McLean Takes Liberty District Title


John Nolan
Virginia Scouting Director & Managing Editor

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A perfect Friday night for baseball featured the Liberty District Championship game, with second-seeded Yorktown traveling to take on top-seeded McLean. McLean jumped out to an early lead and Yorktown rallied to tie it, only to see the Highlanders take advantage of some defensive miscues to jump back out in front and ultimately cruise to an 8-3 win.

McLean starter Robert Wegmueller took advantage of a slick inning-ending double play to put up a zero in the first inning. The Highlander offense got rolling in a hurry, leadoff hitter and freshman Griffin Stieg (Virginia Tech) singled sharply to leftfield and then took advantage of a bobble in the outfield to stretch it to a double. A wild pitch and a walk put runners on the corners, and then Stieg scored on another wild pitch to open the scoring. Another walk and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for the Highlanders. A groundout scored their second run, but Yorktown starter Bart Marshall was able to get a pair of flyouts without allowing any more damage, but McLean had an early 2-0 lead.

In the top of the second, Yorktown loaded the bases with one out on a hit by pitch and a pair of walks, only to see Wegmueller get a tailor-made double play ball to Tio Graybill, which the McLean middle infield turned into their second double play in as many innings. Marshall fired a quick inning and the score was still 2-0 after two innings.

In the top of the third, the Patriots got their offense going with a leadoff single by Will Fineman. A sacrifice and a hit batter put two on with one out for Josh Jones, who ripped an RBI double down the third baseline. An intentional walk to Ben Koomey (RPI) loaded the bases, and Alec Ellison mashed a deep drive to center that fell in, but only went for a game-tying single as runners were tagging and Griffin Stieg made a strong throw in from deep center. The next hitter chopped a two-hopper to third, and Josh Simon started a 5-5-3 double play to end the inning with the Highlanders' third double play in as many innings.

In the bottom of the third, Jackson Kantor reached with a one out single, and the inning appeared to be over when a pop up behind second with two outs was misplayed, allowing it to fall, Kantor to score, and the inning to continue. Graybill mashed an RBI double to right-center, making the score 4-2 and ending Marshall's night on the mound. Andrew Liao welcomed reliever Nathan Knowles to the game with an RBI triple to right-center, extending the McLean lead to 5-2, which is where the score would be after three complete innings.

McLean would add two more runs to their lead in the fourth and both teams would score single runs in the fifth. Zayvor Zenk threw the last three innings for the Highlanders, closing out their 8-3 win. Both teams will advance to next week's Region 6D tournament, with McLean earning a bye to Friday's quarterfinals and Yorktown hosting in Wednesday's first round.

For McLean, Zenk finished the game with 3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 2 K. Kantor was 2-3 with a BB. Anthony Farmakides was 1-2 with a RBI and an HBP. Graybill was 1-3 with a 2B and an RBI. Liao was 2-3 with a 2B, 3B, and an RBI. 

For Yorktown, Jones was 1-4 with a 2B and an RBI. Koomey was 0-1 with 2 BB. Ellison was 1-2 with a BB and an RBI.