McLean Defeats Oakton in Pitcher's Duel

John Nolan
Virginia Assistant Director & Content Manager

UG 6.20

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On Monday, March 26, Oakton and McLean squared off in the first game of the Eddie Hope Let's Play Two Classic, an annual spring break tournament that is played at various sites in Prince William County every year. This year's tournament features 16 teams playing games at four locations. Oakton and McLean sent their lefty aces to the mound for the game, Oakton tabbing junior Seth Richards for the start and McLean going with senior Max Groppe (Emory). McLean would get two runs in the first inning and Groppe would make that stand up for a 2-0 win.

Groppe worked around a one-out single in the top of the first getting a lineout double play off of the bat of Eric Lingebach. In the bottom of the first, an infield single by Marshall Pratt and a walk to Andrew Liao put two on with no outs for McLean, who would score both runners without an RBI. The first run scored when a throw down to third on a double steal got into leftfield, and the second runner scored on a wild pitch shortly after that. Richards escaped the first without any more damage and the score was 2-0 McLean after one.

Groppe and Richards both looked to settle in with perfect second  innings, each picking up pair of strikeouts. Richards led the top of the third off with a single and the the next batter reached on an error, putting two in scoring position after a successful bunt for the top of Oakton's lineup. Groppe was able to get Chaz Billak to fly out to shallow right and get a comebacker from Craig Benson to escape the inning with the 2-0 lead intact. In the bottom of the third, Richards worked around a two-out double by Grant Williams (Randolph-Macon) and a walk to keep the game 2-0.

Oakton would put two on in the fourth and one in the fifth, but could not scratch a run against Groppe. The Highlanders would chase Richards in the bottom of the firth as they loaded the bases, but reliever Jack Whipp was able to get out of the inning and send it to the sixth, still 2-0.

McLean brought in sophomore Teddy Merritt in the sixth, and he responded with a perfect inning. Whipp fired a perfect sixth as well. Merritt issued a leadoff walk in the seventh and was replaced by senior James Beahn, who ended the game quickly, with the final out coming on a sharp lineout to first.

For Oakton, Richards took a tough loss, going 4.2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 5 BB, 6 K. Richards was also 1-3 at the plate. Whipp went 1.1 IP, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. JP Neary was 1-3 and Benson was also 1-3 in the loss.

For McLean, Groppe was the winning pitcher, with 5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 6 K. Merritt went 1+ IP, 0 R, 0 H 1 BB, 1 K. Beahn got a save with 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 K. Pratt was 1-3 with a SB and R. Williams was 1-2 with a 2B and a BB. Anthony Farmakides was 0-1 with 2 BB. 


We also stopped by Centreville versus Marshall to check out a few arms, while we will not have a full game report on that game, Marshall won 1-0, and we have some scouting notes below with more coming in a blog post tomorrow.

Scouting Notes

-Richards sat 77-80 on the day. Curveball was 67-68 and change-up 70-72.

-Groppe was 78-80, touching 81 with his fastball. Change-up was 75-76 and curveball was 66-70. 

-Merritt was 82-84, touched 85 once. Breaking ball was 67-70.

-Highlanders have some interesting underclass position players that showed some potential, including Drew Steig, Anthony Farmakides, and Tio Graybill.

-Junior righty Hunter Bell was 81-83 early, touching 84. Settled into 79-82 later in the outing. Change-up was 74-76, slider was 68-69.

-Sophomore righty Eric Bohenek was 79-82 with a curveball that was 61.

-Senior Cristian Sanchez (Virginia) warmed up but did not enter the game. Arm looked good as did secondary stuff in the pen.


-Junior righty Joey Handley was 77-79, touching 80. Curveball was 67-69.


For full scouting notes and videos, watch for the VA/DC Scout Blog post for this game later this week.


More 2018 HS Notebook