As the team’s play demonstrated, there were few, if any, weaknesses throughout the state baseball tournament that the Arlington 14s all-stars recently won, and as a result earned an automatic berth to play in next month’s Babe Ruth World Series in Fredericksburg.
With strong defense and pitching and solid hitting, the Arlington Senior Babe Ruth squad won the state title in the Chantilly area with a perfect 4-0 record. Arlington topped Manassas, by 4-2 and 3-1 scores, respectively, in the winners’-bracket final and championship game. The other scores were 10-6 over Northern Fairfax County and 15-0 over Charlottesville.
“We hit the ball, we played defense and our pitchers struck out batters,” Arlington manager Dan Pototsky said. “Its a fun group of players.”
Since Arlington won the state title and Virginia is hosting the World Series, the team earns an automatic berth into the tournament, which begins Aug. 4 and lasts about 10 days. In 2015, Pototsky was the manager of the 15-under Arlington Senior Babe Ruth All-Stars, who won district, state and region championships to qualify for the World Series.
In this season’s state final, Arlington scored three runs in the first inning and Liam Finkel started on the mound and worked five shutout frames to get the win. Top hitters for Arlington were A.J. McCracken with a double, Reid Schwartz with a single and Nicholas Socknat and Ryan Cooney with RBI.
Socknat earned the save.
In the 4-2 win over Manassas, Matthew Langley, Noah Petty, Owen Quentin, Socknat, McCracken and Cooney were the top hitters. Langley started on the mound and threw five innings and Socknat worked two frames to earn the save.
Finkel started in the 15-0 win when Arlington scored 12 runs in the sixth inning.
In the 10-6 victory, Arlington trailed 1-0, then took control by scoring six runs in the third inning.
Will Devens, Brooks Clements, Sam Niehaus and Ryan Sullivan were other contributors for Arlington.
Schwartz was the Most Valuable Player of the state tournament.
Prior to the state tournament, Arlington won the two-team District 6 tourney with a 2-0 record, defeating Vienna by 12-3 and 6-2 scores.
Arlington had an 11-2 overall record through the state tournament, as the team played multiple games prior to the district and state events. Arlington won a Sports at the Beach tourney with a 4-0 record, with two victories by shutouts.
Arlington outscored those four opponents, 33-13.
Finkel was chosen the MVP of the tourney. He hurled a 58-pitch, five-hit complete game shutout in the seven-inning championship contest against the Wheeling Force of West Virginia. He struck out two, did not walk a batter, hit one, and threw 41 pitches for strikes.
Defensively, Arlington made no errors and turned three infield double plays in the victory.
Finkel had one five-pitch inning and another six-pitch frame.