May 14 - Austin Lathrop’s infield single with two outs in the bottom of the eighth allowed Taylor McLeod to score the winning run for the Metro Senators in a 4-3 walk-off win over the NOVA Vipers 13u on Saturday at South County Middle School.
McLeod worked a two-out walk off Vipers reliever Nick DeSantis and then advanced to third after a throwing error on an attempted pickoff. Lathrop followed by legging out a groundball to the third baseman for his third hit and second RBI of the game to win it for the Senators. “I was looking for a fastball and just got down the line,” Lathrop said.
“Austin has been having great at-bats for us all year and having him up at that time, that is the guy we want,” said Senators coach Brent Weiss.
Senators reliever Nathan DeWitte came on in the fifth inning and earned the win after pitching four scoreless innings with the game tied 3-3. Mike Lavanga made the start for the Senators and allowed two runs in two innings while Lars Greenlee allowed a run in two relief innings.
“Nathan is a strike thrower and he has gotten better as the season as gone along,” Weiss said. “It’s a real help knowing we have a guy that can go in there and shut it down like that.”
Zach Danielczyk started on the mound for the Vipers and allowed one run and struck out six through 4.1 innings. The right-hander also doubled and scored in the first inning to give his team a 1-0 lead.
"Zach has been doing that all year for us," Vipers coach Mike Del Buono said. "He is really good when he keeps it down but the few he left up, those are the ones they hit. But he definitely is our workhorse."
The Vipers tallied another run in the second on a wild pitch and then took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on an RBI from Aiden Zampiello. The Vipers had four hits and scored a run in three of the first four innings, however collected just one hit the rest of the game off DeWitte.
Jack McCarthy got the Senators on the board with an RBI in the third inning. The Senators then tied the game in the sixth after an RBI double from Lathrop and Lars Greenlee was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. After DeWitte retired the side in order in the top of the eighth, the Senators rallied with two outs in the bottom-half to take the first game of the doubleheader.
“We have had two games this year where we have won on a walk-off,” Weiss said. “We have also been on the other end of a walk-off, so we have been in those tight games and I think that really helped us today.”
In the second game, the Vipers scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to clinch a 5-2 win over the Senators. Conor Smith drove in a pair and DeSantis and Brian Keith combined for four scoreless innings for the Vipers. Jaylon Surell pitched five scoreless innings for the Senators.
Both teams will be in action next on Thursday as the Vipers will face the NOVA Premier 13u at Dulles Corner while the Senators will play the Burke Bulldogs 13u at Greenbriar Park.
Left to Right: Nathan DeWitte pitched four scoreless innings and Taylor McLeod scored the winning run for the Senators in a 4-3 win at South County Middle School. Photos by Josh Belanger.