You’d have to ask around or check a Web site to know that Potomac Falls has won 11 straight games, because chances are the Panthers themselves are not spreading that information.
“These guys are intense, but they’re absolutely hush-mouthed and have very little to say about anything,” Potomac Falls Coach Joe Terango said. “They internalize everything. Great kids, great guys, smart guys. But two-way conversation just doesn’t flow off everyone’s lips, which is fine with me. These guys are all about business and showing up and playing baseball.”
Since dropping a 7-2 game to Freedom-South Riding in the season opener, Potomac Falls (11-1, 11-0 Virginia AA Dulles District) has allowed 21 runs in 11 games. The Panthers topped Woodgrove, 3-1, Tuesday night on a three- hitter by senior James Pearson, who this season has struck out 53 batters in 34 innings, walked five and has a 0.79 ERA.
Senior shortstop Brandon Orbe, the team’s No. 2 pitcher a year ago, has thrown only 11 innings because other pitchers have taken on more work and because he means so much to the defense. Orbe leads the Panthers with a .634 batting average and nine doubles.
“We’ve had relative success in the past with Jackson Rogers and Jason Treon [now the Freedom-South Riding coach] playing shortstop and making them your No. 1 [pitcher],” Terango said. “Is it a good thing? I’m not so sure about that. It makes for tired arms come tournament time and I’m just not a proponent of that if a young man is going to play at the next level. It’s not my job to wear him out, it’ s my job to preserve him.
“We tried a little different strategy this year and tried to keep Brandon off the mound, and he’s accepted it and thrived.”
Freshman third baseman Michael Smith is batting .538 with a team-high 14 RBI. Senior right fielder Zack Engelmann is hitting .472 with seven doubles. Senior second baseman Jared Goldberg has a .436 average with seven doubles and 12 RBI.
The Panthers have committed only six errors.
Joe Cassidy has resigned as Whitman’s baseball coach after more than five seasons. Cassidy stepped down April 12, citing personal issues, but remains a teacher at Whitman, according to Montgomery County Schools spokesman Dana Tofig. Cassidy could not be reached for comment.
Tofig said he could not comment on the specific reason for Cassidy’s resignation because it is a personnel issue, but Tofig did acknowledge that some “improper conduct” was exhibited by some of the players during a recent game, leading to an investigation by Whitman Principal Alan Goodwin.
“Mr. Goodwin discussed the matter with the team and made it clear that there were higher expectations for their behavior,” Tofig said. “We’re not able to comment in student discipline due to privacy laws, but once the principal was made aware of the inappropriate conduct, he addressed the players.”
During his tenure, Cassidy posted a 78-29 record, including a 7-1 mark this season before resigning. Assistant coach Pat Skellchock is now serving as interim coach, leading the Vikings to wins in three of the four games played since Cassidy’s resignation.
Ten of their last 13 meetings have been decided by one run while nine games have been won in the sixth or seventh inning.
“It’s a tremendous rivalry that seems to bring out the best in both teams, no matter how either one might be playing before the game,” Blake Coach Steve Murfin said. “We’ve had some classic battles and memories.”
This year’s game proved no different. After falling behind 3-0, Blake rallied behind two home runs by Stefan Sigwalt to take a 4-3 lead in the sixth. But Sherwood responded, scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning on two hits and two Blake errors to escape with a 5-4 win.
Yorktown senior shortstop Daniel Overbeek dislocated his ankle playing basketball last spring and missed his entire junior season. Now recovered, he’s batting .615 and has helped the Patriots remain unbeaten in the Virginia AAA National District.
“His stats look like the books are cooked, but they’re not,” Yorktown Coach Mike Ruck said. “We knew we had a good player, but the season he’s having is pretty amazing.”
Overbeek has three homers, three other extra-base hits, has scored 17 runs and has 18 RBI for the Patriots (10-2, 9-0). But because he missed his junior season, the recruitment of him has been relatively light.
“They really don’t know who he is,” Ruck said.
Senior pitcher John Yoest, a recent William & Mary signee, is 3-0 with a 1.81 ERA. He fanned 12 on Tuesday in a 5-1 win over Washington-Lee, upping his season total to 42 strikeouts and five walks. Senior left fielder Josh Cook made a diving catch that helped preserve the four-run lead with two men on base.
Yorktown has stolen 26 bases in 31 attempts and has drawn 67 walks while striking out 44 times. Senior Matt Lowen is 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA. Senior third baseman Ben Criswell is batting .465. Junior first baseman Teddy Schroeder his hitting .444 with three homers and 12 RBI.
Madison, which has not lost since the 3-2 season-opening defeat to Fairfax, has outscored the opposition, 142-31. . . . St. John’s has won 10 straight WCAC games and the three remaining are against the bottom three teams in the league. . . . Riverdale Baptist sustained its first local loss, to Maret, 8-3, on Tuesday. . . . Lake Braddock last week lost to T.C. Williams for what is believed to be the first time since 1998. . . . Paul VI Catholic topped DeMatha, 8-7, on Saturday to earn a split in the season series. . . . Maret, which split with Riverdale, gets another shot at Flint Hill on May 3. . . . Georgetown Prep has given up 10 runs in its last 10 games. . . . Oakland Mills enters the rankings having won its last three games by a combined score of 28-3, including a 3-1 victory against Marriotts Ridge to take over first place in the Howard County standings. . . . Potomac Falls has given up 21 runs during its 11-game winning streak.
1. Madison (14-1) LW: 2
2. St. John’s (16-4) LW: 4
3. Riverdale Baptist (21-2) LW: 1
4. Lake Braddock (12-3) LW: 3
5. Paul VI (16-7) LW: 7
6. DeMatha (15-5) LW: 5
7. Maret (16-2) LW: NR
8. Georgetown Prep (18-6) LW: 10
9. Oakland Mills (12-1) LW: NR
10. Potomac Falls (11-1) LW: NR