Lake Braddock Rallies to Capture 6C Crown

John Nolan
Virginia Scouting Director & Managing Editor

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A beautiful Friday afternoon saw District rivals Lake Braddock and West Springfield face off for the fourth time this season in the Region 6C Championship game. Last year these two played five times, with Braddock sweeping the regular season games and the West Springfield winning all three playoff matchups en route to their State Championship. Entering this game, the two had split the regular season matchups and West Springfield had captured the District championship game, with the pattern being that the road team had won every matchup. This game would follow that pattern as the visiting Bruins jumped out early, surrendered that lead, and then responded to retake a lead that they would hang on to for a 9-5 win, capturing the Region 6C crown.

Both teams began the game with lefties on the mound, with West Springfield starting senior Alec Reilly (CNU) and Lake Braddock going with junior Jay Cassady. Errors were a factor early for both teams. With one out in the top of the first, Ryan Cuadros drew a walk and then an error and a balk put two runners in scoring position early for the Bruins. Andrew Schaeb drilled a double to deep left-center, getting Lake Braddock on the board. He would score on an error and after the top of the first, the Bruins had a 3-0 lead.

West Springfield wasted no time answering as David Giorgis reached on an error and Justin Nelson singled to open the bottom of the first. After being bunted into scoring position by Reilly, West Springfield scored both runs on an RBI groundout and and RBI single, with Wayne Romero delivering the two-out base hit. Cassady would end the inning there, and after the first inning, Lake Braddock had a 3-2 lead.

Reilly worked a quick second and the Spartans again opened the inning with an error and a base hit. After a balk moved both runners into scoring position, Cassady was able to get the first out with a strikeout. Giorgis grounded out to the right side, driving in the tying run, and then Nelson hammered a double to deep right to give West Springfield a 4-3 lead. After a walk, Jeff Beavers (Hampden-Sydney) doubled to left, driving in another run and extending the lead to 5-3, which is what it would be at the end of the inning.

In the top of the third, Lake Braddock got its offense going again when Schaeb opened things up with a one-out single. Schaeb would move around to third on a pair of wild pitches and score on a Michael Weidinger RBI single. Reilly got a fly out to center, and then Lake Braddock would put together one heck of a two-out rally. Cassady singled, Max Greeney delivered a single to tie the game, Connor O'Grady-Walsh delivered the go-ahead run on a single, and Lyle Miller-Green (George Mason) was walked intentionally to load the bases with the Bruins now up 6-5. That brought up Cuadros, who drilled a single to center, driving in two runs and extending the Lake Braddock lead to 8-5.

Cassady settled in with the 8-5 lead, going the rest of the way and allowing no more runs on a walk and 3 hits over the final five innings. West Springfield would turn to junior Coleman Grehawick after Reilly walked the first two batters of the fourth inning. Grehawick threw well, allowing just one more run over 4 innings and keeping West Springfield in the game, but the Spartans couldn't figure Cassady out again and Lake Braddock cruised the rest of the way to a 9-5 win.

For Lake Braddock, Cassady was the winning pitcher, going a 7 IP, 5 R, 8 H, 3 BB, 4 K while also going 3-4 with an RBI at the plate. Schaeb was 3-3 with a walk, 2 RBIs, and a missing the cycle by a home run. Weidinger was 1-2 with 2 BBs and an RBI. 

For West Springfield, Grehawick tossed 4 IP in relief, 1 R, 3 H, 1 BB. Nelson was 2-3 with a 2B, RBI, and a BB. Beavers was 1-4 with a 2B and 2 RBIs. Romero was 2-3 with an RBI and a BB. 

Both teams advance to the Class 6 State Tournament, with West Springfield traveling to take on Westfield and Lake Braddock hosting Centreville in Tuesday's quarterfinals.