Prep Baseball Report

Mountain View Rallies Late to Win 5A North

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By John Nolan
Assistant Director of Scouting/Content Management 

Stafford-A humid Friday afternoon in Stafford. Conference 15 rivals Potomac and No. 23 Mountain View staged a rematch of the Conference Championship game in the 5A North Region Championship. The game was Mountain View’s first Region Championship appearance in program history and Potomac’s first since 2000. Potomac send senior John Caicedo (Mary Washington) to the mound for the start and Mountain View countered with senior Jacob Menders (Shippensburg).

Potomac got right to work in the top of the first as Mike Buchino led the game off with a single. After being bunted to second, Evan Antonellis also singled to left, putting runners on the corners with one out. Alex Burke (St. Bonaventure) hit a ball sharply to first that Dylan Hall (Virginia Tech) was able to knock down with a dive, starting a 3-6-3 double play to end the inning.

In the bottom of the first, centerfielder Harry D’Antuono led the game off with a home run to center. After a walk to Nathan Neff (Concord), Caicedo settled down and got the next three batters out to end the inning with Mountain View leading 1-0.

Menders worked around a one-out walk to fire a scoreless second. In the bottom half of the second, Josh Menders led the inning off with a single to right and designated hitter Bob Grzymkowski drew a walk. Jacob Menders bunted them down to second and third, and the Wildcats were poised to extend their lead. Caicedo was able to bear down and get a strikeout and a groundout to keep the score 1-0 through two.

Building off of that momentum, Potomac got their bats going again in the top of the third as Drew Blevins (Marymount) led the inning off with a walk. Freshman Brody Mack drew a one out walk, putting a second running on base. Antonellis smashed a three-run home run to left, and Potomac took a 3-1 lead. The Panthers were not done yet as Burke struck out but reached on a wild pitch. Colt Lee legged out an infield single and both runners advanced on Caicedo’s ground out to second. With two outs and runners on second and third, Lee fell down halfway between second and third. Mountain View threw down to second and Lee scampered to third as Burke ran home with the Panthers’ fourth run.

The Wildcats came up in the bottom of the third facing a three run deficit with the middle of the lineup coming up. Neff led the inning off with a ground out to short, but Caicedo pitched Alex Smith (Navy) very carefully, walking him with one out. Hall doubled off of the very top of the leftfield fence, and Smith was able to score from first, cutting the deficit to 4-2. Jacob Pollock (Shippensburg) singled up the middle, scoring Hall and cutting the deficit to one. Josh Menders picked up his second base hit of the night, but Caicedo was able to get the next two batters to end the inning and preserve the 4-3 Potomac through three.

Menders worked a perfect top of the fourth and Potomac went to the pen in the bottom half, bringing in Burke from right field. Burke fired his own perfect fourth inning. In the top of the fifth, Menders walked Antonellis with one out, but got Burke to roll into a double play to put up another scoreless inning. Burke got two quick outs to start the inning, then issued a pair of walks before ending the inning with the lead intact.

Mountain View went to the pen in the top of the sixth, bringing on junior lefty Justin Pearson from leftfield. Pearson worked a quick sixth, striking out two to send the game to the bottom half of the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, Burke again got the first two outs quickly on a pair of fly ball before issuing a walk to D’Antuono. Neff then chopped a ball to second base and the throw got by the Potomac first baseman, extending the inning and putting both runners into scoring position. Potomac opted to intentionally walk Smith and pitch to Dylan Hall. Hall worked the count to full before he took ball four high, forcing the D’Antuono in with the tying run. Jacob Pollock was up next, and he too worked a full count before taking ball four, bringing in Neff with the go ahead run. Josh Menders lined out to left to end the inning, but Mountain View had retaken the lead headed to the seventh inning, 5-4.

In the top of the seventh, Pearson picked up right where he left off with a strikeout for his first out. Blevins singled to center to put the go ahead run on base, but then Pearson got a pair of fly ball outs and Mountain View dogpiled between the mound and third base, celebrating the Wildcats’ first 5A Region Championship in program history.

For Potomac, Caicedo threw 3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 3 BB, 2 K. Burke took the loss, going 3 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 5 BB, 2 K.  At the plate, Antonellis was the star, going 2-2 with a BB, HR, and 3 RBI. Blevins was also 1-2 with a BB and a R. The Panthers will face 5A South Region Champion Nansemond River in Friday’s State Semifinals at Lake Braddock.

For Mountain View, Jacob Menders went 5 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 4 BB, 3 K. Pearson earned the win with 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 K. Offensively, D’Antuono was 1-3 with a BB, 2 R, and a HR. Smith was 0-2 with 2 BB and a R. Hall was 1-3 with a 2B, BB, and 2 RBI. Jacob Pollock was 1-2 with 2 BB and 2 RBI. Josh Menders was 2-3 with a BB and a SB. The Wildcats will play Mills Godwin in Friday’s State Semifinals.


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