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Dragons’ title run reaches bitter end

South Boston News
Justyn Hudson got the start on the mound for Park View and pitched seven innings in a no decision in the Class 3A state tourney quarterfinal game. / June 12, 2019

After falling short in the regional playoffs, the Park View varsity baseball team was on the brink of advancing in the VHSL Class 3 state tournament when disaster struck in their game Tuesday against the Brentsville Tigers in Nokesville.

Leading Brentsville 4-3 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Dragons were just one out away from moving on to the state Class 3 semifinals when an error allowed the tying run to score and forced extra innings.

Two innings later, in the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers scored a walk-off run for the 5-4 victory, ending the Dragons’ hopes for a shot for the state title.

Park View jumped out to an early lead when infielder Justin Clary led off with a single to start the game. Dragon infielder Jarrett Hamby stepped into the batter’s box and launched at 2-and-1 count for a triple to right field, driving Clary home. J. DeLisi, on the mound for the Tigers, struck out the next three batters to end the side.

The teams traded punches with neither scoring until the top of the third, when Park View got their second run. Lead-off batter J. Clary drew a walk followed by J. Hamby’s strikeout. During Hamby’s at-bat, Clary advanced into scoring position on second on a passed ball. Dragon DH Cameron Sheets shot one through the gap into right field for an RBI single, scoring Clary and extending the PV lead to 2-0.

Brentsville drew even with Park View in the bottom of the fourth when the Tigers scored two runs to tie it up. C. Reid tripled to lead off the side for the Tigers and was driven in by J. Delisi’s single to left field. After Brentsville’s V. DiMauro flied out to Dragon center fielder Jaison Dugger, the next batter, A. Seymour, singled back to center, advancing the pitcher DeLisi’s courtesy runner to second.

Next up in the batter’s box was J. Hairfield, and with the count 3-and-1, he tagged one for an RBI single back to center field, scoring the tying run. Justyn Hudson, on the mound for Park View, struck the next batter out and induced a groundout to end the inning with it all tied up at 2-2.

The Dragons went three up, three down in the top of the fifth and the Tigers capitalized during their at-bat, scoring the go-ahead run. Tiger L. Binstead singled to second baseman J. Hamby, stole second and was then driven in when DeLisi got his second RBI on a triple to deep center field.

The Dragons evened things up in the top of the sixth inning when catcher Brandon Rolfe drove a liner to center to score C. Sheets, who had drawn a walk earlier.

With the game tied at 3-all, the teams went into the seventh inning staring eye-to-eye. The Tigers blinked first and Park View scored the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh.

Trevor Tanner, the second batter in the box for PV, drew a walk, stole second, then advanced to third on a passed ball. Next up, J. Hamby stood in the box and took one for the team, getting hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners with two outs. This brought big hitter C. Sheets to the plate, and the Tigers made the bold call to pitch around the Dragon DH for the walk, loading the bags for Jaison Dugger. Dugger would ground out to bring the top of the inning to a close, but not before Tanner alertly scored on a wild pitch, giving the Dragons the 4-3 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Tiger leadoff batter, S. Beard, singled on a hard shot to left field. L. Binsted sacrificed to advance Beard to second. C. Reid then lifted a fly ball to center field where J. Dugger made the catch for out number two, and holding Beard at second.

Down to their last out, J. Delisi came to bat for the Tigers and slapped a bouncer to short for a single, advancing Beard to third.. Unfortunately for the Dragons, first baseman Jefferson Barmoy committed an error trying to track down Clary’s throw. The misplay allowed Beard to score the tying run and advanced Delisi into scoring position as the potential winning run. The Dragons got a temporary reprieve when the next batter, V. DiMauro, grounded out to short.

The game went to the bottom of the ninth still tied at 4-4 when Brentsville’s S. Beard rapped a leadoff single to right field. Park View senior Mason Mills, on the mound in relief, got the next two batters out with a pop-out and a foul tip respectively before J. DeLisi drove a 0-1 count pitch to deep center scoring Beard for the winning run.

The loss ended the Dragons’ stellar 2019 season.

The Dragons finished with a record of 22-3, won the regular season Tri-Rivers District title and the Tri-Rivers District tournament. They finished as runners-up in the VHSL Class 3 East Region tournament and went to the state tournament for the first time since 1971. The Dragons will lose several key starting seniors, but there is a lot of underclass talent on this squad and also coming up from jayvees. 2020 should be a very entertaining year for Park View baseball.

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