Pearson Strikes Out 10 as Fauquier Defeats Kettle Run
May 5, 2018
A warm Friday night saw Kettle Run host Warrenton cross-town rival Fauquier in a key late-season Northwestern District game with major playoff implications. The Northwestern District only sends two teams to the Region 4c tournament this spring, with those teams being the top two finishers in the regular season. Kettle Run had won the first meeting between these two and both teams entered the game in playoff position, with the winner gaining the inside track on locking up a Region bid. Fauquier fell behind 2-0 early but rallied and then held on to win the game by a score of 6-4.
Kettle Run sent sophomore righty Joe Vogatsky to the mound for the start and he worked a perfect first. Fauquier starter, junior righty Lane Pearson, had trouble finding the zone to start the game, walking Kettle Run leadoff hitter Jared Johnson to open the game. Johnson quickly stole second and then moved to third on a wild pitch, all with no outs. Pearson made an adjustment and got a pair of big strikeouts to leave Johnson at third. Both pitchers worked around a base hit in the second inning but didn’t allow any damage as the game headed to the third in a scoreless tie.
Vogatsky again fired a scoreless third inning and in the bottom half of the third, Kettle Run got things going as Pearson walked the eight and nine hitters to put two on with no outs for the top of the Cougar lineup. After Johnson successfully bunted both runners into scoring position, Isaac Brooks drove in the game’s first run with an RBI groundout. The second run would score on a wild pitch and after three innings, Kettle Run had a 2-0 lead.
The Fauquier offense responded in the top of the fourth as senior shortstop Blaze O’Saben (UMBC) led the inning off with a double off of the base of the left-centerfield fence. After stealing third, O’Saben scored when Carson McCusker fisted a base hit into centerfield. After a wild pitch sent him to second, McCusker advanced to third on a fly out and scored the tying run on another pitch that got to the backstop. Pearson struck out the side to hold Kettle Run scoreless in the bottom half of the inning and after four, the score was tied at 2.
In the top of the fifth, Clay Goff and Cole Western each had one-out singles into right-center, with Goff going first to third on Western’s hit and Western taking second base on the throw. With the go-ahead runs in scoring position, Troy Smith got a squeeze bunt down successfully, bringing in Goff. Western also scored on the play as a miscommunication at first allowed Smith to reach base safely. Fauquier would load the bases, but Vogatsky was able to get a lineout to end the inning. Pearson again answered with a shutdown inning, and the game headed to the sixth with Fauquier leading 4-2.
Vogatsky struck out the first hitter in the sixth inning and then he was replaced on the mound by senior Bailey Burke. Burke was promptly welcomed by a sharp single from Clay Shafer. A walk and a pop out made it two on, two out for Fauquier and Burke was sable to get Smith to roll a routine ground ball on the infield, but an error allowed the ball to get through to the outfield and a run to score, extending the lead to 5-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Vogatsky reached on a single and stole second base. He then came around to score when David Haiss dropped a two-out single into right field to cut the deficit to 5-3. Fauquier opted to go to the pen, bringing in McCusker from centerfield to replace Pearson. McCusker got a ground out to short to end the threat and the game went to the seventh with the Falcons leading 5-3.
Fauquier would again add an insurance run in the top of the seventh as McCusker reached on a hit by pitch to open the inning and eventually scored when a squeeze bunt was popped up and the throw to try and double him off at third went into leftfield. In the bottom of the seventh, Kettle Run put two runners on with two outs and Jacob Gladstone (Ferrum) kept the Cougars alive with an RBI single, putting the tying run on base. McCusker got Vogatsky to strike out on a check swing to end the inning and the game with a final score of Fauquier 6, Kettle Run. 4
For Kettle Run, Vogatsky went 5.1 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 K while also going 2-4 at the plate with a stolen base. Gladstone was 2-4 with an RBI. Johnson was 0-1 with 2 BB, a stolen base and a sacrifice. Haiss was 1-2 with a HBP and an RBI. Caden DeCroo was 1-2 with a BB and 2 runs.
For Fauquier, Pearson was the winning pitcher going 5.2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 4 BB, HBP, 10 K. McCusker earned a save with 1.1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, HBP, 3 K while also going 1-3 at the plate with 2 runs, a HBP, a stolen base, and an RBI. Western finished 2-4 with a 2B and a run. O’Saben was 1-3 with a 2B and an intentional walk. Goff was 1-2 with a BB and a run.
-Pearson was 82-85, touching 87 once. Change-up was 74-77. Curveball was 67-74.
-McCusker was 80-83. Change-up 73-75, curveball 71-73. Has some batspeed and speed in the outfield and on the bases, gets good breaks on the ball.
-O'Saben has speed and has added strength, allowing him to tap into more power at the plate
-Vogatsky was 83-85 early in the game, tailed off to 78-83 in the fifth. Change-up was 67-72. Curveball was 62-68 with different shapes and speeds.
-DeCroo was 77-79 on the mound, put a couple of good swings on the ball.
For full scouting notes and videos, watch for the VA/DC Scout Blog post for this game early next week.
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