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Spartans Explode to Capture Class 6 Title


John Nolan
Virginia Assistant Director & Content Manager

UG 6.20

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Championship Saturday at Deep Run wrapped up as West Springfield took on the defending Class 6 State Champions, Western Branch, in the 2018 title game. West Springfield’s bats exploded for 12 runs and Jared Lyons (George Mason) struck out 10 in five innings as the Spartans cruised to a 12-2 win and the State Championship, the program’s first since 2010.

The game got to an exciting start as Connor Epley (Virginia Wesleyan) drew a leadoff walk and Conner Butler (Roanoke) ripped a double into the leftfield corner. Epley was waved home as he rounded third and West Springfield shortstop Brett Stallings (Frederick CC) rifled the relay home in time to get Epley for the first out of the game at the plate. Lyons got two strikeouts to end the top of the first.

Western Branch starter Antonio Velasquez got two quick outs in the bottom of the first before hitting a batter and a second one reached on an error. He would end the inning there and the game was scoreless after the first.

In the top of the second, Timmy Cassidy singled up the middle with one out and was sacrificed down to second base. Jalen Perez came through with the clutch two-out hit, singling to right to open the scoring and give Western Branch a 1-0 lead.

The Spartans wasted little time responding, with Kyle Mittauer leading the second off with a bunt base hit. A walk and a sacrifice bunt put two in scoring position with one out for Alec Reilly, who delivered a double up the right-center gap, scoring both runs. Reilly took third on a wild pitch and scored on a Calvin Pastel (Shenandoah) groundout. The inning wasn’t over yet as Lyons singled to left and then his courtesy runner scored from first when Nick Johnson doubled to right center. After two, West Springfield had opened up a 4-1 lead.

Lyons put two runners on in the top of the third with a walk and a hit batsmen, but again got two strikeouts to end the threat. In the bottom of the third. Velasquez hit David Giorgis with a pitch to open the inning and Mittauer bunted his runner down to second. Justin Nelson extended the lead to 5-1 with an RBI double down the rightfield line. Velasquez was able to get a pop up for the second out, but then Reilly came up again and again doubled to right-center, adding another RBI and ending Antonio Velasquez’s day. The Bruins went to the pen for freshman Roberto Velasquez. Roberto got a fly out to end the inning and after three West Springfield had a 6-1 lead.

Lyons would allow a single baserunner in each the fourth and the fifth, and he struck out the side in the fifth to end his day with ten strikeouts in five innings. In the bottom of the fifth, the Spartans were able to get runners on first and second with one out for Reilly, who again delivered an RBI, this time with a single to right. A walk to Pastel loaded the bases for Lyons, who capped his day off by driving a full count fastball over the centerfield fence for a grand slam. Johnson was up next and he homered to right, pushing the score to 12-1 and ending Roberto Velasquez’s day. Sophomore Kyle Carlson would not allow any more damage in the fifth and worked a scoreless sixth inning as well.

Kyle Martin came in for the Spartans in the sixth and got a double play to end the sixth. He allowed a run in the seventh on an Epley groundout, but got Ethan Alexander to pop up on the infield to end the game and give the Spartans the State Championship with a final score of 12-2.

For Western Branch, Epley was 0-2 with a BB, HBP, SB, and an RBI. Butler was 1-4 with a 2B. Alexander was 0-2 with 2 BBs. Perez was 1-2 with an RBI.

Lyons earned the win with 5 IP, 1 R, 3 BB, HBP, 10 K while also going 2-4 with a home run and 4 RBIs. Reilly was 3-3 with 2 2Bs and 4 RBIs. Johnson was 3-3 with 2 2Bs, a home run, a HBP, and 2 RBIs. Mittauer was 3-3 with a 2B and a sacrifice. Nelson was 1-2 with a 2B, an RBI, and a BB.

 

 

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