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Aug, 2023


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

Kyle Parker had every reason to believe he’d done enough to get the Fairfax American 10-12 Majors All-Stars to the state semifinals. His two-run homer in the fourth inning had given Fairfax a seven-run lead against Loudoun South National. 

But with the lead rapidly shrinking in the sixth, coach Kevin Brooks asked Kyle to do a little bit more. 

Loudoun South had already scored four runs in the frame, slicing Fairfax American’s comfortable 9-3 lead to 9-7, when Kyle relieved starting pitcher Gio De Los Reyes -- who came one out short of a complete game. Kyle was immediately greeted by an RBI double. 

Fairfax led 9-8, with the tying run in scoring position. Kyle went to work, getting ahead 1-2 and then whiffing the Loudoun batter to secure the win and move Fairfax American into the semifinals on July 17 in Richlands. 

The tournament run ended there for Fairfax American, but it was another strong showing for this team and for Fairfax at the state level. The core players of this AL squad won District 10 titles in 2021 at the 8-10 level and again last year at 9-11. This year’s District 10 title at the 10-12 level was the first for Fairfax American since 1995, and the team became the first from Fairfax American since the early 1970s to reach the state semifinals. Fairfax American also matched the performance of last year’s Fairfax National 10-12 squad, which reached the state semis. 

Fairfax American was undefeated heading into the tournament and relied on its experience in its pool play opener against Lynchburg, pulling away late for a 12-4 win. Kyle was the standout among six pitchers used by coach Brooks in an effort to keep his staff fresh. Kyle entered in the fourth and worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out six. 

Gio got Fairfax American on the board with an RBI double in the first, and Jameson Poncy lined a two-run double to make it 3-1. 

Jimmy Brixius walked leading off the third and ultimately scored on an error, but Lynchburg tied it with three runs in the fourth. 

In the fifth, Fairfax regained the lead on bases-loaded walks by Bradley Boucher and Henry McCarter. Then Fairfax poured it on in the sixth. Logan Hillman led off with a triple and Brian Park drove him in with a single. Gio added an RBI single, Jameson had an RBI grounder, Grady Brooks followed with a run-scoring single, and Jonah Thanig lined an RBI triple to left. 

Relief pitcher Oliver Chapman closed it out by striking out the side in the sixth. 

Fairfax American jumped on Abingdon early in their second pool game, scoring four times in the first inning and holding on for a 7-3 victory. Relief pitcher Bradley worked two scoreless innings, and Jimmy got the final four outs to close it out. 

Leadoff batter Logan began the game with a single on an 0-2 pitch, Brian followed with a single, and both scored on a grounder by Kyle that led to a fielding error. Two more errors helped Fairfax build a 4-0 lead. 

Fairfax got three more in the third on RBI singles by Kyle and Gio and Oliver’s two-out, run-scoring bunt single. That was plenty of cushion for relief pitchers Jameson and Jimmy, who held Abingdon hitless and scoreless after the fourth. 

For the final pool play game against Bridgewater, Grady needed to be magnificent on the mound, and he was, striking out seven and walking none in a six-inning, four-hit shutout as Fairfax won 1-0. Grady gave up a single leading off the fourth but then retired the final nine batters he faced, striking out the side in order in the fifth and fanning two more in the sixth. 

The game was scoreless in the fourth when Logan singled with one out and Brian grounded into a fielder’s choice. With Kyle at bat, Brian took second, third and then home on passed balls to put Fairfax ahead. 

Fairfax had the bases loaded with one out in the fifth and couldn’t push another run across, but Grady remained unflappable on the mound and closed it out. 

The quarterfinal matchup with Loudoun South -- which won last year’s state title at the 10-12 level -- began with a defensive gem when second baseman Brian fielded a grounder and threw to shortstop Kyle, who then fired to first baseman Jameson to complete a 4-6-3 double play. 

Fairfax American got the big inning it needed in the second. Grady led off with a single, Jonah singled, Bradley walked, and Henry drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 1-0. With two outs, Logan poked a two-run single to left and Brian followed with an RBI single to make it 4-0. 

In the third, Fairfax American flashed some power when Gio led off with a double. Grady drove him in with a single, and Bradley lined a two-run double to left to make it 7-0. 

Fairfax gave up two runs in the fourth but restored its seven-run advantage in the bottom half. Brian lined a two-out single, and Kyle took the Loudoun pitcher deep, blasting one over the fence in center for a two-run homer. 

Fairfax ended up needing every one of those runs, but the lead held up thanks to starting pitcher Gio, who threw 84 pitches and gave up three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, and reliever Kyle, who closed it out. 

In the semifinals, Fairfax faced a hard-hitting Tuckahoe team that wore down its pitching staff and won 9-5. Brian had the highlight for Fairfax, a two-run homer in the first inning, and Gio, Grady and Jonah finished with two hits apiece. 


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