The bats went quiet for host team Arlington Post 139, which had a short two-game stay in the American Legion state tournament, losing both of its contests in the eight-team double-elimination baseball competition.
Arington finished the season with a 16-9 overall record, including a second-place finish in the District 17 tournament.
In that state tourney, Arlington lost its opening game by a 3-2 score to McLean Post 270 on July 26 on Tucker Field at Barcroft Park. The next morning Post 139 was eliminated by Fairfax Post 177, 6-3, at Wakefield High School.
Arlington had eight hits against McLean and six against Fairfax, and stranded multiple runners.
“We just didn’t hit enough and left too many runners on base,” Arlington manager Bob Romano said. “When you get in tight games in these tournaments against good pitching, the pressure builds in big situations.”
Against McLean, Dillon Bass and James Thiriez each had two hits for Arlington, Jake Guffey had a hit and one RBI and J.J. Foti had a hit.
Right-hander Bobby McDonough started on the mound and worked five innings. He allowed one earned run, two hits, fanned nine and walked five. Lorenzo Snyder pitched the final two frames and took the loss.
Arlington led 2-1 in the second inning. McLean tied the score at 2 in the third and scored the winning run in the sixth.
Against Fairfax, six different Arlington players had hits. McDonough, Ketz Murray and Quinn Brennan doubled and Snyder, Tom Bourque (one RBI) and Mateo Cardinale had singles.
Hits by multiple pinch-hitters helped Arlington score a couple of late-game runs.
Chase Rubin started on the mound and went 51/3 frames. He alowed five hits, three earned runs and struck out six.
“I knew we could be a competitive team this summer because we were going to have solid pitching,” Romano said. “What I didn’t know was how we were going to hit, and we had some good hitting games.”
Arlington has enjoyed a strong three-season run of winning, with a cumulative record of 38-28 over those campaigns and significant playoff success, including being the second-seed and losing in the district-tournament final by one run this season to top seed Vienna Post 180.
Last summer, Post 139 got hot in the playoffs and won the district tournament, then finished third in the state. In 2020, Arlington was second in the district tournament. So the squad has played in the district finals three straight seasons.
The team’s three-year playoff record was 11-8, with consecutive state-tournament berths for the first time in program history.
“It’s been three strong seasons,” Romano said. “We only lose six players from this season, so we are already looking ahead to next year. I’ll start reaching out to players soon.”
NOTE: Arlington Post 139 became the host of the state tournament late in the regular season when the original site and host team in Spotsylvania County backed out because it did not have enough players to field a team. Romano, also the District 17 commissioner, secured the fields at Barcroft Park and Wakefield High School for the eight-team double-elimination tournament. The final three games of the tournament were played at Barcroft Park. The state tourney was last held in this part of Northern Virginia in the early 1990s in Fairfax County at Robinson Secondary School.