For the second straight year, Arlington Post 139 has reached the winners’-bracket final of the American Legion District 17 Tournament.
Doing so may not be as big of a surprise as last summer when Arlington was the No. 5 seed in the tournament and eventually finished second. Post 139 is the third seed this year and entered the playoffs on a five-game winning streak.
Entering tonight’s 7 p.m. winners’ final at Barcroft Park against No. 5 seed Falls Church Post 130, Arlington (10-7) is 2-0 in the tourney. The results were an 11-1 first-round win over bottom seed Alexandria Post 123 (2-15), then a 5-0 blanking of second-seed and defending champion Springfield Post 176 (11-5) in round two.
Arlington’s win over Springfield was its fourth in a row against the team this season.
If Post 139 defeats Falls Church (7-10), it would need one more victory to win the district title. Arlington takes a seven-game winning streak into the contest.
“Our kids have played phenomenal so far,” Arlington manager Bob Romano said. “We’re not walking batters or making errors, we are hitting, and we aren’t letting the leadoff batters get on base.”
Right-hander Ketz Murray pitched an eight-inning, three-hit compete game against Alexandria in the 10-run slaughter-rule contest. He struck out seven, the run was earned, he did not walk a batter and he threw 96 pitches.
“Ketz was fantastic and we made the decision to leave him in there to finish,” Romano said.
Arlington had 14 hits. Quinn Brennan had three doubles and two RBI. Bobby McDonough homered, doubled and drove in five runs. Murray, Gideon Fenster and Landon Thomas (two RBI) all had two hits.
In the playoff victory over Springfield, Brennan had his second straight three-hit game with another double. With two hits each were Dillon Bass and A.J. Haines. David Haley had two RBI, including a two-strike squeeze bunt, and Sam Dozier had a hit and an RBI. Thomas, Fenster and James Thiriez each had hits.
Arlington had 11 hits and made no errors.
On the mound, left-hander Lorenzo Snyder started and worked six innings to get the win. He struck out two and did not walk a batter, scattering seven hits.
“Lorenzo doesn’t throw hard, but he has good movement on the ball and has a good curveball,” Romano said.
Noah Larbalestier worked the final three frames. He allowed three hits and did not walk a batter.
In two playoff games, Arlington pitchers have not walked a batter.
Springfield and top-seed Vienna Post 180 (14-3) are the other teams still alive in the tournament. Both have 1-1 records and play tonight in an elimination game.