The initial evaluation of manager Graeme Fineman’s Arlington Senior Babe Ruth 13-under all-stars was the baseball team would have sound defense and pitching, and would be able to bunt and run the bases well.
The unknown was how well the unit would hit.
That is no longer a concern. Through five postseason games, the all-stars have averaged 11.2 hits per contest, with a high of 15 en route to winning District 7 and state tournaments.
Arlington won the five-team state tourney with a 3-0 record, including a 12-4 victory over Charlottesville in the title game. The all-stars amassed those 15 hits in that contest.
“Our hitting has come along well,” Fineman said. “At first, we were the epitome of a ‘small-ball’ team, with defense and pitching as our calling card, and bunting multiple times a game and stealing a lot of bases. We have a deep pitching staff.”
One of those top pitchers is Reece Wilder. She started and got the win in both the district and state finals, hurling a two-hit complete game in the district title tilt with four strikeouts. Wilder worked 42/3 frames in the state final, with Will Piester finishing in relief.
“Reece has very good control, and her curveball is hard to hit,” Fineman said. “She mixes her pitches well.”
Wilder was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the state tournament.
Other top pitchers have been Patrick Mellett, George Thompson, Cooper Lawson, Jack Ingram and Alex Goodell. Mellett and Lawson combined for a no-hitter in Arlington’s 11-1 first-round state-tourney victory over Manassas.
Arlington’s other state-tournament victory was over Charlottesville, 9-5. (Arlington initially trailed in each game against Charlottesville, but battled back to win.)
Top hitters for Arlington have been just about everyone in the lineup. Ingram had four hits in one game. Joseph Black, Lawson and Piester each have had three-hit games. Multiple players have had two-hit outings, including Drew Welch and Mason Wing. Goodell has multiple doubles and triples.
Other players for Arlington are Chris Layman, Teddy Sennott and Kyle Matsko.
In the two-team district tournament, Arlington went 2-0 with wins over Vienna by 7-4 and 4-0 scores.
Arlington has an overall 7-1 record. The team finished 2-1 in a warmup competition prior to the district tournament.
Arlington’s coaches are Will Fineman and Josh Jones.
Next for Arlington is the Southeast Region Tournament, beginning July 28 in Jackson, Tenn.