The third summer season of the popular Northern Virginia College League will have a new twist this year. The six-team baseball league will use all wooden bats for the first time.
Month-long play is scheduled to begin for the six-teams Monday, June 27, ending July 30 with the noontime tournament championship game at Waters Field in Vienna.
Games, all seven innings, will be Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights, and Saturday mornings and afternoons. Most regular-season contests will be played at Madison and Westfield high schools, with a few games at Waters. Two games are scheduled for Waters on July 4 at 10 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., but that could change.
All of the playoff action will be at Waters Field, July 27, 28 and 30.
The teams are nicknamed the Bunt Cakes, Chili Dogs, Gators, Hot Wings, Rough Riders and Yard Dogs.
Primarily, the league includes high-school graduate from Northern Virginia, who are either already playing for collegiate teams on various levels, or will be college freshmen players in 2023.
The Chili Dogs, coached by Madison High School head baseball coach Mark Gjormand, are the defending playoff-tournament champions. The team returns a handful of players from that 2021 squad, including Gjormand’s son, Josh, a first baseman/pitcher, who plays at Lynchburg University and graduated and played at Madison.
Madison graduate Fitz Halloran, who also plays at Lynchburg, Derek Furr from Westfield High, Chambell Charneco from Centreville High and Garrett O’Connor from South Lakes, are other returners.
“We have one of the older teams in the league with a lot of experience,” Mark Gjormand said. “We are very athletic, have a lot of depth, good balance, we have a lot of interchangeable parts and they can all play.”
Ethan Marotski, another current Lynchburg player is on the team. Former Bishop O’Connell High School player Elijah Pinckney plays for the Chili Dogs, as well as players from area high schools Chantilly, Hayfield and Fairfax.
McLean High School graduate Jake Lynes, a pitcher for Catholic University, and Dillion Proxmire (Gettysburg College) will play for the Bunt Cakes.
Jack O’Connor, a 2022 Bishop O’Connell graduate, is a member of the Gators, along with 2021 Yorktown High graduate Ryan Bhojwani and Marshall High grad Grady Dillon.
Other players on rosters in the league from the Sun Gazette’s coverage areas are Flint Hill School graduates Trevor Barbessi and Stuart Morrison (Hot Wings); McLean’s Anthony Farmakides (Hot Wings), O’Connell’s Riley O’Donovan (Hot Wings); Yorktown’s Ketz Murray (Hot Wings); Flint Hill’s J.J. Landwehr, George Rizzo and Jason Mendler (Rough Riders); Marshall’s David Stiles (Rough Riders); O’Connell’s Kim Brandon (Yard Dogs); Madison’s Jaden Kritsky (Yard Dogs), McLean’s Evan Fontaine (Yard Dogs); Madison’s Zach Perkins (Yard Dogs); and Washington-Liberty’s Same Dozier (Yard Dogs).
Playing in the league from Arlington’s Division III Marymount University baseball team are Quincy Via (Bunt Cakes), Joseph Kramp (Chili Dogs), Peter Chiarello (Gators), Max Nathan (Hot Wings), Braden Lencz and John Barrie (Rough Riders) and D.J. Muirhead (Yard Dogs).
NOTE: Current Flint Hill School head baseball coach Mitch Mendler is the head coach of the Rough Riders. His brother, Jason, is one of the players.