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July 4, 2015

Senior Leaguers defend title with 2-1 win over LLLL

Photos/Chuck Jackson
A routine grounder by Greater Fauquier's Logan Meriweather rolled between Lower Loudoun third baseman Thomas Dinnery's legs into left field Friday evening allowing Fauquier's first run to score. GFBLL Senior Legue team defended its title for the second consecutive year with wins of 4-2 and 2-1 Friday.
Robbie Muma had a no-hitter going into the fifth inning Friday night.
Sterling Hagan got hit by LL pitcher Wes Jamison in the ifrst inning but got stranded on third after stealing two bases.
Sidearmer Brennan Harris shut down Lower Loudoun once he relieved Micahel Aldridge in the sisth inning.
By Chuck Jackson
Sports Editor

Take Two brought a whole new meaning for Greater Fauquier Baseball’s Senior League team Friday when the defending Little League District 16 champions brought home another crown.

What makes it even sweeter, the local Little League franchise has only been in existence for two years.

With a 4-2 win in the opener Friday afternoon Fauquier came back with a 2-1 win in the nightcap in the best of three series with Lower Loudoun.

The win puts the Fauquier team back in states and this time travel will be a minimum.

GFBLL will host the senior tournament this year, beginning July 16, in Purcellville.

The county doesn’t have any certified fields whereas Purcellville has two, Woodgrove’s diamond and the town’s Fireman’s Field.

It would have had a third field – at Loudoun Valley High School – but the grass got torn up this spring and currently has a work order to repair it.

Small ball played a role in both games as Fauquier depended on solid pitching, timely hits and exceptional base running skills.

Both pitchers – Fauquier’s Robbie Muma and LL’s Wes Jamison – found themselves in a pitcher’s duel from the beginning.

Jamison gave up his first hit in the fourth inning but by then Fauquier had a 2-0 lead.

Robbie Hume drew a one-out walk, stole second and third and came home when third baseman Thomas Dinnery watched a Logan Meriweather grounder roll between his legs into left field.

Meriweather took second when Brennen Harris got hit by Jamison and third on another stolen base.

Meriweather scored what proved to be the game-winning run on Ty Snider’s RBI-single to left field.

Muma gave up his first hit – actually three back-to-back singles in the fifth inning.

He started the inning with a pair of strikeouts before Ibraheam Cattaneo, Griffin Limongelli and Nick Call all hit successfully.

But Muma got Cole Slack to fly out to center to escape unharmed.

Luck didn’t hold for him in the sixth inning.

A walk to Scott Wilcox and a single to Jamison brought Coach Billy Rhinehart Jr, to the mound.

Muma exited for Michael Aldridge who last all of four pitches, including a sacrifice bunt back to the mound that moved the runners up a base.

“Throw strikes and let my defense play,” Muma said.

The short throwing session gave reliever Harris time to warm up in the bullpen.

The sidearmer came in and got Harrison Hellpern to pop up to second.

Jacob Molland hit towards Fauquier third baseman Snider who overthrew first base.

That allowed Lower Loudoun’s lone run to score.

But Fauquier got out of the jamb when Jamison got cut down at the plate on a great relay from Snider-to-Hagan-to-David Graham for the final out of the inning.

Fauquier threatened in the bottom of the sixth but stranded Merriweather at third when Lower Loudoun reliever Cattaneo struck out Snider and Phil Forgacs.

Harris returned the favor striking out the final two batters he faced to save the game.

“I’ve been toying with the sidearm throw ever since I started playing baseball,” the rising Kettle Run junior said. “But I never pitched until Coach (Rhinehart) asked if I could pitch this year.”

Coach Rhinehart said his team’s defense kept Fauquier in the game and put the team in position to win.

“Our defense is so solid,” Coach Rhinehart said.

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