Remington pitchers thwart Manassas in Legion ball

By Chuck Jackson Sports Editor

Chandler Kezele and Jason Alverez combined for an eight-hitter Monday night leading Remington to 2-1 Senior American Legion win over Manassas.

The win lifted Remington from a last-place tie with the host team. The teams play a rematch Tuesday at Liberty High School.

Kezele started, going five innings for the win.

He struck out seven and walked four while giving up six hits.

"I'm still working through the motion right now, trying to get better for fall ball (at Fauquier High School)," Kezele said.

Alverez pitched the final four innings for the save. He struck out four while allowing two hits.

Both pitchers got into trouble but each time their defense backed them with little or no damage.

Kezele had runners in scoring position the first three innings but escaped each time.

In the first inning catcher Ty Fetherolf picked off Kyle Dormstead on first.

After giving up a lead-off walk and double in the second Kezele got Noah Coppage to ground out before striking out Jake Cornwell and Adam Perdue.

In the third Kezele struck out three but had runners on first and second in between the outs.

Remington (2-4-1) took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Zack Plath led off with a single, taking second on a passed ball.

A Max Lilek sac bunt put Plath on third and Kezele's grounder produced the run.

Manassas (1-5-0) tied it in the fifth.

Kezele gave up three singles to start the inning and walked in the run.

But no more damage occurred when Logan Bruckschen grounded to shortstop Travis Croson. Croson threw home for the force and the first out of the inning.

C.J. Minarik popped up behind the plate for the second out.

A grounder to third baseman Hayden Lilek followed, allowing the Kettle Run senior to step on third to end the inning.

Remington scored the go-ahead run in the sixth.

Tyler Johnson, who finished the game 2-for-4, led off with an opposite-field single to right.

Fetherolf followed, reaching base on an error by left fielder Cornwell.

Cornwell raced in for the ball, sliding to make the catch but the ball popped out of his glove.

Two outs later Kezele hit a bunt single scoring Johnson.

"We did what we had to do to score runs," Johnson said. "It helped we got great pitching tonight."

Team Manager Garrett Croson said as the innings got late he knew he had to get his team to do the small things right.

"We started bunting towards the end, playing for one (run)," Coach Croson said.

Manassas left a runner stranded on third in the seventh and Alverez had little trouble the rest of the way.

Remington finished the game with 10 hits, its most of the season. Justin Vaclavicek led with three hits and Plath finished with two singles.

"We're getting hits now and then but still haven't been able to put them together," Kezele said. "We have too many pop ups and strikeouts still."

Kezele said some of his team's lack of production comes down to not having any practice sessions.

"We're backed up on games because of rain (and no lights) so we need to be mentally right each night to put the ball into play instead of watching (the ball) on every pitch."

The team has games the next three nights this week and four games next week before the Legion District 16 tournament begins.

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