After losing its final three regular season games and its first-round Washington Catholic Athletic Conference playoff game, Paul VI Catholic's baseball team turned things around in the final week of its season, claiming the Virginia Independent Schools Division I championship yesterday in Colonial Heights with a 5-0 victory over rival O'Connell.
Junior pitcher J.T. Richardson, who had made one start before the VIS tournament, threw a shutout, allowing seven hits and one walk while striking out six for Paul VI (17-12). Richardson (3-1) also got the win in the Panthers' VIS quarterfinal game against Bishop Sullivan Catholic, and sophomore J.D. Polcari -- who had made two starts before the tournament -- got the win in Friday's semifinal win over St. Stephen's/St. Agnes.
The two pitchers combined to allow five runs over 19 innings after working out of the bullpen for most of the year.
Coach Billy Emerson said he made the duo his starters for the VIS tournament after seeing "how well they came in relief in tough situations. They came in situations where they couldn't give up anything for us to have a chance to win. And they both said, 'Hey coach, I want the ball.' "
Senior center fielder T.J. Guynan went 2 for 4, including a first-inning, two-run home run for Paul VI yesterday, and junior third baseman Alex Gregory went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI.
Paul VI was the tournament's seventh seed; they beat the top three seeds to take the school's first state baseball championship in10 years. The Panthers had not played in the VIS tournament since 2000. . . .
Senior pitcher Artie Snyder pitched a five-hitter to lift Notre Dame Academy to a 5-3 victory over Greenbriar Christian in the Virginia Independent Schools Division II baseball championship.
Junior Cameron Scott went 3 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored for Notre Dame (36-8). . . .
Cambridge-South Dorchester won the Maryland 1A baseball championship, defeating Williamsport, 8-2. Senior Nick Adenhart played designated hitter and went 1 for 3 for Williamsport. In the Class 2A final, Liberty defeated J.M. Bennett, 4-3, in nine innings.
Jefferson Boys Win
Jefferson's boys' varsity eight boat, coming off recent wins at the Stotesbury Cup and the National Capital Area Scholastic Rowing Association championships, did it again, winning at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America championships in Orlando.
Jefferson won in 4 minutes 44.05 seconds on the 1,500-meter course, ahead of Mainland of New Jersey by nearly three seconds. St. Albans was the next-best area finish, fifth in 4:52.09.
Jefferson was the only team to make the girls' varsity eight final, finishing fifth in 5:43.06. Holy Spirit of New Jersey was first in 5:29.02.
Washington area crews also made the finals in the boys' senior four (West Potomac, second, and Gonzaga, third); girls' lightweight four (Gar-Field, fifth and W.T. Woodson, sixth); boys' lightweight four (St. Albans, fifth); and boys' lightweight eight (Yorktown, fourth).
Reigning Virginia AA boys' tennis champion Handley will go back to the state team tournament after defeating Stone Bridge, 5-4, in the Region II final at Heritage High School. Handley's top three singles players won in straight sets, including senior Brad Stillwagon's 6-1, 6-1 victory over senior Kyle Duffy at No. 1.
Handley is 19-1; Stone Bridge finished its season 18-2.
-- Jon Goldberg