Sports

Mustangs Win Easily Over Manassas Park After Tough Loss Vs. Madison

When Madison High Schools’s JV squad scored the winning run on a close play at the plate to prevail in the teams’ first contest back in April, George Mason High School players resolved to forge a different outcome when the schools met again. Unfortunately, in spite of some superb pitching and solid defense by the home team, the visiting Madison squad eked out another victory last Friday, by a score of 4-3, the identical score of the earlier match up.

When Madison High Schools’s JV squad scored the winning run on a close play at the plate to prevail in the teams’ first contest back in April, George Mason High School players resolved to forge a different outcome when the schools met again. Unfortunately, in spite of some superb pitching and solid defense by the home team, the visiting Madison squad eked out another victory last Friday, by a score of 4-3, the identical score of the earlier match up.

The game was tense and well played throughout the early stages. Helped by some strong defense, including a sparkling 6-4-3 double play in the second inning, Mason’s starter Grant Hagler faced the minimum number of 12 batters through four exceptionally strong innings on the mound. The Mason offense got off to an early start when leadoff batter Evan Davis singled and stole second, finally coming around to score, giving the home team a 1-0 advantage. Mason would add a second run in the fourth inning, when Sam Selby singled, eventually coming around to score on a poor throw to third by the Madison catcher.

After a spectacular catch by left fielder Bradley Woods helped stall the Madison offense, Madison finally got untracked in the top of the fifth. Using a combination of a hit batter, a sharply hit double and a walk, Madison loaded the bases with no outs. A long fly ball to right would score a run. On the play Mason turned its second double play of the evening on a strong throw by right fielder George De Mars to cut-off man Ethan Anderson, who made a perfect relay to Scott Connuck who applied the tag to nail the Madison runner at third. Madison would go on to add two more runs, taking a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth. After failing to score, Mason took the field with Anderson now the mound, where he quickly retired the side in order, as he would again in the seventh, helping his own cause with a great play on a little dribbler in front of the mound.

Down to its last three outs, Mason scraped together the tying run when the speedy Davis reached first on an error, advanced to third and eventually raced home on a passed ball. Now it was on to extra innings. In the eighth, Madison squeezed out what proved to be the winning run. Mason’s final rally fell just short, in spite of singles by Davis and George DeMars, as Madison’s defense turned its third double play of the night.

A bitterly disappointed Mason squad could take some comfort in knowing they had turned in a strong performance, including retiring the Madison lineup with the minimum of three batters in six of the eight innings played. After two tough losses by the narrowest of margins to district rivals Madison, one Mason player making the long walk up the hill was overheard saying, “Wait until next year.”

Coach Brian Frazier added, “With a short bullpen, I was thrilled with the effort our pitchers gave to keep us in the game. As our hitting continues to develop, we’ll begin to see more wins on the board.”

The Mustangs were back in action last Tuesday. Backed by the JV’s biggest hitting outburst of the season, eighth grade pitcher George DeMars threw a complete game, striking out seven and walking none, as Mason rolled to a 21-2 victory over visiting Manassas Park. After allowing Manassas Park a run in the first, Mason quickly ran the table, scoring seven runs, with key blows coming on bases-loaded doubles by Grant Hagler and Evan Davis. After DeMars struck out the side in the second, Mason added another run when Alex McMillen doubled, eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by Ben Torpey. Mason’s defense was sharp in third, with Hagler making a nice play on a hard shot to third base and shortstop Sam Selby turning an unassisted double play.

The floodgates opened in the bottom of the third when Mason scored eight runs. Chris Meador had two hits in the inning, including a double. Davis added two RBIs on a shot to left field, Joe DePrez drove in two runs with a single, and Bradley Woods smacked an RBI double. Mason completed its scoring in the fourth, when McMillen singled to drive in a run, Sean Brown ripped a single and Scott Connuck added an RBI single.

Mason looks to end their season on a high note Friday when they visit the 12-1 Strasburg Rams.

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