Loudoun Valley didn’t have the offensive firepower it has displayed in recent weeks, but junior Andrew Lohr pitched six superb innings to help the Vikings defeat Poquoson, 5-3, in the 3A East championship game Friday in Fredericksburg.
“He pitched a hell of a ballgame. He pitched probably his best game of the year for us,” Coach Wayne Todd said. “He had complete control of all three pitches tonight. He pretty much had his way with them.”
Loudoun Valley had scored 54 runs in its past four games, but on Friday, the Vikings did the majority of their damage in the second inning. Mikey Pugh and Hunter Gore collected back-to-back singles to spark a four-run outburst and turn a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 lead. Lohr took care of the rest.
The Vikings (22-3) will next face William Byrd, a 2-0 loser to Tunstall in the 3A West, in the state semifinals at Liberty University next Friday afternoon.
“We’re not going to be focused on anything different than we’ve been focusing on all year,” Todd said. “We’re pretty much about pitching and defense, and then when we score, we seem to score in bunches.”
It’s been a few weeks since No. 1 Stone Bridge decided to shut down ace right-hander JB Bukauskas as a precaution, but the absence of the area’s most dominant arm hasn’t slowed down the Bulldogs. Friday night in Ashburn, sophomore Dave Mocabee drove in the decisive run as Stone Bridge edged Freedom-South Riding, 2-1, to claim the 5A North region title.
“It was just one of those chess matches,” Stone Bridge Coach Sam Plank said.
The Bulldogs, who were the heavy favorites entering the game, quickly fell into a 1-0 hole against the Eagles (13-13). With two outs and a runner on third base in the fourth inning, Michael Kuzbel evened the score by laying down a drag bunt that rested just inside the foul line. Mocabee scored that first run, then drove in Stone Bridge’s second with a single to left-center field.
With the win, the Bulldogs (23-1) earned a meeting with Hickory, the 5A South runner-up, next Friday at Lake Braddock. Freedom will face 5A South region champion Douglas Freeman
“The one thing I told my guys after the game was, ‘We’re going to focus on Stone Bridge baseball, what’s got us 22 straight wins,’” Plank said. “We play defense, we put pressure on people and we throw strikes. When do that, we have a chance to beat anybody.”