Until this summer, it had been a while since any Arlington Little League all-star baseball team won a District 4 tournament championship and earn a state playoff berth.
That all happened July 3 when the Arlington National Intermediate All-Stars defeated previously undefeated and high-scoring Alexandria, 10-5, in the championship game on a Mason District Park field in Falls Church. The district crown was one of only a handful or so in league history
The Intermediate Division consists mainly of 13-year-old players, with some also ages 11 and 12. Games are played on a slightly larger field than typical Little League dimensions.
In the title game, Arlington National jumped to a 3-0 lead on July 2 by virtue of Gunner Chapman’s three-run homer in the bottom of the first inning. Shortly thereafter, the game was suspended because of weather and continued the next day.
Arlington National finished 4-1 in the five-day tournament. It’s loss was by a 30-9 score to Alexandria. Arlington National then avenged that defeat in the tournament final.
Alexandria entered the championship game with a 4-0 record and averaging 17.3 runs per game.
Nate Moseley was the starting and winning pitcher in the final, with Chapman recording the final three outs in relief.
“Nate just kept dealing for us on the mound, the Gunner got the final outs,” Arlington National manager Mark Nersasian said. “Our players were motivated for the rematch after we lost to Alexandria. Plus, we had seen some of their pitchers, so that helped, too.”
Arlington National’s first three tournament victories were over Arlington American, 15-5, Vienna, 14-1, and McLean, 16-2.
“We played solid defense, we hit the ball and had good speed to move around the bases. That was a good combination,” Nersasian said. “I credit all 14 of our players for buying into their roles and supporting each other. It’s not a common occurrence for an Arlington team to win a district tournament.
Other Arlington National players are Lukas Black, Ryan Brusch, Jay Kurrle, Will McKeever, Nick Nimerala, Lilly Nix, Henry Porter, Kayden Ragsdale, Landon Scott, Dylan Stone, Parker Vance and Ethan Wassel.
Conor Boyle and Keith Stone are the coaches.
Next for Arlington National is the state tournament at Tuckahoe Little League in Henrico. Arlington will play three games in Pool B, with four of the eight teams in the competition advancing to the playoff round.
NOTE: The Arlington Little League program had six all-star teams entered in different District 4 tournaments this summer. Several won three games, with the age 8-10 Arlington National squad going 5-0, before being eliminated in the semifinals by a 4-2 score against Reston Herndon National.