Herndon 2, Westfield 0

Because of a painful abdominal injury, Herndon's Billy Murry isn't supposed to overexert himself on the base paths. Thanks to the way he swung his bat last night, the senior made sure he didn't have to.

Murry belted a leadoff home run and drove in another in the fifth inning to help the Hornets defeat visiting Westfield, 2-0, and grab first place in the Virginia AAA Concorde District with one game remaining in the regular season.

Herndon (13-3, 7-2) also got a stellar performance from senior right-hander Steve Youngquist, who pitched a three-hitter, and solid defensive play from third baseman Brandon Guyer and shortstop Eric Krznaric, who combined for eight assists.

Westfield (10-6, 6-3) lost for the first time in seven games.

"It really hurts sometimes," Murry said of his injury, which he believes he suffered sometime over the winter. "I don't know if my doctor is fine with me playing, but he knows I'm not going to miss my senior year."

Murry was diagnosed with a lower abdominal hernia last month, but he is playing through the pain and has postponed surgery until summer. After opening the season as the Hornets' second baseman, the three-year starter became the Hornets' full-time designated hitter after spring break.

"We talked to him about it," Coach Alan McCullock said. "We decided that if he can't make it worse, and if doesn't hurt too much, he'll play. There was a time when he couldn't walk very well. But he's doing much better."

The teams entered last night tied for first place. But Herndon can win the regular season with a victory over Chantilly on Friday. Westfield, meantime, could have wrapped up the top seed with a victory last night, but must defeat Centreville and receive help. Oakton (15-4, 6-3) also is in the mix.

The regular season winner and runner-up earn first-round byes in the district tournament and automatic berths into the Northern Region tournament.

In the first inning, Murry smacked a 3-2 fastball off Westfield ace Louis Ullrich over the left field fence to put Herndon ahead. In the fifth, Murry singled to score Daniel Chevalier. Youngquist (6-1) and the Herndon defense took it from there.

Herndon's Daniel Chevalier makes it safely to first base as Justin Bour reaches for the ball. Chevalier went on to score second run.