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Jun, 2023

Fairfax National 8-10 Majors All Stars win District 10 Title

Finally pitching with a lead in a fast-moving District 10 championship game, John Lynch did what he had done all evening: Throw strikes and trust his defense. 

The starter for Fairfax National’s 8-10 Majors All-Stars had given up two hits and three walks to that point against the Fairfax American 8-10 squad at Chilcott Stadium on Tuesday, June 26. John had worked out of trouble to keep the American League off the board. 

With Fairfax National leading 2-0 in the fifth thanks to Beau Sheppard’s RBI single and Connor Bartick’s run-scoring double, John didn’t give up another baserunner. 

A lineout to second baseman Kieran Lawlor. A popup to third. A groundout to second. Five pitches, inning over. In the bottom of the sixth, John needed 10 pitches, and all of them were strikes. The last two batters went down swinging, and Fairfax National beat Fairfax American 2-0 for the District 10 title, earning a trip to far-off Abingdon for the state tournament in July. 

John threw 72 pitches and got stronger as the game progressed -- his final 17 pitches were strikes. 

The district tournament began for Fairfax National the way it ended: with a dominant performance on the mound by John. In the opener against CYA, he got plenty of run support as Fairfax rolled to a 10-0 victory in five innings. John allowed one hit and struck out three in four innings, and Alex Andersen worked a perfect fifth to set up Fairfax’s walk-off win in the bottom half. 

Another double by Connor ended this one, scoring John and Dylan Oliveri, the previous batter whose two-run double had made it 8-0. Connor finished 2-for-2 with three RBIs, John and Andy Valentine also went 2-for-2, and Sean McLane drove in two runs and scored three. 

The offense stayed hot in Fairfax National’s second tournament game, a 15-5 win over True Blue East in five innings. Fairfax scored at least two runs in every frame, highlighted by a two-out, five-run rally in the fourth that included an RBI single by John and a two-run single by Dylan, who drove in three in the game. In the third, Alex hit a two-out, two-run double that put Fairfax ahead 7-5. 

Fairfax walked it off in the fifth when Ben Reed stole home and, one pitch later, Sean and Alex came home on the same wild pitch to give Fairfax the game-ending 10-run margin. 

In the team’s first elimination game, the result was familiar: four runs in the fifth for a walk-off, 10-run victory, this time 12-2 over SYA West. Starting pitcher Beau helped Fairfax build a comfortable lead by allowing two runs in his four innings, and John worked around two walks in a scoreless fifth. 

The game-ending hit this time came from Samuel Brown, a two-run single to center. Samuel finished 2-for-3 with a double, Benji Phillips went 2-for-2 with a triple, John also tripled, and Ben went 2-for-3. 

With the bats largely neutralized in the championship game by Fairfax American starting pitcher Cooper Jones, who worked a complete game, Fairfax National stayed ahead with pitching and defense. Catcher William Vitucci made a key play in the third, throwing out an American baserunner at third base for the second out. John then struck out the batter to end it. 

The offense finally broke through in the fourth -- set up by a walk from Andy and William getting hit by a pitch. Beau singled to bring home Andy, Connor ripped a double up the middle to make it 2-0, and Fairfax National was on its way. 

Thanks to The Associated Press writer/editor Ben Nuckols for a fantastic recap.

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