The Hylton baseball team that was dogged by one-run losses during the regular season is now winning those one-run games in the Extended Baseball League.
So far this summer, Hylton (6-2) has swept a doubleheader from Potomac by 2-1 and 3-2 and notched a 1-0 win over Gar-Field and a 2-1 victory over Mount Vernon.
Against Mount Vernon, sophomore pitcher Graham Sullivan began an early bid to join senior Ryan Wood in the Hylton rotation next season. Sullivan fanned 12 batters and hurled the first complete game of his life, said Hylton assistant Carl Antolick. Sullivan's three-hitter required only 103 pitches. He struck out the side in the seventh.
"He put it wherever he wanted it," Antolick said.
Wood, who can throw about 90 mph but struggled with his control during most of the high school season, is playing for the Virginia Baseball Club Barnstormers travel team and has not pitched much lately. Antolick is eager to see Wood on the mound again after some late-spring tinkering with his delivery.
Wood, a shortstop-outfielder, often displayed a more accurate arm hitting cutoff men from the outfield, throwing to first base on groundouts and even firing down to second from behind the plate than he did when on the mound.
In all three instances, Wood was throwing with an over-the-top motion. But when he pitched, he would drop down to a three-quarters delivery that, Antolick thought, knocked him out of his natural arm slot and hurt his accuracy.
"If he continues to pitch the way he has pitched or could pitch, he'll get drafted high," Antolick said.
The Extended Baseball League, a 19-under fall league that branched out into summer play last year when some teams opted out of American Legion ball, has seven teams, all of them from Prince William except for Mount Vernon. The season will conclude with a double-elimination tournament the first week of August.
For a Good Cause
The Tallgren Baseball Games, a wood bat tournament for adults that annually raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, will take place next Saturday and Sunday at Veterans Park in Woodbridge, on fields 3 and 4. Eight teams from Virginia, Maryland and Delaware will take part in the event.
Games are at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day. There is no admission fee, but donations are encouraged. A local team, The Production Center Iron, won the tournament last year, ending the Tidewater Drillers' three-year run as champions. The Drillers, in the event again this year, have won eight of 11 crowns.
Tournament director Bruce Fasick estimates the Tallgren Games have raised about $200,000.
Hylton's Redd an All-Star
Hylton graduate Adam Redd, a pitcher for the Bethesda Big Train in the Clark C. Griffith Collegiate Baseball League, was chosen for the league all-star game that was set to be played Friday.
Redd, who plays at Virginia Tech, is 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA, with 16 strikeouts and five walks.
Three other Prince William players are competing in the Clark Griffith League this summer.
Osbourn graduate Jess Stewart (Notre Dame) is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA for the Herndon Braves.
Potomac graduate John Adams, headed to Louisburg (N.C.) Junior College, is 0-1 with a 6.52 ERA and three saves for Bethesda.
Potomac graduate Mike Giarrizzi, the 2004 All-Extra Player of the Year, is batting .300 in limited action with the Vienna Senators and is 0-1 with a 3.12 ERA. The Christopher Newport signee has struck out 12 batters and walked two.
Jason Ritenour, a Woodbridge baseball assistant the past three years, has taken over the head coaching position following the departure of four-year coach Frank Chimento.
Ritenour, a 1996 Brentsville graduate, inherits a team that has back three starting infielders and went 8-13 last season.