Baseball: Post 180 Takes Doubleheader, First Place
Vienna Post 180 wins doubleheader over Alexandria Post 129
Vienna Post 180 nabbed first place in District 17 of American Legion Baseball after winning a doubleheader over Alexandria Post 129 on Sunday, which included a no-hitter from Tim Davis.
Davis, a Madison High graduate and Georgetown University-commit, threw eight strikeouts and two walks for Post 180's only no-hitter of the season.
His dominant performance on the mound held Post 129 scoreless as his squad tallied 10 runs in support to shut out Post 129 in a mercy-rule win after six innings.
With shortened rosters on both benches because of Beach Week, Davis knew there was pressure for him to have a solid outing on the mound.
"You just have to go out there and try to get ahead of guys and throw strikes so they put the ball in play. It leads to quick innings, and we don't have a full pitching staff this week," Davis said. "We're all good at baseball, so as long as we have nine guys, we're good because everyone is talented enough to play."
Back-to-back solo home runs from Henry Brandmark and Chris Hanson opened scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Brandmark — who went 3 for 7 with four RBI and five runs on the day — added another RBI, and Mark Gunst crossed the plate on a wild pitch to give Post 180 a four-run lead after two innings.
In the fifth inning, a wild pitch with bases loaded scored Gavin Gibbons and a throwing error on the play scored Billy McLaughlin.
Post 180 earned the mercy-rule win in the sixth with four runs that started with an RBI double from Brandmark, who tallied a game-high three RBI. Justin Padgett, Jack Anzilotti and Gibbons each knocked in a run to put the final score at 10-0.
With a 9-6 win for the second game, Post 180 swept the doubleheader.
As the visiting team for the game, Post 180 scored a run in the top of the first on an RBI double from Padgett to score Hanson, who drew his first of two walks.
Andy Gross, in his first start of the season, gave up three runs to Post 129 in the bottom of the first before settling down to hold them scoreless for three more innings.
Gross, an Oakton High graduate who now attends Tulane University but does not play baseball at the college level, decided to play with the Legion team one last time after playing with the squad in the three previous summers.
"Andy has great heart," Coach Frank Werman said. "He called me when he was in school even though he wasn't playing and said, 'Do you have a spot for me?' and I said, 'Of course we've got a spot for you.' He's such a great kid, you want to just give him that opportunity."
Post 180 began to pile up runs to retake the lead in the second. After three straight batters reached to load the bases, Brandmark drew a walk for an RBI to tie. Hanson — who went 2 for 5 with five runs, three RBI and three walks in the doubleheader — followed with a single for two RBI to reclaim the lead for Post 180. With Post 129 distracted in a rundown to catch Hanson stealing second base, Brandmark scored to take a 5-3 lead at the end of the second.
Padgett and Anzilotti each drove in a run in the fourth to add to Post 180's lead before Post 129 scored a run in the fifth, giving Post 180 a 7-4 advantage heading into the sixth. Post 180 posted its last two runs on RBI groundouts from Padgett and Anzilotti.
Post 180 has a team batting average of .311 and scores an average of 7.7 runs per game, but Werman still is not satisfied with his offense.
"I just think we're better than that. We can be more consistent throughout the game," Werman said. "We're getting to the point in the season when all our guys can show up on a regular basis, and I think we'll be really good after that."
The team will continue without a full roster through the end of the week, just ahead of the annual All-Star game July 4, which Werman would coach if his team is one of the top two teams heading into the game.
"I'd love to be able to manage it. I think we'll have a lot of guys on the All-Star team again this year and I think it would be a lot of fun," Werman said.
Post 180 has a narrow lead in the rankings, leading three District 17 teams by just a half game.
The team continues its season 7 p.m. Tuesday against Springfield Post 176 at Lee High.