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Knights outslug Rangers in American Legion baseball showdown

Caleb Barnes takes a swing during the Ashburn Knights’ 14-10 win versus the Leesburg Rangers.—Times-Mirror/Buzz Covington
On a night where big innings were the name of the game, the Post 2001 Ashburn Knights produced a pair of big innings, which pushed the host Knights to a 14-10 win over the Post 34 Leesburg Rangers in American Legion baseball action Tuesday at Stone Bridge High School.

“It’s all about taking the approach, looking for your pitch to drive it somewhere,” Knights manager Bob Hough said. “I got a lot of great hitters here, and they’re doing it. It’s been going on for the first half of this season for us.”

Senior American Legion baseball is contested by players 19 and under. The Knights, composed of players from Briar Woods, Broad Run, Freedom and Stone Bridge high schools, scored six in the first inning and seven in the fourth en route to the victory over their crosstown rivals.

The two teams, the only senior Legion baseball teams in Loudoun County, put on a hitting clinic, totaling 35 hits between the two sides.

The Rangers - composed of Heritage, Loudoun County, Loudoun Valley and Woodgrove players - played six solid innings of defensive baseball. They just had two bad ones.

“We had two innings where we just gave up about 99 percent of the runs tonight,” Rangers manager Daniel Gershen said.

After falling behind 13-5 in the fourth inning, the Rangers steadily chopped down the lead. The Rangers gave themselves a chance in the late innings before ultimately running out of time.

And while it wasn’t a night for pitchers, Knights' starter Caleb Barnes kept the Rangers bats at bay long enough for his offense to take over the game.

“I didn’t have my ‘A’ stuff, but we kinda took that as, we knew we had to put up a lot of runs," Barnes said. We got rolling early."

Barnes, the Conference 14 Player of the Year for Briar Woods in 2016, pitched five innings, allowing seven runs. He also added an RBI double in the big fourth inning.

The Knights' bats carried the way. Dave Mocabee went 2-for-4 with 5 RBIs, including an inside-the-park grand slam. Nathan Davis went 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs.

The Rangers were led on the statsheet by Timothy Holdredge, who went 4-for-5 with 2 RBIs.

“We know all those kids, we’ve grown up playing with and against them, so we really wanted to beat those guys,” Barnes said.

The high intensity match-up was the second of the season for the local teams. Ashburn also won the first meeting - 1-0 in 10 innings.

“Yeah I think there’s a rivalry, it’s the kids from Leesburg and Western Loudoun versus the kids from Ashburn and Eastern Loudoun,” Gershen said. “There’s always an inherent rivalry there.”

-We will take a closer look at both American Legion baseball teams in the July 7 edition of the Loudoun Times-Mirror and online at LoudounTimes.com.


-Additional photos by Buzz Covington


















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