By Erika Toman
The Falls Church Copperheads 12U team bested 17 other teams to win the Ripken Experience Curtain Call baseball tournament over the first weekend of November. The local non-profit baseball organization, which consists entirely of players from the Falls Church Kiwanis Little League, played inspired baseball across their fall campaign against some of the best teams from the broader mid-Atlantic region, showcasing resilience and a positive mindset to win several games in come-from-behind fashion.
The team went 5-0 propelled by solid pitching, hitting and baserunning. The team batted an impressive .460 average, notching 57 hits, 51 RBIs, 68 runs, and generated 65 stolen bases. Outfielder Hayes Vaughan was selected as tournament MVP after hitting a team-leading four extra base hits resulting in six RBIs across the tournament.
Against Wellwood 12U (MD), pitcher Kellan McCormack threw a no-hitter, striking out seven on a nasty mix of off-speed pitches. Harrison Carmody stole a team high four bases, with all 11 players stealing at least one base. Vaughan was selected as player of the game with two RBIs in the 17-1 victory.
Against the Maryland Keys 12U (MD), Evan Toman, Asher Sequeira, and James Owen notched multiple hits with Sequiera going two for two enroute to earning player of the game honors. Pitcher Harrison Carmody earned the win, striking out three and issuing only one hit in three innings of work, showing remarkable resilience. Bronson Rogers led the team with four stolen bases, with Tig Fatzinger and Luca Pipia contributing three steals in the 14-5 victory.
The Elkridge Canes 12U (MD) gave up 12 hits to the Copperheads. Kellan McCormack went three-for-three, earning player of the game honors, as the Copperheads won 12-4, despite being down 3-2 in the bottom of the third inning. The fifth inning saw the Copperheads generate eight hits with one excellent bunt, and draw two walks to break the game open. Pitcher Bronson Rogers got the win, going two innings, striking out five, and issuing no walks.
In the semi-finals, playing against the very solid Stars Baseball Academy 12U (NY), the Copperheads had 13 total hits on the way to a 13-10 victory. James Owen went two for two with two doubles and three RBIs to earn player of the game honors. Luca Pipia threw two innings, striking out two and issuing only one run. Pitcher Bronson Rogers and closer Asher Sequiera combined to preserve the win. Landon Tucker contributed an RBI and drew two critical walks which both resulted in runs due to excellent baserunning.
In the finals, the Copperheads quickly wore down the Caln A’s 12U (PA) with 16 total hits. Pitcher Evan Toman threw four and two-thirds innings, striking out four and giving up only four hits to earn the win and player of the game award. All 11 players contributed at least one hit, with Fatzinger, Sequiera, Pipia, Vaughan, and Carmody contributing multiple base hits in a true team-wide performance. The Copperheads wrapped up their fall season with a 21-7-2 record and will resume play starting next March.