls Church buffered their lead in the sixth when Lieber doubled and scored on a single by P.J. Anderson. Anderson, Lieber, and Ward had two hits each on the day to pace their squad to a 6-2 victory.
In the latter contest of the doubleheader, the right side of the infield for the Colts single-handedly bombarded the Dynasty pitching. Second baseman Ward and first baseman Lieber combined for seven hits and 11 runs batted in, while Ward drove in four runs. Lieber, a second-team All-District first basemen for George Mason in the spring, is the Colts’ current leader with a .545 batting average, .643 base percentage, 18 hits, 8 doubles, and 22 RBIs.
While the top of the lineup accounted for driving in most of the runs, it was the bottom two hitters in the Colts’ order who got on base, aiding the efficient production of Ward and Lieber. Mike Wolfe and Ben Taylor, the nine and ten hitters for Falls Church, scored a combined six runs, while Wolfe went a perfect three for three with two RBIs.
In every inning of the powerful 17 – 3 win, the Colts scored at least four runs. On the defensive side, Brian Lubnow went three innings, giving up two unearned runs on three hits before Barrand came in to shut down the Dynasty in the fourth inning.
Falls Church looked to continue their hot streak at the plate on Tuesday, but results were not available at press time. They will play a doubleheader this Saturday at George Mason High School beginning at 10 am.
The recent offensive outburst is nothing new for the Colts, who have consistently put up impressive offensive statistics throughout the season. In a contrast to the George Mason High School varsity team-the feeder team for the Colts-who at one point as a team was hitting below .200, the Colts are hitting .333 as a squad with a .455 on base percentage.