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July 22, 2015

Gutsy play lifts Remington in Legion tournament game

Photo/Chuck Jackson
Matt Shuck waits for Remington teammate Jason Vaclavicek to cross the plate in the Dirtbaggers' five-run 11th inning Monday night. Post 247 won its senior division American Legion baseball game 10-8 over Front Royal in a first-round tournament game.
By Chuck Jackson
Sports Editor

Tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 10th inning Monday night Front Royal gambled and lost its American Legion baseball game against visiting Remington.

The senior division District 16 tournament opening-round game had originally been scheduled for Front Royal’s Bing Crosby Stadium.

But a scheduling snafu with the town’s Valley League team at the Bing forced a venue change.

Needing a neutral site, Remington offered up Kettle Run’s baseball field and Front Royal accepted.

Perhaps they knew – or didn’t know – the Fauquier County high school field happens to be home for half of Post 247’s players during the high school season.

Front Royal Coach Rick Almarode saw the chance for his team to win after watching Gavin Kendrick’s single to left field fall onto the dew-covered grass in front of left fielder Henry Delavergne.

With two recorded outs Cody Sager had already headed to third on the hit.

Delavergne saw the coach wave the runner home as the Fauquier sophomore scooped up the ball.

A direct throw to catcher Tyler Fetherolf got Sager out at the plate.

“It wasn’t a pretty throw but it had the distance,” Fetherolf said.

Fetherolf caught the ball about 10 feet behind the plate, then ran to catch Sager before he could touch home.

Remington responded in the top of the 11th with five runs, then held on for a 10-8 victory.

“That was the difference in the game,” Dirtbaggers Coach Garrett Croson said. “Our team got a lift and you could see the disappointment on (Post 53) players.”

Rain in Stephens City forced postponement of Monday’s game between host Winchester and the Stafford-Nationals. That game will now be played Wednesday forcing the second-round games to be pushed back to Thursday.

All second and ensuing rounds of the tourney will be hosted at Sherando High School in Stephens City.

Remington will play the winner of the Ashburn-Manassas game Thursday at 1 p.m. Front Royal will play the loser at 1 p.m., Thursday.

“That will help us,” Coach Croson said of the extra day. “After tonight, our pitching has pretty much been depleted. We’re already missing three players this week because of vacations and only would have nine available Wednesday to start the game.”

Max Lilek scored on Delavergne’s one-out single to right centerfield to break the tie in the 11th, then added a run when Front Royal catcher Robert Rutherford missed a tag at home on Travis Croson’s infield single.

Croson played second baseman Robert Pressley taking a big lead off first allowing Delavergne to speed towards the plate.

The throw and runner both arrived at the same time but Rutherford somehow missed the tag. Delavergne scrambled back and touched the plate before the catcher could react.

Croson, Matt Schuck and Ty Pavlock all scored before Post 53 could record the final out.

Winning pitcher Jason Alverez left the mound at the bottom of the 11th, giving over to Max Lilek.

Lilek loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk before walking in Front Royal’s sixth run.

Delavergne took over and his first offering to batter Garrett Richards resulted in a booted play at third for the second run, closing Remington’s margin to 10-7.

Sager followed with a RBI-walk for the eighth run and it looked like Post 53 might still pull the game out.

Tyler Ritenour struck out swinging on a low and outside curve ball offering from Delavergne for the first out.

Robert Rutherford and his twin Joseph got caught in a double play to end the game.

Joseph bounced a hit back to Delavergne who immediately threw home for the force. Fetherolf then threw to first for the final out.

Delavergne picked up the save for his effort.

Front Royal opened with a 2-0 lead in the third only to see the Dirtbaggers tie it one frame later.

Post 53 added a run in the sixth for a 3-2 lead but Remington responded in the top of the seventh with three runs and a 5-3 advantage.

Front Royal tied it in the bottom of the seventh and the game went to extra innings.
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