Seton baseball coach Tim Heisler delivered no stirring speech before the Delaney Athletic Conference championship last week, and because that decision paid off, he is unlikely to make any grand statements prior to the Virginia Independent Schools Baseball Association Division II state quarterfinal at Greenbrier Christian Academy in Chesapeake on Tuesday.
Heisler thought the Conquistadors (16-2) were a bit nervous in 13-4 and 10-4 losses to Fredericksburg Christian during the regular season -- their only losses of the spring -- so he downplayed the teams' third meeting, in the DAC final, a 7-3 road win for the Manassas school.
"I tried not to build it up as a huge championship game," Heisler said. "Last time I really pumped them up that this was the team that beat us. But since they beat us so easily [twice], I decided to take a different approach."
Junior pitcher Brian Krynitsky, an all-DAC first-teamer, certainly seemed relaxed in throwing a 112-pitch complete game that was delayed midway for about an hour by lightning. Krynitsky struck out four batters and relied on a defense that made no errors, unlike the teams' previous meetings. Krynitsky also singled in two runs in the first inning.
Fredericksburg starter Jeremy Boston, the DAC pitcher of the year, went five innings and had trouble retiring the bottom of the Conquistadors' order, namely eighth-grader Ty Fletcher and junior Mark Manley. Fletcher had a hit and two walks and Manley went 2 for 2 with two walks.
The Conquistadors, winners of seven straight, thought they had a decent chance of qualifying for the eight-team state tournament because they now compete in Division II instead of with the larger independent schools in the state. Seton is seeded sixth in the state event. Fredericksburg Christian picked up the seventh seed.
"We were in Division I for awhile, so we didn't have much of a chance," said Heisler, whose team will be amid final exams come tournament time. "All the kids are excited."
Seton Soccer Unbeaten
The Seton girls' soccer team also won the DAC title, but there is no state tournament to which it can advance. The Conquistadors will have to be satisfied with a 15-0 record, including a 6-3 win over Highland in the DAC final, the team's fifth straight league crown.
The Conquistadors entered the season thinking there would be a season-ending state tournament but soon learned that no such event had materialized.
"When you only lose one game in conference over five years, you welcome the opportunity to play in other places and perhaps at another level," said Seton Coach Rick Cooley, who plans to vacate the head coaching position but assist the program next season.
Seton has lost just three games in five years, two of them by 2-1 scores to Brentsville, the Virginia A public school champion last season.
Cooley's daughter, Bridgit, the league most valuable player and a Virginia Commonwealth University signee, scored three goals in the championship win and assisted on two others. She and Jen Planchak are the team's only seniors.
Colleen Thamm scored all three Highland goals but left the game with an injury in the second half. Seton had not allowed more than one goal in any DAC game this season.