The Falls Church-Kiwanis Little League’s All-Star Virginia District 4 teams competed this week, with the 9–10 and 10–11 teams completing play. The 11–12 team has two more games in pool play through July 11.
Falls Church 9–10 All-Stars
Mason District 10 — All-Stars 9: In one of the most exciting games played at Westgate Park this year, the Falls Church 9-10 All-Stars lost to Mason District, 10-9, in eight innings.
Robert Guenther and Casey Lauer both pitched well for Falls Church against the hard-hitting Mason District team, while Thomas Beddow led a balanced offensive attack with three hits and two runs. Zach Lang, Jack Rasmussen and Bryan Martin each had two hits for Falls Church.
After yielding two runs in the top of the first inning, the All Stars pounced on Mason District for five runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by Crosby Gamble who stole home. Mason District pulled off two runs in the second inning. Falls Church extended the lead to 6-4 in the third frame, thanks in part to a sacrifice fly to deep right field by Casey Lauer.
The Mason District centerfielder made a running catch on a deep line drive off the bat of Mounir Laassilli, keeping Falls Church from adding to its lead.
The All-Stars tacked on another run in the fourth on an RBI-single by Sam Paggioli. After Mason District tied the game in the sixth inning with some clutch hitting, Rasmussen and Guenther executed a double play to end the inning.
After a scoreless seventh, Mason District scored three runs in a high-intensity eighth inning. Exemplifying a hearty team spirit developed over the past three weeks, Falls Church fought back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth before the game ended on a good fielding play by Mason District.
Reston National 11 — All-Stars 6: In their last game of pool play on July 2, the All-Stars gave undefeated Reston National all it could handle in an 11-6 loss.
After having a tough time in the field during the first part of the game and watching Reston National build an 11-run lead, Falls Church came storming back in the final two innings before finally succumbing in the sixth inning as Reston National made a nice defensive play with the bases loaded to end the game.
Beddow and Lang both pitched for the All-Stars, holding Reston National to its lowest run total so far this all star season. The Falls Church offense was led by Lang and Lauer who each contributed two hits. The defense was led by Gamble’s two excellent running catches in left field and Robert Guenther’s numerous heads-up plays at first base.
F.C. Red ended pool play at a 2-3 clip.
Falls Church 10–11 All-Stars
All-Stars 5 — Reston 4: The Falls Church 10-11 All-Stars scored an exciting 5-4 victory over Reston on Friday, July 3 at Furr Field in McLean.
Reston took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, while holding Falls Church scoreless until the bottom of the third. Logan Nesson hit a single and Marsden Davis knocked in two runs to even the score for Falls Church.
In the bottom of the fourth, Johnny Peterson singled and then stole second and third. Justin Trainor hit a come-backer to the mound, beating out the throw to first and enabling Peterson to score the go-ahead run.
Reston battled back in the fifth, scoring two, but the Red kept fighting. In the bottom of the fifth, Jamie Handley crushed a double to center field. Davis followed with a single to right. Ted Terwilliger also recorded a hit, and Christian Kelly drove in the winning run on a sacrifice.
Josh Rankin pitched four solid innings with five strike-outs. Second baseman Nathaniel Scheinman executed a double play and made a nice play on a pop-up. Handley closed strong with four strikeouts over the last two innings, securing the win.
Alexandria 11 — All-Stars 5: The Falls Church 10-11 All-Stars had a solid start against the highly touted Alexandria All-Stars on Sunday, July 5.
Second baseman Jake Deeley got the first out of the game with a put-out at first. Deeley also got the final out of the first inning with a force at second. But when the Falls Church Red found themselves down 10-0 to the hard hitting Alexandria squad, they refused to give up.
Leading off the bottom of the fourth inning, Nesson doubled to center. Kelly followed with another double, positioning runners on second and third. Annie Ferguson then laid down a perfectly placed bunt, bringing home Nesson for the Red’s first run of the game. The slugfest continued, with Marsden Davis singling to center, bringing home Kelly. Then, Kiran Menon singled to left, bringing home another run.
Finally, Terwilliger (2-for-2 at the plate) hit a big triple, cutting Alexandria’s lead in half.
Falls Church 11–12 All-Stars
All-Stars 4 — Great Falls 2: With the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the sixth and the count at two balls and two strikes, Falls Church relief pitcher Daniel Butler crafted a wicked off-speed pitch, striking out the Great Falls batter and putting a dramatic finish on an exciting 4-2 win for Falls Church Red.
Playing at Westgate Field on July 5, Falls Church built a four-run advantage in the first inning, relying on solid team defense, a very strong outing from starting pitcher Ryan Leonard and Butler’s save to hold off a determined Great Falls squad.
In its first at-bat, Falls Church took advantage of two walks and a Great Falls error, followed by a sacrifice fly by Nate Thatcher to jump out to a one-run lead. When the Great Falls third baseman couldn’t come up with a hard shot by Ben Torpe, the Falls Church lead increased to 3-0. Following a single by George de Mars, Sam Selby’s RBI-single closed out the scoring for Falls Church.
With one on and one out in the bottom of the first, the Great Falls batter hit a sharp groundball which shortstop Christopher Meador quickly grabbed, stepped on second and rifled a throw to first to complete the inning-ending double play.
In the second inning, Falls Church executed another double play, this time on the difficult 5-4-3 combination, as third basemen Butler fed a throw to second-sacker Evan Davis, who completed the relay to first.
Falls Church fired up things again in the fourth, when Daniel Schlitt and Daniel Donovan each ripped line-drive singles, only to be stranded on base. In the bottom of the fourth, a heads-up catch by Thatcher in center and a nifty play by Leonard on a hard come-backer to the mound helped keep Great Falls scoreless.
In the fifth, Falls Church stranded two runners, as Thatcher’s single was followed by Patrick Evans’ second hit of the day.
Great Falls took advantage of the opening, rallying for two runs in the bottom of the fifth. But another double play by shortstop Meador followed by quick work from reliever Butler ended the inning.
Falls Church went quietly in the top of the sixth, leaving Great Falls one more at-bat. After Great Falls opened the inning with a single, Leonard made a grab of a towering fly ball in left and Schlitt made a smooth play on a grounder to third, leaving Great Falls to face its last out.
As all present held their breath, Butler delivered his final pitch, a strike to end the game, giving Falls Church its first win of the tournament.