Hayfield Baseball Routs Falls Church
Hawks score 36 runs, DiRosario hits fifth home run of season
With the bases loaded and just one out in the top of the fourth inning, and their team down by 33 runs, it seemed as though things couldn’t possibly get worse for fans of the Falls Church Jaguars, who were huddled under blankets on an unseasonably frigid late-March night. And then it started to snow, prompting Hayfield supporters to begin to root against their own team so as to bring the game, which had descended into a farce, to a merciful conclusion.
But there would be no mercy, at least not yet. Virginia AAA Northern Region high school baseball rules dictate that games can only be called if a team is up by at least 15 runs after the fifth inning. So as the snowflakes fell, the players carried on. But the Jaguars’ third pitcher of the evening, Farzad Mohammad, was having trouble finding the strike zone. He walked in three more runs, putting the score at 36-0, where it would remain an inning later when the game was finally called, giving Hayfield (3-0) its third win of the season, and dropping Falls Church to an 0-3 start after a winless 2010 season.
“Hard to say if they should change the mercy rule,” said Hayfield’s coach, Michael Shore, after the game. “We don’t want to steal innings from the kids at the end of the bench, just so we can go home early. Perhaps there should be an outer limit (regardless of what inning it’s in) on the mercy rule. We do respect our opponents, especially Falls Church, who always plays us as hard as they can, but this was just our night.”
Their night indeed. The Hayfield pitching staff limited the Jaguars to just one hit on Saturday in an 18-0 pasting, and duplicated the 1-hit feat on Friday, with the only hit coming in the very first at-bat of the game, a single from the Jaguars Logan Harris. The offensive attack was even more relentless, as the Hawks hit five home runs, scoring 12 runs in first inning, seven runs in the second, nine in the third, and eight in the fourth. Near the end of the blowout, Hawks players could be heard openly rooting for their opponents to make plays on defense.
Senior third baseman Brian DiRosario, who is headed to Shepherd University in West Virginia on a baseball scholarship next year, led the attack with a towering home run, his fifth on the young season, along with two doubles, and four RBI.
“It felt pretty good,” DiRosario said of his home run, a 380 foot blast. “I looked at it, and yeah, I knew it was gone.”
He has already bested last year’s home run total (four) after just three games, and credits his power surge to the hours he put in hitting off a tee at the Prospect Sports Training Center in Tysons Corner this winter. He was asked after the game if hitting off of a tee was boring.
“No, I just like hitting, period,” he said, smiling.
So did the rest of the Hayfield teammates Friday. Senior Brady Larkin had a home run, a double, a triple and four RBI, while catcher Brad Johnson was also a single shy a cycle with, a double, a triple and three RBI. Cameron Lundmark, a junior shortstop, had a home run and three RBI. And Ben Harris came off the bench to hit first home run on the varsity squad. But none of his teammates could be coerced into searching for the ball amidst the muddy patch of pine trees beyond the left field wall.
Senior Michael Askew started the game for the Hawks and was dominant throughout, hitting corners, spotting his fastball and changing speeds to keep the Jaguars off balance.
The Hawks, who were scolded by the umpire at one point for running the bases too aggressively after the game was already out of reach, appeared to ease up near the end of the game, and some players felt a little bad about the blowout.
“I kind of did feel bad. I wish they… I hoped they would have scored,” said DiRosario. “It would have been better for them if they had some base runners, or some runs, but it also sends a message to the other teams that we are putting up big numbers this year.”
Indeed, just about the only thing that Hayfield has botched this year is their dye jobs. Most of the players on the team attempted to dye their hair blonde over the weekend, but the result was orange. None were overly concerned after winning by three dozen runs on Friday night.