Millbrook Opens Conference Play With Tight Win

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By John Nolan
Assistant Director of Scouting/Content Management 

Purcellville-Coming off of a loss on Thursday night to Potomac Falls, No. 6 Millbrook opened Conference 21A play on Friday night with a trip back to Loudoun County to take on Woodgrove. The Pioneers turned to junior Anthony Simonelli (Coastal Carolina) to start the game and the Wolverines countered with senior Austin Rader (Naval Academy). Woodgrove entered the game coming off of a win in its opener on Thursday night over John Champe.

Millbrook got off to a quick start in the first inning as senior shortstop Alex Amos (Pittsburgh) led the game off with a single to left. The Pioneers continued to build the inning as junior first baseman Ryan Kennedy (Kennesaw State) drew a two out walk. Rader was able to wiggle out of the trouble by inducing a fielder’s choice to end the inning.

Simonelli got off to a good start retiring the first five batters to start the game and getting three strikeouts in the first two innings. Rader settled in with a perfect second inning as well and the game moved to the third in a scoreless tie. For velocities and scouting information on Simonelli and Rader, check the Virginia/DC Scout Blog early next week.

Rader started the third with a strikeout and then Amos doubled to deep left to get the Pioneers into business. Up next was senior second baseman Trenton Burgreen (Shepherd), who grounded sharply into the hole. Woodgrove sophomore shortstop Justin Hanvey showed good range getting to the ball and threw to third to get Amos, but the ball got away, allowing Amos to score the Pioneers’ first run. Rader was able to limit the damage two one run.

In the bottom of the fourth, Simonelli allowed a one out single to Woodgrove junior Ryan Miles, who then stole second on a swung through hit and run. Simonelli got a strikeout and a ground out to end the threat and keep Millbrook on top. In the fifth, Rader issued a two out walk to Amos, but otherwise got through the inning unscathed. Simonelli answered with a perfect fifth, and the score remained 1-0 headed to the sixth inning.

The Millbrook sixth inning started with junior centerfielder Conor Hartigan (Coastal Carolina) beating out an infield single. Kennedy then singled to right, sending Hartigan to third with no outs. Rader got a comebacker and turned a 1-6-3 double play with Hartigan staying at third, and he looked like he was going to escape the inning, but issued a walk to junior third baseman Nathan Jaye, putting runners on the corners with two outs. Rader got to an 0-2 count on the next hitter, then picked over to first as Jaye broke early to second. Hartigan was able to score on the play, giving Millbrook a 2-0 lead.

Woodgrove began to mount its comeback in the bottom of the sixth as senior centerfielder Colin Reid (Radford) drew a leadoff walk. After a pair of loud outs, Reid stole second to put himself into scoring position with two outs. Simonelli got Miles to strike out on a breaking ball in the dirt, but sophomore catcher Kyle Keenan hit Miles in the helmet on the throw to first, allowing Miles to reach base and Reid to score the Wolverines’ first run. After a walk, Simonelli got a ground out to end the sixth with Millbrook on top, 2-1.

Miles entered the game to pitch for Woodgrove and tossed a scoreless inning. Millbrook turned to senior Trey Braithwaite (Naval Academy) to close the game out and preserve the 2-1 lead. Braithwaite made quick work of the Wolverines, throwing a perfect inning with one strikeout to pick up the save and seal the win. For velocities from Miles and Braithwaite and more scouting information, check the Virginia/DC Scout Blog early next week.

For Millbrook, Simonelli picked up the win, with a line of 6 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 3 BB, and 9 K. Braithwaite earned a save with a line of 1 IP, 0 R, and 1 K. Amos led the offense, going 2-2, with a 2B, BB, HBP, R, and 2 SB. Haritgan went 1-2, with a R, a BB, and a SB. Kennedy was 1-2 with a BB.

For Woodgrove, Rader threw well but took the loss, with a line of 6 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 4 BB, and 4 K. Miles had 1 IP, 0 R, HBP, 2 K and went 1-3 at the plate with a SB. Reid went 0-2 with a BB, R, and 2 SB. 

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