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Arlington Post 139 once again state-tournament bound

Team wins district consolation game to advance
Kyle Langley takes a lead off first base for Arlington Post 139 during a District 17 tournament game against Vienna Post 180 at Waters Field in Vienna.

Survive and advance.

For the third straight summer, and by different manners, Arlington Post 139 has qualified for the American Legion state baseball tournament.

This season, Arlington (13-6) did so by winning the third-place consolation game of the District 17 tournament over No. 3-seed Fairfax Post 177 by a 9-3 score at Barcroft Park. Arlington was the second seed and finished 3-2 in the tourney.

A year ago, Arlington hosted the state tournament at Barcroft and received an automatic berth as a result. In 2021, Post 139 qualified for states by winning the district tourney.

“As long as we get there,” Arlington manager Bob Romano said. “It’s been kind of a nice run.”

In this season’s district tournament, Arlington won its first game, lost its second to Fairfax, 9-6, then won and lost games before facing Fairfax a second time in the consolation game. Three teams from the district tourney advance to the state competition in Leesburg.

In the consolation-game victory, the score was tied at 3 after six innings, then Arlington broke the game open, helped by some Fairfax errors.

Big hits for Arlington were provided by Quinn Brennan with a three-run triple; Ryan Powers and Peter Boerstling with RBI singles; and Trevor McAndrews, Sean Guffey, Lorenzo Snyder and Mateo Cardinale. Jake Guffey had a bases-loaded walk and Kyle Langley had an RBI.

“Quinn’s triple was a huge hit and changed the game,” Romano said.

Dane Berkley, who previously had not pitched in the tournament, started and worked six innings for Arlington to get the win, and lefty Will Thompson threw the final three frames of shutout relief.

“Dane did a great job and really pitched a gem,” Romano said. “He got out of jams in every inning. And Will threw strikes when he came in.”

In its previous tournament game, Arlington juggled around its lineup, but still had 12 hits in an 8-5 loss to top seed and champion Vienna Post 180 at Waters Field in Vienna. Cardinale (double) and Jake Guffey (two-run homer) had three hits each, with Langley (double) having two and McAndrews an RBI single. Brennan, Sean Guffey and Snyder had singles.

Arlington used five pitchers, who combined to walk only three with seven strikeouts and allow 10 hits.

“We hung in there,” Romano said.

In its first three tournament games, Arlington routed No. 7 seed Falls Church Post 130 by an 11-1 score in the first round, lost to Fairfax Post, 9-6, in game two, then rallied to down the fifth seed Leesburg Post 34 Rangers, 8-5, prior to the loss to Vienna.

“That was a big win over Leesburg. It was an elimination game,” Romano said. “They guys battled and played great, and we stayed alive.”

In the win over Leesburg, Arlington trailed 3-0 and 5-3, then scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead for good. Jake Guffey had a two-run single in the seventh and Boerstling (three hits) added an RBI single.

McAndrews (two hits, one RBI), Brennan, Sean Guffey (two-run double), Cardinale (RBI single) and Sam Merkel had key hits in the win.

Snyder pitched the final five innings of relief to get the victory.

Against Falls Church, Brennan had a two-run single, Owen Kent had an RBI single, Merkel singled and stole a base, and Langley singled home a run.

In the 9-6 loss to Fairfax, Arlington led 5-1 after four innings. Langley had two hits, including a two-run triple and three RBI. Sean Guffey had an RBI double and stole home, Powers doubled, and Cardinale walked and stole a base.

“We played a lot of baseball, games five days in a row,” Romano said about the district tournament.