Sports

Mustang Varsity Baseball Takes Two of Three

In the past week, George Mason High School’s varsity baseball team won two games and went extra innings before dropping a third, improving their season record to 9-5.
The Mustangs defeated Falls Church High School 10-0 on April 28 and surged from behind to topple Clarke County 6-3 on May 3, both home games. The one disappointment came at Strasburg April 30, when the Mustangs took the Rams to the bottom of the 11th inning, only to lose on a walkoff home run.

In the past week George Mason’s varsity baseball team won two games and went extra innings before dropping a third, improving their season record to 9-5.
The Mustangs defeated Falls Church High School 10-0 on April 28 and surged from behind to topple Clarke County 6-3 on May 3, both home games. The one disappointment came at Strasburg April 30, when the Mustangs took the Rams to the bottom of the 11th inning, only to lose on a walkoff home run.

Deep into the Clarke game on Tuesday, things were looking grim for the Mustangs. They were trailing 0-3 with two out in the bottom of the fifth inning when their fortunes finally turned. Juniors Stephen Lubnow and Max Kaplow both singled, then senior Tyler Duncan hit a liner that Clarke’s third baseman booted, loading the bases. Junior Jon Freeman singled, scoring Lubnow and Kaplow, and then sophomore Brian Crigler singled, bringing in classmate Ryan Short to tie the score, 3-3.
Mason kept the runs coming in the sixth inning, one on a double by Lubnow that scored junior Jack Trainor, then two more when a Crigler double brought in Lubnow and Kaplow. That was plenty of cushion for the Mustangs to ride to victory. Duncan, who had taken the mound in the fifth inning when Mason trailed, held Clarke hitless for the rest of the game, struck out three and earned his first varsity pitching win.

The victory over Falls Church High the previous Thursday had come much easier. Mason put up two runs in the first inning, two more in the second, five in the third and then ended the game on the mercy rule in the fifth with a leadoff home run by Lubnow. Mustang hits were plentiful: Lubnow had a triple to go with his homer, and Trainor and senior Paul Weber also tripled. Junior Trevor Simpson was the winning pitcher, striking out six and giving up just one hit and one walk.

Runs were much harder to come by when Mason went to Strasburg Saturday night. It was an epic duel between the two top pitchers in the Bull Run District – Mason’s Kaplow and Strasburg’s Zach Cover, a senior. Each threw the maximum allowed in high school ball – ten innings, at which point their teams were knotted, 3-3. Kaplow’s stat line surpassed Cover’s: Kaplow had 13 strikeouts to Cover’s eight; Kaplow allowed five hits to Cover’s six; and he walked one to Cover’s four.
Pitching in relief for Strasburg was Aaron Doman, and for Mason it was Weber. It looked like the 11th inning would pass scoreless as well, but with two outs on the Rams and their batter Michael Reynolds facing a full count against Weber, Reynolds smacked the ball over the left field fence to end the game.

With a 3-2 record in district games, Mason remains in the thick of the running for the Bull Run title. Strasburg has one district loss, and every other district team has at least two. The Mustangs have a non-district home game Thursday 5 p.m. against Washington-Lee High School, then resume district play Friday night at 7 p.m. at Madison County. Next week’s district games are Tuesday 7 p.m. at Manassas Park, Wednesday 5 p.m. at home against Rappahannock, and Friday 5 p.m. at home against Strasburg.