Osbourn Park outlasts Chantilly, 1-0, in 17-inning thriller

April 4

Osbourn Park’s Jeffery Neufang (Photo Richard A. Lipski/For the Washington Post)

Osbourn Park senior Saul Aguilera stepped into the batter’s box in the bottom of the 17th inning at Chantilly on Thursday, 1-for-6 on the night after hitting a triple in his previous at-bat.

In his final at-bat of the night, Aguilera smashed a double, then advanced to third on a passed ball with senior Brandon Spencer at the plate. Moments later, the Chargers had another passed ball. This time it went for ball four, and Aguilera sped home to score the first and only run in Thursday’s four-hour thriller.

In one of the longest games in the area this season, each team registered 10 hits and used four pitchers apiece, and a passed ball plated the game’s only run as the Yellow Jackets defeated Chantilly, 1-0, on the road.

“Both teams had great starting performances from their pitchers,” Osbourn Park Coach Jack Ferrick said. “Chantilly threw Cornell commit Eason Recto, and he made some big pitches, but we had a couple opportunists.”

Yellow Jackets (3-1) starter junior Riley Lane threw six innings, senior Chandler Anderson threw 2 1/3, senior Jack Yochem threw 7 2/3 and senior Steven Neal closed the game with two solid innings.

Yochem was cut from the varsity team last season, but he had the best outing of the four pitchers as he struck out five batters Thursday and ate the bulk of the innings for the Yellow Jackets.

“Instead of not working hard and quitting, he worked hard and has been impressive this season,” Ferrick said of Yochem. “He’s the reason why our team stayed in the game from a focus standpoint — they knew he wasn’t going to let them score. I’ve been coaching a good while now and that’s the best pitching performance I’ve ever been a part of.”

From the moment Yochem took the mound in the bottom of the ninth with one out and a runner on base, he confused Chantilly (2-1) batters for seven innings. He threw a healthy mix of fastballs and breaking balls before being removed because of his pitch count.

Aguilera finished the night 2-for-7,  Tristen Heckman was 3-for-8 and Jeffery Neufang went 3-for-6 at the plate. Next up for Osbourn Park is Prince William power Battlefield (2-0) on Monday at home.

“I think everyone knows Battlefield is the team to beat,” Ferrick said. “I don’t think you have to worry about guys being excited, these guys know what’s at stake and they just want to go out and a play a great game. Battlefield has some phenomenal players over there, and we are just going to play as hard as we can.”

 

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Jason Butt · April 4

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