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FairfaxVienna 180 needs one win for district title

Vienna 180 needs one win for district title

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So far, with a 3-0 record and one more victory needed to win the championship, the team motto of “stingy on runs” is holding strong for top seed Vienna Post 180 in the American Legion District 17 baseball tournament.

In 27 innings of action, including a most recent 2-0 victory July 19 over third-seed Fairfax Post 177 at Waters Field in Vienna, six different pitchers for Post 180 have combined to allow just five runs, of which only three were earned, and have yielded limited hits and walks.

“Our pitching has been awesome and our defense has been very good, too,” Vienna manager Nick Good said. “That’s what we want.”

Vienna (18-4) can win the district-tourney title tonight, Wednesday, July 20 for the first time since 2019 with a victory over the No. 2 seed and defending champion Arlington Post 139. That game is at Barcroft Park in Arlington at 7 p.m.

If Arlington (15-6) wins, a playback game will be played Thursday night, July 21 at 7 p.m. at Waters Field.

Through its first three contests, the winning formula has been the same for Vienna – strong starting pitching through five, seven and seven innings, then shutdown relievers over the final frames.

In the victory over Fairfax, right-hander Jacob Wechselblatt started and pitched seven shutout innings, throwing 81 pitches. He allowed six hits, did not walk a batter and struck out five. Reliever Scott Harthun threw the final two frames, allowing two hits with no walks and a strikeout.

“Jacob was very efficient,” Good said.

Vienna had five hits, which included a first-inning solo homer run and a later-inning double from leadoff hitter Ethan Jones. After his double, Jones stole third base, then scored Post 180’s second run on a sacrifice fly by Bannon Brazell. Noah Brogan, Patrick Colyar and Brazell had Vienna’s other hits.

“Ethan’s homer in the first turned out to be very big,” Good said.

On defense, Colyar made a couple of good catches in left field and he threw out a runner at home in the top of the seventh inning.

In its previous game, right-hander Ian Babey started and allowed just one earned run, walked one and fanned seven in seven innings to get the win as Vienna defeated Arlington, 6-3. He threw 102 pitches. Brazell worked two scoreless frames in relief to earn the save.

“Ian was on and gave us what we needed,” Good said. “Our relievers have been very good.”

John Klein had an RBI triple for Vienna; Robert Reddington added a hit and one RBI; and Brazell, Colyar, Ryan Dwyer and Stephen Milman had hits.

Vienna opened the tournament with a 6-2 victory over No. 4 seed McLean Post 270. Mac Kopka started and pitched five innings of three-hit ball, allowing two earned runs with a walk and four strikeouts.

Tanner Vislay pitched three scoreless innings of two-hit relief,  and Brazell closed in the final frame.

Brogan (three RBI) and Dwyer had two hits each; Reddington had a hit and an RBI; Jones had a hit and two steals; and Brazell, Klein and Colyar all had one hit.

NOTE: Vienna last won the district tournament in 2019, which that season was its seventh in eight years.

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