Highlander baseball strikes out in quarterfinals

The Varsity McLean Baseball team lost 6-3 to Centreville to end the season

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Highlander baseball strikes out in quarterfinals

The Highlanders battled in a closely contested match up with Centreville. They would ultimately lose 6-3.

The Highlanders battled in a closely contested match up with Centreville. They would ultimately lose 6-3.

Ben Brooks

The Highlanders battled in a closely contested match up with Centreville. They would ultimately lose 6-3.

Ben Brooks

Ben Brooks

The Highlanders battled in a closely contested match up with Centreville. They would ultimately lose 6-3.

Ben Brooks, Sports Editor

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A promising season ended in an unfortunate manor, as the Highlander Varsity Baseball team lost 6-3 to Centreville in the Regional Quarterfinals, ending what was a successful season, as the Highlanders finished with a district best 17-5 record. The Highlanders then proceeded to beat Yorktown 8-3 in the District Championship, securing themselves home field advantage for a first round matchup with Centreville High School in the Regional Quarterfinal game.

Both sides had their star pitchers on the mound; Teddy Merritt for McLean and Hunter Bell for Centrevlle. The game started off slow, but  Centreville struck first with a two run third inning. McLean responded, but still trailed by a run heading into the third inning. Despite the one run, McLean struggled to get hits off of Hunter Bell, a 6’6″ pitcher who is committed to VCU. Unfortunately, Centreville didn’t have the same problem with Merritt, as they knocked in another run in the third to stretch the lead to two runs.

“Hunter Bell is a really scary pitcher all around, but what makes him the most difficult to play against is his fastball that consistently sits in the mid 80s,” junior Javier Noyola said.

McLean’s only bright spot came in freshman Griffin Stieg. Stieg, already committed to Virginia Tech, batted .500 going two for four for The Highlanders, and scoring a run. 

Despite the struggling bats for McLean, Right Fielder Anthony Farmakides slapped a single off of Bell that brought in two runs to tie it up for The Highlanders in the fifth inning. However, Centreville quickly stretched it back to a three run game and McLean was down to three outs in the season.

Even after Bell was out of the game, Centreville had another star pitcher in Eric Bohenek.  With a fastball in the 80s, McLean struggled to keep up with Bohenek, as he struck out two of the three batters he faced to finish it off for Centreville.

“We played well against [Bohenek] earlier this year, but he was on his game this time,” Noyola said.

Despite a late rally, McLean struggled with the high profile pitchers on Centreville. however, there is hope for the future, as McLean will retain First Team All District players Drew and Griffin Stieg. McLean will also see star pitcher Teddy Merritt return for his senior season. Despite a disappointing end, McLean finds themselves in a promising position for next year, as Centreville is forced to rebuild due to the departure of their star pitchers.

 
 
 
 
 
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1st Team All District Highlanders!!!

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McLean will say goodbye to second baseman Jackson Kantor, who finished all first team in the Liberty District, but junior Drew Stieg, who started in left field for McLean next year, looks to add a spark to the offense along with the return of his brother, Griffin Stieg, in center field. The future for the Highlanders looks bright, as they begin the preliminary steps in the offseason to compete for a state championship next year.

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