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July 24, 2015

Post 72 can’t find way to beat Winchester

Photos/Chuck Jackson
Tyler Bianco led Warrenton Thursday night with two hits including this fifth-inning triple. Post 72 lost to Winchester 6-2 but still makes the state American Legion junior tournament starting Aug. 3.
Brandon Athey didn't get a lot of defensive support as his team committed five errors that led to five Winchester runs.
By Chuck Jackson
Sports Editor

Attrition gives Warrenton’s junior American Legion team an automatic bid to the upcoming state tournament but Post 72 players and coaches still would like to beat Winchester.

Warrenton fell to its nemesis again Thursday night at Kettle Run, this time 6-2.

The loss, the fourth this season against the Post 21 entry has Coach Steve Coffin baffled.

“We seem to be able to play and beat any other team in the district but can’t get past Winchester,” Coach Coffin said. “We hit the ball when we play them but it seems every hit is at someone.”

Two that didn’t Thursday night came off the bat of Tyler Bianco.

The rising Kettle Run junior outfielder had a fifth-inning triple that went all the way to the left-field fence.

“Rounding second I saw the leftfielder hadn’t thrown the ball yet so I decided to turn it on and head for third,” Bianco said.

He later scored on a passed ball for his team’s second run.

Will Merrikan scored Post 72's other run in the third inning.

Winchester scored five of its runs off errors, another bone of contention for Coach Coffin.

“That continues to be a problem with this team,” Coach Coffin said. “They get tense when playing (Post 21). I don’t know how to fix it.”

With Fredericksburg and the two Stafford teams (Patriots and Virginians) folding, Winchester and Warrenton will play next Friday night for the District 16 tournament championship.

The game will be played at Sherando High School, in Stephens City. Game time will be 7:30 p.m. Rain date, if needed, will be the next day at 5:30 p.m.

Both teams will also play in the state tournament slated to get underway Aug. 3.

Fredericksburg had been the host team with games played at Riverbend High School in Spotsylvania County.

District 16 will still host the tourney at Riverbend and the loser of the district championship next week will get the host-team slot.
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