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Jun, 2022

8-9 Special Minors Tournament Recap

by Ben Nuckols

Kayson hit a walk-off sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, and the Fairfax American 8-9 Special Minors All-Stars beat their counterparts from Fairfax National 9-8 on Sunday night in a dramatic conclusion to the District 10 tournament for the youngest all-star squads from each league. Both teams from Fairfax were undefeated heading into the championship game, and there were four lead changes in the title game at Thaiss Park.  

The fifth inning proved pivotal. With Fairfax National trailing 4-3, Ben led off the top of the inning with a single. With one out, Andrew singled and the tying run scored on an error. After a walk, Benjamin doubled to give Fairfax National the lead, and the National Leaguers added three more runs on a grounder, an error and a two-out RBI single by Sean to go ahead 8-4. But the AL came charging back in the bottom of the fifth, scoring on two walks and an error. Then Isaac lofted a two-run triple to right to score two runs and make it 8-7, and Ishan tied it with a two-out RBI single. 

In the top of the sixth, Ben again led off with a single for Fairfax National, but Fairfax American doubled him off on a line drive, and pitcher Mason -- who worked the final four innings -- induced an inning-ending groundout. Theodore doubled with one out in the bottom of the sixth, advancing to third on the throw, and then tagged up and scored on Kayson’s flyball to right field to give the title to the AL. 

Isaac finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBIs for the AL, and Ishan had two hits and drove in two. For the NL, Sean, Ben and Andrew each had three hits and Benjamin went 2-for-2. 

The American League began pool play with a wild 17-16 win over ANSLL. Fairfax fell behind 5-0 in the first inning but rallied with five runs in the third, two in the fourth and eight in the fifth to go ahead 16-11. The AL team hung on from there, with relief pitcher Isaac retiring two batters with the tying run on second to preserve the win. Isaac had three hits in the game, Ishan had four RBIs and Kayson drove in three. 

The AL followed that close win with two romps, 12-1 over SYA East in its second pool game and 19-1 over SYA West in Saturday’s semifinals. Pitchers Mason and Theodore held SYA East to two hits and one unearned run in the first game, and Mason also drove in three runs. In the win over SYA West, Fairfax scored eight runs in the second inning and 11 in the third to end the game early. Ishan, Theodore and Trey combined to throw a three-inning one-hitter. 

The National League breezed through its three pool play games, beating CYA 14-5, SYA West 19-11 and Coles 22-1. In the opener, Fairfax went ahead for good with a five-run third inning, then added three in the fourth and two in the fifth to turn a close game into an easy win. Relief pitcher Andrew locked down CYA in the last two innings, allowing one hit and striking out three. Sean had three hits and Ben had four RBIs. Against SYA West, leadoff batter Sean continued to power the Fairfax offense, going 5-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored. William went 3-for-3, Colin drove in four and Dekari drove in two and scored three. 

In the semifinals against SYA East, Fairfax ended the suspense early, jumping out to a 10-1 lead through three innings and adding eight more runs in the fourth. Ben went 4-for-4 with five RBIs, and Beau went 3-for-3 and drove in four. Starting pitcher Benjamin allowed one run in three solid innings, striking out three, as the NL rolled into the final. 

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