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Reliever helps Oakton top host Madison in district baseball

During the winter, Souders was a top swimmer for the Cougars

Beau Souders, a year-round swimmer pays dividends on the baseball diamond, too.

The short-arming Oakton Cougars' junior right-handed pitcher proved as much the night of April 17 with a strong three-inning shutout relief effort to earn the save in his high-school team’s 5-3 road victory over the defending state champion Madison Warhawks in a neighborhood clash between Concorde District rivals.

In just his second pitching outing this season, Souders allowed one hit, struck out five and induced three ground-ball outs (two comebackers) to help Oakton improve to 10-4 overall and 4-1 in the distirct with its fourth win in a row.

Madison fell to 8-5, 3-2 with its second straight close loss. The night befor, the Warhawks fell to host South Lakes, 2-1, in district play. Errors hurt Madison in both games.

Souders, who was a key contributor for Oakton’s district-championship swim and dive boys team this past winter season, said he wanted the ball and wasn’t nervous in that relief opportunity against Madison.

“I felt good, and you live for these moments,” Souders said. “My curveball was not working, but I was relying on my fastball  and I was hitting the corner.”

Souders swims year-round, but says he wants to play baseball in college.

“He executed tonight,” Oakton coach Justin Janis said about Souders and he used his fastball well. That was a big win for us.”

Ben Grimsley started and pitched three innings for Oakton, with Ty Ordonez pitching one frame of shutout and hitless relief.

The Cougars made no defensive errors and recorded a number of good plays on ground-ball outs.

With the bat, Oakton had eight hits, including a two-run third-inning single by Cooper Bradshaw, a double and bases-loaded walk from Gordon Cozad, two hits from leadoff batter Jacob Bradshaw and Noah Toole (one RBI), and single hits by Dawson Givens and Tyler Melvin.

“Oakton played well and played good defense, and they have been playing well,” Madison coach Mark Gjormand said. “We made some mistakes that hurt and got out of our approach offensively. We expected more offensively.”

Madison had just four hits, including RBI doubles by Nathan Tondreault and Carter Tuft (three stolen bases). Henry Novario and Niko Papathanasiou had the other hits. The Warhawks had just one hit and scored no runs after the third inning.

Madison sophomore lefty Jimmy Bollini pitched two innings of hitless and shutout relief with three strikeouts.