Vikings finish what they started, top Panthers in Dulles baseball final
With both teams already knowing the site and opponent for their Region II tournament openers, Loudoun Valley coach Wayne Todd and Potomac Falls coach Joe Terango discussed sharing the AA Dulles District tournament trophy after weather suspended the championship game May 24 with the Vikings leading 3-1 in the fourth inning.
“Joe and I were talking about what to do, we didn’t want to get anybody hurt. And with regionals coming up, you don’t want to waste pitching,” Todd said. “But I kind of thought about it and knew my players wanted to play. They wanted to be able to say they won the whole thing or they didn’t.”
The decision to return to Sterling the next day to complete the game paid off for Valley as Max Hughes finished what he started on the mound to lift the Vikings to a 4-2 victory and the tournament title.
The victory was Valley’s first in three attempts this season against Potomac Falls (20-3) - Dulles District season champions. The Vikings (16-7) snapped the Panthers’ 19-game win streak in the process.
“I told the kids you should be proud of yourselves,” Todd said. “Nobody thought we could do something like this except the people in this room and the people at this school.”
Valley scored three of its four runs in the second inning, played Thursday before a storm surfaced. Chad Fletcher blasted a double to left field to plate Mikey Pugh and his brother Danny Pugh with the first and second runs of the game. Blake Southerland followed with a single to right to bring home Fletcher and extend the Vikings’ lead to 3-0.
Valley scored its final run in the sixth inning. Danny Pugh doubled for the second time in the game to lead off the frame. Fletcher advanced Pugh to third on a deep fly out before Southerland successfully executed a squeeze play to score Pugh.
Sam Bass drilled a pair of solo home runs to account for Potomac Falls’ scoring. The Panthers threatened for more in the fifth when their first two batters reached base. That’s when Viking third baseman Southerland flashed his glove - starting a double play to leave a runner at third with two outs. Southerland then made a diving snag of a hard liner to end the scoring threat.
“I was so happy for Blake,” Todd said. “He took the last loss to Potomac Falls hard. We lost 3-2 and he made an error in that game. I told him ‘that error did not lose that game, games are not won or lost like that’. I said ‘good things happen to good people that work hard and tonight was your turn.’”
Hughes went the distance for the win, allowing just the two solo home runs by Bass. Danny White, Cavin Clyde and David Miller each went 1 for 3 at the plate for the Vikings.
Both teams earned first round byes and will begin the Region II playoffs in the quarterfinals May 29. Potomac Falls will host the first round winner of Heritage/Liberty and Valley will play at Kettle Run.
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