Prep Baseball Report

Patto Fires a 3-Hitter as Bruins Advance

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By John Nolan
Virginia Assistant Director and Content Manager

Fairfax-A pleasant late June afternoon saw Robinson Secondary School play host to the second 6A State Semifinal game. The winner of the game would advance to Saturday’s State Championship game to take on Frank Cox, who had defeated Patriot earlier in the day to advance. The second game saw South Region runners-up Western Branch take on North Region champion Oakton. Western Branch sent senior Jay Patto (King) to the mound for the start and Oakton went with their own senior ace in Owen Lamon (Georgetown).

Lamon worked a quick, perfect top of the first inning. Patto seemed poised to match him in the bottom half of the inning, getting two quick outs. Ryan Davis (Georgetown) singled to left and Lamon singled to right center, which was then followed by a Jared Kimbel walk to load the bases for the Cougars. Patto backdoored a curveball to get a strikeout and the end the inning with no damage done.

Both pitchers worked perfect second innings, and they matched scoreless thirds, with Western Branch finally getting a baserunner when Lamon hit Patto in the chest with a pitch in the top of the third.

In the top of the fourth, Western Branch finally got their first hits, with Rufus Hurdle (Old Dominion) ripping a double to right-center and Ethan Alexander singling to left to put runners on the corners with two outs, but Lamon got a groundout to end the inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Patto worked around a walk to send the game to the fifth inning in a scoreless tie.

In the top of the fifth, Lamon hit leadoff hitter Phillip Gottlieb and Trent Jones (Gardner-Webb) was able to push a bunt past the mound for a single to put two on with no outs. Patto popped a bunt up and Lamon got a fly ball to get two outs in the inning, bringing up Conner Butler with both runners having advanced into scoring position. Butler got into a two-strike count and was just able to make contact with a curveball, blooping the ball into left-center and just beyond the reach of shortstop Eric Lingebach, driving in both runs and giving Western Branch a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth, Will Rippey reached on an infield single and Cole Wagner walked to put the tying runs on base for the Cougars with no outs. Lingebach skied a pop-up for the first out, Davis flew out to left, and Lamon flew out to right to end the inning with the Bruins leading 2-0.

In the top of the sixth, Western Branch got two runners on but the inning ended as Davis blocked a ball in the dirt and caught a Bruin runner between second and third for the final out. In the bottom of the sixth, Patto issued a one-out walk, but a strikeout-throwout double play ended the inning with the score still 2-0 Western Branch.

In the top of the seventh, Lamon got his first out, and then Patto lined a ball out of the park just to the side of the scoreboard for a home run, extending the Bruin lead to 3-0. In the bottom half of the inning, Patto got three soft ground balls to retire the Cougars in order and push the Bruins to a rematch with Cox in the State Championship game.

For Oakton, Lamon took the loss with 7 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 1 K while going 1-3 at the plate. Cole Wagner went 0-2 with 2 BB. Davis was 1-3. Benson was 0-1 with 2 BB.

For Western Branch, Patto earned the win with a shutout, 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 5 BB, 3 K while going 1-2 with a HBP, HR, RBI, and a R at the plate. Butler was 1-4 with 2 RBI. Hurdle was 1-2 with a BB and a 2B. Alexander was 1-3. Gottlieb was 0-2 with a HBP and R. Jones was 1-3 with a R.


Check the VA/DC Scout Blog later this week for scouting reports on players from this game.