Prep Baseball Report

Top-Ranked Briar Woods Cruises in Rivalry Game

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By John Nolan
Virginia Assistant Director and Content Manager

Brambleton-Briar Woods, the top-ranked school in our VHSL 5A Rankings, traveled to central Loudoun rival Rock Ridge on a nice late March evening. The Falcons were coming off of a loss in their opener on Wednesday night to 6A Robinson. Rock Ridge entered the game 0-2, with a tight loss to Stone Bridge on Monday and a game that was tied late on Wednesday before turning into a blowout. Briar Woods tabbed senior Ty Germanowski (St. Bonaventure) for the start and Rock Ridge sent senior Nick Stewart (James Madison) to the mound.

The Falcons got things going quickly as leadoff hitter and senior centerfielder Michael Ludowig (Wake Forest) drilled a two-strike pitch to deep left for a leadoff double to open the game. Shortstop Jake Kleifges followed that up with an RBI triple to left-center. Germanowski drove Kleifges in with a sacrifice fly to left to give Briar Woods an early 2-0 lead. The Falcons were not done with the first as junior outfielder Brandon Hamm tripled to right-center. Senior Jack Jaekle drove him in with a single to center. Matt Lord kept the inning alive slapping a double just over third base and senior Sean Clark singled to right-center to extend the Falcon lead to 5-0 after the top of the first.

Germanowski got a pair of quick ground ball outs to start the bottom of the first before issuing a walk and giving up a single to Stewart. After allowing the two baserunners, Germanowski got a strikeout looking to end the first. Stewart settled in after the first, firing scoreless second and third innings and Germanowski matched him as the game moved into the fourth inning.

Ludowig led off the top of the fourth with a triple to center and Germanowski drove him in a batter later with another sacrifice fly, extending the Falcon lead to 6-0. Ludowig relieved Germanowski on the mound in the bottom of the fourth and struck out the side.

Stewart exited after a scoreless fifth inning, and was relieved by junior Corey Brown, who threw a scoreless sixth and seventh. Ludowig worked the fifth and sixth innings and added four more strikeouts. The Phoenix would scratch a run in the seventh against junior Wilson Ayers (Navy), but could not mount a full comeback.

Stewart took the loss with 5 IP, 6 R, 10 H, 1 BB, 1 HBP, and 4 K, although his line was much better after he settled into the game in the second inning. Stewart was also 1-3 at the plate. Brown threw 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 BB, 2 K and was 0-2 with a BB and a R. Sophomore Josh Harbinson was 0-2 with 2 BB and a SB. Junior catcher Ben Wright was 2-4.

For Briar Woods, Germanowski went 3 IP, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 H, 2 K while also going 0-2 with 2 SAC and 2 RBI at the plate. Ludowig went 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, and 7 K while also going 2-3 with a 2B, 3B, BB, and 2 R at the plate. Kleifges was 2-4 with a 2B, 3B, R, and RBI. Hamm was 2-3 with a 3B and a R. Lord was 2-2 with a 2B, BB, and a R. Clark was 1-2 with a HBP and 2 RBI.

For scouting information and player analysis from this game, tune in to the Virginia/DC Scout Blog later today.