“Zack can be a strikeout guy, but he likes to pitch the whole game, so he knows he can’t get his pitch count up and has to get some outs from his defense,” Heritage Coach Ryan Price said.
“He wants to play at the next level as a pitcher and not necessarily as a position player. He takes pitching very seriously. He offers you something to put in play early, but if you get behind him, he’ll put you away with a strikeout, too.”
Heritage junior shortstop Nick Fuhrmann had two hits in the win over Woodgrove, including a triple, and Hopeck and senior outfielder Matt Chapman also drove in runs.
The game Friday could be pivotal in the Dulles standings. Potomac Falls has beaten Heritage in the past five meetings and in nine of the last 10. Either senior left-hander Zach Turner or Furhmann, who has pitched only two innings this season, will get the start for the Pride. Turner pitched against Potomac Falls three times last season and for the most part kept his team in each game.
Potomac Falls beat Heritage four times last year, including in the Dulles District semifinals and the Region II quarterfinals.
“[Turner’s] not necessarily a high-velocity guy, but he’s a guy who can keep you off balance,” Price said. “He’s grown and gained some velocity, so now he can kind of put it past guys whereas before they were able to foul it off until the got something to hit.”
Both of Heritage’s losses this season have been to Freedom-South Riding.
Oakton hasn’t lost yet
No. 8 Oakton (6-0) is the last remaining unbeaten team in the Northern Region, thanks in great part to senior shortstop Mitch Carroll, who has come up with several timely hits in a steady lineup.
“Right now, we’ve just got all three phases kind of clicking,” said Cougars Coach Justin Janis, whose team hosts Hayfield on Wednesday night. “We haven’t played necessarily outstanding, but we’ve just been very solid. We’re making the plays we’re supposed to and offensively we’re situationally hitting pretty well.”
Oakton is one of the region’s deeper teams, so finding playing time has been a challenge.
“We’ve got some players that really haven’t gotten the opportunity they probably deserve at this point because other guys are playing well,” Janis said. “I was hoping to get those guys some more time during spring break, but because of the way it played out [with the weather], we weren’t able to do that.”
The Cougars host No. 2 Madison at 2 p.m. Saturday in the annual nondistrict game pitting Vienna rivals. Madison has won the last four in the series. Oakton opens Concorde District play at home Tuesday against Herndon.