Left-hander James Tallon threw an 81-pitch complete game with 10 strikeouts as the second-seed Yorktown Patriots rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to nip the No. 3 seed and visiting McLean Highlanders, 3-2, in a semifinal baseball game of the Liberty District Tournament.
“My goal for the team was to pitch either three innings or all seven, whatever was needed,” Tallon said. “The defense backed me up with some good plays, I was efficient with the ball and kept it down low.”
Tallon had one rough inning, in the third, when McLean scored its two runs on a walk and two hits in the high-school contest. He said that motivated him to pitch better. He did by retiring 10 batters in order at one point into the seventh inning with five strikeouts.
Yorktown, which had just four hits, scored a run in the third and two in the fourth to take the lead for good. Jacob Friend had a hit and an RBI for Yorktown, Ryan Bhojwani and Graham Lynch doubled and Patrick Chmiel had a hit. Lynch stole home on a delayed steal.
“This was a grind-it-out kind of win,” Yorktown coach John Skaggs said. “James made big pitches, we played good defense, we stayed on an even keel whether we were ahead or behind, and did what we had to do.”
Yorktown was scheduled to face the top seed Herndon Hornets in the championship game. The Patriots lost to Herndon in two regular-season games.
NOTE: Yorktown was playing in the district tourney final for the third straight time. The Patriots won the 2018 crown, finished second to McLean in 2019, the competition was not held last season because of the pandemic, and the team was back in the 2021 title tilt.