Madison Bats Explode in Win Over Rival



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By John Nolan
Assistant Director of Scouting/Content Management 

Vienna-Saturday afternoon saw the annual Vienna Inn Classic between local rivals Oakton and No. 3 James Madison. The defending 6A State Champion Warhawks entered the game coming off of a pair of dominant wins in their first week back from a spring break tournament in Sarasota. Oakton sent junior Toma Shigaki-Than to the mound and James Madison countered with sophomore Jake Nielsen.

Madison struck quickly in the bottom of the first inning as senior shortstop Pete Nielsen (Brigham Young) drew a one out walk and then scored on senior first baseman Jimmy Goldsmith’s two out double to make the score 1-0.

The early theme offensively for Oakton would be missed opportunities. In the first inning, after Jake Nielsen got two quick outs, the Cougars loaded the bases on a hit by pitch, single, and a walk before Nielsen was able to get out of the inning. The second inning saw an error in leftfield, two ground outs, an intentional walk to senior shortstop Joe Rizzo (South Carolina), and another hit by pitch to again load the bases with two outs. Again, Nielsen was able to induce a ground out to end the inning.

The top of the third saw a pitching change as Madison brought Pete Nielsen in from shortstop to pitch. Nielsen surrendered a pair of singles, but was able to get out of the inning, running the Cougar left on base total up to eight in the first three innings. For velocities and scouting information on Shigaki-Than and the Nielsen boys, check the Virginia/DC Scout Blog early next week.

Shigaki-Than worked a quick second inning against the bottom of the Warhawk order. The third got off to an ominous start as he walked senior centerfielder Jordan Ebersole (VMI). Ebersole stole second and then scored as Pete Nielsen singled to center. Next up was sophomore second baseman Kyle Novak, who doubled down the rightfield line. Jimmy Goldsmith was intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs and the score still 2-0. Senior designated hitter Matt Favero (Brigham Young) grounded out to first, driving in Nielsen and making the score 3-0. That brought up senior leftfielder Carlo Alfano, who chopped an infield single towards short, scoring a run making the score 4-0. Junior third baseman Joey Goldsmith pushed a bunt past Shigaki-Than for another base hit and another RBI, ending Toma’s day with the score 5-0. Oakton turned to freshman lefty Seth Richards, and the Warkhawks would add two more runs on an RBI single by senior catcher Kyle Hayes (James Madison) and a sacrifice fly by Ebersole to make the score 7-0 after three innings.

The Cougars would respond in the top of the fourth by again loading the bases, this time with no outs. Junior catcher Ryan Davis drove in the first Oakton run with sacrifice fly and sophomore third baseman Jared Kimbel picked up his third hit of the game, driving in another run. A ground out would drive in a third Oakton run, cutting their deficit to 7-3 in the middle of the fourth inning.

The bottom of the fourth inning started innocently enough as Richards struck out Kyle Novak, but after a walk and hit by pitch, Alfano drove in a run with a double to deep right center and Joey Goldsmith drove in two more with a double of his own down the left field line, making the score 10-3. Richards would get a strikeout before Hayes singled to left-center, driving in the eleventh Warhawk run. Junior Will Sandifer would enter the game for the Cougars to get the final out of the inning.

The Warhawks would add one more in the fifth on another Alfano RBI single, making the score 12-3. James Madison went to the bullpen for the sixth inning, bringing in junior lefty Daniel Gerke, who was promptly welcomed to the game by Rizzo with a massive home run to right center. Davis had a double later in the inning, but Oakton would not score again. Gerke threw a perfect seventh and Madison won the game by a final score of 12-4.

For the Warhawks on the mound, Jake Nielsen finished with a line of 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 HBP, 2 BB. Pete Nielsen went 3 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 2 HBP, 1 BB, and 3 K. Gerke threw 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 BB. Offensively for James Madison, Novak went 2-4 with 2 R and a 2B. Jimmy Goldsmith went 2-2, with 2 R, 2B, 2 BB, and an RBI. Alfano went 3-3, with a BB, 2B, 2 R, and 3 RBI. Joey Goldsmith went 2-4 with a 2B, 2 R, and 3 RBI. Hayes went 2-4 with 2 RBI.

Offensively for Oakton, Rizzo went 1-2 with 2 R, HR, 2 BB, and an RBI. Davis went 1-2 with a HBP, 2B, and RBI. Kimbel went 3-4 with an RBI.

 

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