City vs. Valley in state final

Published 9:59 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2011

West Springfield infielders Bobby Leitzel and Jack Cone combine for an out at second during West Springfield’s 6-4 win against Tuckahoe in the semifinals of the Virginia Minor League State Tournament at Bennett’s Creek Little League on Tuesday. West Springfield meets Bridgewater in the state final Wednesday at 10 a.m.

DRIVER — Wednesday’s finale in the Virginia Minor League State Tournament will be a contest between the D.C. beltway and the Shenandoah Valley as West Springfield and Bridgewater are the last two teams standing from the 16 that started at Bennett’s Creek Little League five days ago.

In Tuesday’s semifinal doubleheader, Bridgewater broke a close game open with five runs in the fifth inning for an 11-3 win over Great Falls. West Springfield rallied from Tuckahoe’s early 3-0 lead for a 6-4 victory.

Bridgewater and West Springfield had blitzed through their opponents until the semifinals.

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The final score in Bridgewater’s win wound up as another rout, but the first four innings weren’t lopsided.

Each time the middle of Bridgewater’s batting order came around though, it was trouble for Great Falls.

Bridgewater clean-up man Waring Garber launched a two-run homer well over the leftfield fence giving his side a 2-0 lead four batters into the game.

Great Falls got on the board in the bottom of the second. Iain Muir started the frame with a hot shot by the third baseman and by the leftfielder for a triple. Wyatt Harrell drove in Muir and reached base thanks to an error on his grounder to short.

Bridgewater starting pitcher Tanner Moyers kept his 2-1 lead safe with back-to-back strikeouts to end the Great Falls second.

Moyers, in the No. 3 spot in Bridgewater’s order, tripled and scored in the third. Bridgewater’s fourth started with a pair of outs before the top of the order came up.

Addison Griffin and pinch-hitter Stuart Brunk each knocked singles, keeping it going for Moyers, who made it pay off in a huge way. Moyers drilled a high liner over the centerfield fence for a sudden 6-1 Bridgewater lead.

Great Falls answered with a pair of runs in the home half of the fourth. With two outs and the bases loaded, Nicholas Gasparis singled up the middle for two RBI.

Great Falls was still within striking distance until Bridgewater’s offense took over, scoring in all sorts of ways in a five-run fifth inning.

Zach Hendrick opened the inning with a single and moved around the rest of the way around on two wild pitches and a passed ball.

Mason Kimbrough scored on a double steal as Koice Quintanilla swiped second base.

Griffin came in on another hit by Moyers, giving Moyers four RBI to go with his pitching win and Bridgewater an 11-3 margin.

Garber and Hendrick came out of the bullpen after Moyers went into the fourth inning. Hendrick gave up one hit and no walks in pitching the last 2.1 innings.

Tuckahoe jumped out to a 3-0 lead over West Springfield and it could’ve been more for the Richmond squad.

Liam Simpson doubled in lead-off hitter Joey Zanetti, with a smashed grounder down the leftfield line, and Sam Landess hit a two-out single bringing in Simpson for a 2-0 lead through an inning.

After three walks let Tuckahoe load the bases with one out in the second, Simpson singled in pinch-runner Connor Schnupp.

West Springfield held the rally there, with pitcher Connor Copeland fielding a chopper and tossing to the plate and third baseman Tyler Bell gloving a grounder and stepping on his bag for the third out.

Tuckahoe pitcher Jack Carpin blanked West Springfield, which came into the game having scored 59 runs in its first four wins, for the first three innings.

West Springfield got going in the fourth as an error and two walks set the table for the rally.

Brian Bachman singled through the left side for an RBI. Nathaniel Do nailed a hard grounder up the middle that glanced off the shortstop’s glove and into short centerfield. Two runners scored to tie the game.

West Springfield kept going in the next frame, scoring three more in the top of the fifth. With another bases-loaded, no-out opportunity, Tyler Matheny knocked in two with a single into leftfield. Bachman followed with a grounder to second and Copeland beat the throw to the plate for a 6-3 lead.

Tuckahoe scored once in the home half of the fifth and had the tying runner on second and the go-ahead runner on first with two outs.

Matheny got a strikeout to end the fifth. Cone, West Springfield’s fourth pitcher of the day, came on to save the 6-4 lead, allowing just a walk in getting the three outs in the Tuckahoe sixth.

Both squads bring 5-0 records into the state championship, set for 10 a.m. Wednesday at Bennett’s Creek Little League.