With the McLean Highlanders and Oakton Cougars losing close semifinal home games in the 6D North Region tournament May 31, the baseball season officially ended for all high-school teams in the Sun Gazette’s coverage areas.
Liberty District tournament-champion McLean (17-7) lost 10-8 to the Herndon Hornets in extra innings. Concorde District tournament winner Oakton (18-7) was nipped by the South Lakes Seahawks, 7-6, in region action, as rallies by the local teams fell short.
Each team was 1-1 in the region tournament, with Oakton 4-1 overall in the playoffs and McLean 3-1.
McLean lost in nine innings after Herndon scored five runs in the top of the ninth to build a 10-5 lead. Three errors were costly for McLean, as only four of Herndon’s runs were earned.
The Highlanders lost despite getting 12 hits, three each from Avi Furman and Robbie Coates (double, three RBI) and two apiece from Ethan Ball and Gavin Bartlett, as both had a double.
McLean never led, but scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning to tie the score at 5, where it stood until the ninth.
In Oakton’s loss to South Lakes, each team had nine hits. South Lakes scored four runs in the top of the sixth to pull ahead, 7-4. Oakton plated two in the bottom of the frame to end the scoring.
Zach DeKoven (one RBI) and Robbie Lavey each had two hits for Oakton. Noah Toole had a hit and two RBI, and Reid Steinberg and Aaron Fu each had one hit and one RBI. Nick Toole and Ethan Jones had one hit apiece.
In the first round, McLean hosted and defeated the Westfield Bulldogs, 7-1, as Griffin Stieg and Aidan Carey combined for a one-hitter.
Stieg (9-1) started and worked five innings, allowing the one hit and he struck out six with four walks to get the win. Carey tossed the final two frames with three strikeouts and no walks.
McLean had 10 hits, with Stieg (two hits) and Furman belting home runs. Ball had four hits and two RBI, Wyatt Johnson and Chris Morabito (two RBI, sacrifice fly) doubled and Bartlett had one hit.
Also in the first round, Oakton rallied to nip the Langley Saxons, 4-3, as Jones and Steinberg each had two hits. Liam Andrews had a hit and two RBI.
On the mound, lefty Tanner Vislay got the win in relief and Noah Toole pitched to one batter, with a strikeout, to get the save in a bases-loaded situation.
For Langley (7-16), Scott Coker and Matthew Kim each had two hits and one RBI, Luke Buroker added two hits, and Peter Whelan had a hit and one RBI. NOTE: Three of Oakton’s five postseason games were one-run contests. Another was decided by two runs.