WOODBRIDGE — Three innings, nine runs, thanks for coming. Here ‘s your trophy, please drive home safely.
Winchester lit up the scoreboard early, scoring two runs in the second inning, two runs in the third and then five in the fifth to bury Loudoun Post 34 early in the American Legion District 16 Championship game. Post 21 went on to win the title 9-5 and had little trouble adding the district tournament trophy to its regular season championship.
“It was just a step in what will hopefully be a trip to the American Legion World Series,” Winchester rightfielder John Hawse said.
First Winchester will have to win the American Legion Virginia State Tournament. Post 21 has one advantage already. It ‘s the host.
Loudoun got on the scoreboard early when catcher Eric Lemley blasted a two-run home run in the top of the second inning. Winchester though had an answer.
Winchester ‘s Scotty McCormick drove in Hawse on a line drive, that Loudoun second baseman Donovan Gouviea, who is the son of former Redskin middle linebacker Kurt Gouveia, couldn ‘t handle. Two batters later Winchester catcher B.J. McGonigal walked, forcing in shortstop Patrick Wingfield to tie the game at two.
In the third, Hawse and Wingfield hit back to back doubles. Wingfield, who was named the tournament MVP, drove in Hawse and then was scored when McCormick singled to center field.
Winchester continued to poor it on in the fourth. Third baseman Chris Anderson hit an RBI single and then Hawse hit a bases-clearing double with the bases loaded. McCormick drove in Hawse with a single up the middle to make the score 9-2 and all but clinch the title for Winchester.
“All summer we wanted to win,” Winchester second baseman Josh Michael said. “It ‘s great to finally win the title and now move on to our next challenge.”
Loudoun entered the game very tired after playing Stafford Post 290 earlier in the day to advance to the title game. Louis Adradez started the game for Loudoun in his first pitching performance in over two years.
Andradez pitched well and also nailed a three-run homer in the seventh inning.
“We had no one left,” Andradez said. “I told coach that if he needed me I ‘d try to give him a few innings. I just tried to throw strikes and keep the team in the game. We knew that even if we lost that we would go to states, so we were just trying to rest up for the next level.”