Other than tweaking Lake Braddock’s practice schedule, John Thomas didn’t change much when he took over one of Northern Virginia’s most consistent baseball programs in July.
“Somebody would’ve been stupid to come in after Jody [Rutherford] and blow it up,” Thomas said.
But the Bruins still had to endure plenty of changes as they returned just two starters.
Last year’s reserves have made key impacts this year, helping Lake Braddock remain as one of the top contenders in Virginia Class 6.
Lake Braddock fell to West Springfield in last year’s state semifinals, and it continued to struggle against the Spartans with its new roster, losing in April. On Friday, though, Lake Braddock got past the Spartans, 17-5, to win the Patriot District regular season title. George Mason signee Lyle Miller-Green, a returning starter, homered and drove in four runs.
“It’s still kind of early,” said Thomas, who was an assistant coach at Lake Braddock for four years. “It will be special when we get a chance to beat them in the postseason.”
Virginia’s district tournaments begin this week, as does Maryland’s postseason. Sherwood, Howard and Whitman will enter as top contenders in Class 4A. In Class 3A, Huntingtown will look to return to the title game.
Also this week, St. John’s will seek its sixth consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship. Georgetown Prep is the favorite in the Interstate Athletic Conference tournament.
1. St. John’s (23-2) Last ranked: 1
In the WCAC quarterfinals, the Cadets beat St. Mary’s Ryken, 8-0.
2. Sherwood (17-1) LR: 3
The Warriors combined for 29 runs in three victories last week.
3. Lake Braddock (17-2) LR: 6
Eight Bruins recorded hits in their 17-5 win over West Springfield.
4. Patriot (14-2) LR: 10
The Pioneers defeated Battlefield twice in six days.
5. Westfield (17-3) LR: 9
With their 6-0 win over Flint Hill, the Bulldogs posted their 12th shutout this season.
6. Georgetown Prep (28-5) LR: Not ranked
Coach Chris Rodriguez’s squad is undefeated in IAC play.
7. Huntingtown (17-2) LR: 5
Leonardtown handed the Hurricanes their first conference loss, 3-2.
8. Howard (18-2) LR: 4
Outfielder Jerras Murray notched three RBI in the Lions’ 8-1 win against Wilde Lake.
9. Whitman (12-2) LR: NR
Pennsylvania commit Justin Carboni scored an inside-the-park home run in the Vikings’ 10-0 win over Blair.
10. Potomac (Va.) (16-3) LR: 7
The Panthers beat Colgan, 7-3, to claim the Cardinal District regular season title.