Middlesex Seniors are 3-1 in state tournament
|In Monday’s 11-1 rain-soaked win over Louisa, Middlesex catcher Greg Pitts gets set to tag out a runner at home plate. (Photo by Stephen Blue)|
by Tom Chillemi
The Middlesex Little League Senior League All Star baseball team (ages 15-16) was one of only four teams still in contention at the State Tournament in Pound on Tuesday, July 15.
With fewer than a dozen players, Middlesex is the smallest team in numbers, but its determination has taken it deep against opponents that are comprised of All-Stars picked from several teams.
Middlesex won its first two games but then lost 5-2 to Phoebus and was relegated to the losers’ bracket. Middlesex must now win four straight games to win the state title.
On Wednesday, July 16, at 2 p.m., Middlesex was scheduled to play the winner of the Front Royal-Fairfax game. If Middlesex won, they would have played again at 5 p.m.
If Middlesex got through Wednesday’s doubleheader, it would be in the championship game, but would have to defeat the undefeated top team of the winner’s bracket twice on Thursday, July 17.
“I knew we were coming here with two good pitchers,” said Coach Fitchett, “but after that, I didn’t know what would happen. We’re going to have to continue to play solid defense and hit the baseball.”
Jarosz retires the side in order on just 12 pitches. Score remains 0-0, going to the top of the 2nd, Middlesex coming to bat.
Middlesex draws another walk, but is held scoreless in the top of the 2nd. Score remains 0-0, Front Royal coming to bat in the bottom of the 2nd.
Front Royal gets a lead off single and scores on a sac fly, but Middlesex strands a Front Royal runner on 3rd to keep the score 1-0 after 2 complete innings. Top 3, Middlesex coming to bat.
Middlesex goes in order in the top of the 3rd. Score remains 1-0 Front Royal. Bottom of the 3rd coming up.
Middlesex gives a pair of singles, but holds Front Royal scoreless in the bottom of the 3rd. Score remains 1-0 Front Royal, top 4, Middlesex coming to bat.
Middlesex strands a runner on 1st, score remains 1-0 Front Royal. Bottom 4, Front Royal coming to bat.
Front Royal loads the bases but Middlesex holds. Score remains 1-0 Front Royal, Middlesex coming to bat in the top of the 5th.
Middlesex is held scoreless in the 5th. Score remains 1-0 Front Royal, bottom 5.
Front Royal plates 2 in the bottom of the 5th and extends the lead to 3-0. Middlesex coming to bat in the top of the 6th.
Middlesex leads off the inning with two hits, but are unable to capitalize. Score remains 3-0 Front Royal, bottom 6. Mason Phillips to the mound for Middlesex.
Middlesex holds Front Royal scoreless in the 6th. Middlesex coming to the plate in the top of the 7th, down 3-0. Do or die time.
Greg Pitts leads off the inning.
Middlesex falls 3-0, final score. Finishes the state tournament in 4th place of 14 district champion teams, with a tournament record of 3-2. Great run, guys!”
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