For five innings, the Loudoun South All Stars and the Green Run All Stars were neck and neck in the Virginia State 9-10 Baseball Tournament quarterfinals July 23 at Greg Crittenden Memorial Park in Ashburn.
Neither team could best the others’ potent defense to score a run until the top of the sixth inning when Loudoun South broke through. Devon Zavacky singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch before being plated by Danny Dornan’s double.
But Green Run’s offense also awoke, scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth off a double and subsequent triple, ending Loudoun South’s tournament run.
“They came to play every time,” Loudoun South coach Bob Hoenig said of his team’s tournament performance. “We just fell a little short today.”
Loudoun South dominated pool play in the 16-team tournament. The “Mean Machine” went 3-0 to start the tournament, including double-digit victories against Mechanicsville National and King William.
“In a state tournament like this, we’re not familiar with the other teams,” Hoenig said. “We just have to come out and do what we do best: throw strikes, hit the ball and catch the ball.”
While the Mean Machine threw strikes and caught the ball, the boys struggled to get their bats going, as both they and Green Run were held to five hits in the quarterfinal game. Dornan led Loudoun South offensively, going 3 for 3 to earn more than half of the Mean Machine’s hits.
Pitching duties in the game were divided among Brandon Egress, Zach Hoenig and Zavacky, who closed out the game for Loudoun South. Egress and Zavacky combined for seven total strikeouts.
Loudoun South reached the Virginia State 9-10 Tournament after winning the District 16 title. District 16 hosted the tournament this summer.
The players had some consolation. As they exited the field, many with tears in their eyes, one father told his son as they both walked to the car, “You were still the best team in Loudoun this year. And that ain’t bad.”
Loudoun South (3-1)
July 20: Loudoun South 13, King William 0
July 21: Loudoun South 13, Mechanicsville National 3
July 22: Loudoun South 7, Bristol 3
July 23: Green Run 2, Loudoun South 1
-All photos by Trey Burke
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