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Jul, 2023

Fairfax Seniors win District 10 Title

Thanks to The Associated Press writer/editor Ben Nuckols for the following recap.


With the Fairfax Seniors All-Stars facing a potential quick end to their district tournament, Alex Zamora ignited his team with a steal of home. Then Caleb Alberts carried Fairfax to a district title with his arm and his bat. 

Two tense victories over Coles in the district tournament gave the Fairfax Seniors a District 10 title and propelled them to the state tournament in Newport News and Poquoson, where they enjoyed two big wins in pool play before falling in the quarterfinals on Monday, July 10. 

With Fairfax and Coles the only All-Star teams in the district at the Seniors level, the title was decided with a best-of-three series, including a doubleheader in Manassas on Day 1. Fairfax’s path to the championship became considerably tougher when it dropped the opener 5-3. A two-run double by Alex gave Fairfax a 3-0 lead, but Coles battled back with two runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth. 

In the second game of the doubleheader, manager Chris Alberts gave the ball to Nick Mowbray, and he went the distance, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out six while throwing a tidy 86 pitches in seven innings. 

Fairfax took a 2-0 lead in the first on an RBI double by Caleb and a run-scoring single by Alex, but Coles pulled even in the third. 

In the fourth, Charlie Gurrola led off with a single and was replaced by Alex on a fielder’s choice. Two errors allowed Alex to advance to third, and with two outs, Alex dashed for home on a pickoff play at first. While Coles got the out on the basepaths, Fairfax had the lead, and Nick took it from there. He allowed one baserunner the rest of the way -- a two-out single in the sixth -- and ended it with a four-pitch seventh, earning Fairfax a chance to win the championship on home turf at Providence Elementary three days later. 

Caleb showed dominant stuff on the mound in the district title game, striking out 11 in his 5 1/3 innings and giving up one run on three hits. But Coles’ starter was strong as well and Fairfax trailed 1-0 after five. 

In the sixth, Alex and Charlie led off by taking a couple for the team, each reaching on a hit by pitch. Then Jack Corley found a hole for a run-scoring single to tie it. A sacrifice fly by Matthew Read made it 2-1. 

Jacob Hurley led off the seventh with a single, Nick followed with a double and, with the bases loaded, Caleb lofted a double to center to make it 4-1. Alex added a sacrifice fly and that was plenty for relief pitcher Dean Johnson, who quickly retired the side in the seventh. Shortstop Alex snared a liner on a 3-2 pitch for the final out. 

Pool play in the state tournament began with a 17-4 loss to King George. Leadoff batter Dean went 2-for-2 with a double and two runs scored, and Caleb was 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs. 

Fairfax came back strong the following day against Olive Branch, building a 5-0 lead behind starting pitcher Charlie and hanging on to win 8-3. Charlie threw 97 pitches in 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs and striking out nine. Caleb had another two-hit day, Jack went 2-for-2 after entering as a pinch-hitter, and Abel Jones went 2-for-3. Theo Munday came through with a big hit, a two-run single in the fourth that made it 3-0, as Fairfax finished with 12 hits on the day. 

The Fairfax bats stayed hot in a 16-1 win over Bedford the next day, led by Callum Keller, who went 3-for-3 with a double, four RBIs and two runs scored. Alex went 3-for-3, drove in two and scored twice, and Matthew went 2-for-3 with three runs scored. 

The big bats allowed Fairfax to save some pitchers for bracket play, with Jacob, Theo and Matthew combining to pitch a five-inning three-hitter. 

In the quarterfinals, Fairfax built an early 2-0 lead but couldn’t hang on against eventual runner-up Abingdon, losing 11-4 to bring its run to an end. Nonetheless, the Seniors put together an impressive summer and represented Fairfax with sportsmanship and strong play.  

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