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ArlingtonSportsYorktown baseball team clinches third place

Yorktown baseball team clinches third place

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With just one game remaining in the regular season, the Yorktown Patriots are playing their best baseball of the high-school season as they make a strong stretch run to finish high in the Liberty District standings.

No matter the outcome of its final contest, Yorktown will finish third in the standings heading into the district tournament, a title the Patriots won last season and in 2018.

With home-and-away victories by 5-1 and 10-1 scores over the Langley Saxons on May 3 and 5, the wins gave the Patriots a season-best four-game winning streak, all against league opponents. They improved to 11-8 overall and 8-3 in district play.

Yorktown was especially strong defensively in its last three games, allowing just one run in each contest. Those are the fewest runs allowed in consecutive contests for the Patriots this season.


“Our pitching has been outstanding, the defense has been strong and we are getting timely hitting,” Yorktown coach John Skaggs said. “We are playing well, and want to keep doing that.”

In the 5-1 win over Langley, senior right-hander Ketz Murray, the workhorse of Yorktown’s pitching staff this spring, started and worked 61/3 innings to get the win. He allowed four hits, no earned runs, struck out four, walked two and threw 78 pitches.

“Ketz was on fire,” Skaggs said. “He threw strikes has done what we’ve need him to do all season. We made plays behind him.”

Chase Rubin finished the game in relief.

With the bat, Yorktown made the best of its six hits. Trevor McAndrews and J.J. Foti homered and Ryan Powers (two hits) and Issac Hobbs each doubled. Kyle Langley also had a hit.

In the 10-1 triumph May 5, lefty Jack Rucker started and went five innings to get the win. He struck out five, allowed five hits and one earned run. With the bat, Rucker homered, doubled and had three RBI.

“Jack doesn’t show much emotion, and I misjudged him at first,” Skaggs said. “He’s intense and wants to win an do well.”

Also in the win, Ben Langsam doubled and had two hits, Chase Rubin added two RBI, Kyle Langley stole three bases and Issac Hobbs and Zach Moss each had a hit and one RBI.

Left-hander James Tallon started and pitched three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and struck out eight with two walks in Yorktown’s recent 2-1 win over the host and first-place McLean Highlanders. The start was the first of the season for the tall, hard-throwing Tallon, who has committed to play for Duke University.

Professional baseball scouts were at the game against McLean to watch Tallon. They clocked his fastball as high as 92 mph. There is a possibility Tallon could get selected in the Major League Draft in July.

Tallon missed Yorktown’s first 12 games this spring with sore arm issues, and remains on a limited pitch count. He is scheduled to pitch again in one of Yorktown’s final two games, possibly having a pitch count of 60 to 70.

Also in the win over McLean, Rucker and righty John Sharkey pitched in relief. Sharkey got the win in the extra-inning eight-frame contest. Langley, Rucker, Murray and Bradley Labant had key hits for Yorktown.

“The guys really stepped up and made plays,” Skaggs said.

Yorktown began the season with a victory over Chantilly, then slumped to 2-3. As the team’s defense and pitching settled down, the Patriots bounced back and started winning again, improving to 5-3.

The team’s current four-game winning streak is a season best.

The stretch began with a 6-5 victory over the Washington-Liberty Generals in an all-Arlington clash on Yorktown’s senior night.

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