IAC baseball

Landon edges St. Albans, 6-5, for Interstate Athletic Conference baseball tournament title

With one out in the top of the eighth inning, Kyle Colgain laid down a perfect squeeze bunt, scoring Keegan Dolan from third and giving Landon a 6-5 win over St. Albans in the IAC title game as well as a share of the league championship.
By Josh Barr
Sunday, May 16, 2010

Standing 6 feet 4 and batting third as his team's designated hitter, Landon junior Kyle Colgain is relied on to produce key hits and drive in runs.

On Saturday afternoon, however, the situation dictated that Colgain deliver with a deftly placed bunt. With the score tied, one out in the top of the eighth inning and runners on second and third, Coach Drew Johnson relayed the sign for a squeeze bunt.

"I was trying to be as nonchalant as possible," said Colgain, who earlier had a run-scoring single. "I just had to do the job."

With teammate Keegan Dolan charging in from third base on the pitch, Colgain's bunt toward the first-base side was successful, scoring Dolan with the tie-breaking run and lifting visiting Landon to a 6-5 victory over St. Albans in the championship game of the Interstate Athletic Conference postseason tournament.

Because the IAC determines its champion based on a combination of regular season and postseason tournament finish, Landon and St. Albans will share the league title.

While that was disappointing for St. Albans (20-13), which was undefeated in IAC play during the regular season and won at least a share of the league title for the fourth consecutive year, it was thrilling for Landon. Upon recording the game's final out, the Bears' reserves stormed the field as several players threw their gloves high in the air.

"It's an honor for us to share it with them, to be honest," Johnson said.

Both teams scored twice in the first inning, but Landon scored again in the second and did not relinquish the lead until the bottom of the sixth, when Justin Coulter's dramatic two-run home run to center field tied it, 5-5.

Having edged Georgetown Prep, 2-1, in a rain-delayed semifinal that finished earlier Saturday, Landon (19-8) again found a way to manufacture a run in its final at-bat.

Dolan walked to lead off the eighth, then Cal Richards beat out an infield single to third base. Both runners advanced on a delayed double steal. With the count 3-1, Johnson put on the squeeze bunt, expecting the pitcher to throw the ball down the middle of the plate to avoid walking Colgain. While Colgain was thrown out at first on the play, his job was done as Dolan touched home plate.

"I just tried to show it as late as possible, not give anything away if they were expecting it," Colgain said. "We work on doing that so much in practice."

Shutting it down: Landon pitcher Jonathan Lewyckyj came on in relief with the score tied 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth and pitched three scoreless innings, getting out of a two-on, one-out jam in the seventh with a double-play ground ball. Up next: St. Albans will play Georgetown Day on Monday in a qualifier for the Congressional Bank Classic that will be held May 29 at Nationals Park.

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