Fight Snow: Buy Mulch

mulch_stack2Special to the Falls Church Times
March 4, 2015

For the past 22 years, the George Mason High School Athletic Boosters Association has sponsored a spring mulch sale, with proceeds helping meet the school’s athletics program’s pressing needs, including equipment purchases. Student athletes from all spring sports donate their time on a Saturday morning to load and deliver mulch to homes throughout the Falls Church area.

“This is like an old fashioned barn-raising,” said Robert Donovan, one of the event’s coordinators. “We have parents volunteering as drivers and a parking lot full of kids helping load the bags and head out for deliveries. Everybody participates.”

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Little League Wraps Spring Season

June 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

By Neal Comstock
Falls Church Times Staff
June 25, 2014


The Falls Church Kiwanis Little League (FCKLL) ended its biggest and in some ways most challenging season yet this past week. With baseball becoming more popular in our area and with Little League International changing its rules to allow 4 year olds to play, FCKLL had a record number of kids playing this season. Having to accommodate the necessary additional teams was difficult given the loss of three fields due to the expansion of Westgate Elementary. This task was made somewhat easier by the League’s ability to play on one of the fields at Larry Graves Park on Hillwood Avenue after the Fairfax County Parks Authority issued FCKLL a permit for Larry Graves for the first time after years of asking. Also, to accommodate the additional teams’ games and practices, FCKLL paid for a number of improvements to area fields, including: Idylwood Park on Virginia Lane, Jefferson Village Park on Route 50/Arlington Boulevard and Walnut Hills Park on Camp Alger Drive. Fairfax County Parks Authority also improved several area fields for baseball use.

At its annual season-ending Fun Fair held on Saturday, June 14 at Walnut Hills Park, FCKLL gave out its three highest awards of the year.

The League’s Richard Marsh award is presented each year to the AA player who not only stands out performance-wise on the field but also sets an example with his or her sportsmanship. Browne Callanan of the Lugnuts won this year’s Marsh Award.

FCKLL’s Bill Rose Awards are given each year to the AAA and Majors players who exemplify: love of the game; leadership ability; dedication; enthusiasm and respect for umpires, teammates and coaches. Casey Scheuerman of the Dodgers won the AAA Rose Award and Chris Leiss of the Orioles won for Majors.

Artie Lechtman of the AA Rockhounds won the League’s Coach of the Year Award.

Game summaries are prepared by FCKLL Manager, Coaches and parents.

Majors (ages 10-12)

On June 14, the Nationals hosted the Marlins in the Majors Championship game. This was the fourth time these two teams have met this season. The previous three games were settled by a combined six runs and this game turned out to be another classic with the Nationals coming out on top by a score of 12-9.

The Nationals bats came alive early and remained steady with Cale Reinfurt (three for three), Corey Lauer (two for two), Adam Janicki (two for three), and Evan Jones (two for three). Jack Coburn belted a late double to help secure the win. The Marlins had their share of hits as well with Ryan Fletchall and Brian Murphy slugging doubles, and Andrew Milhorn adding a pair of solid hits.

On the defensive side for the Nationals: Will Jackson, Nick Fiegel, and Cale Reinfurt all pitched for a combined six strikeouts to keep the damage done by the Marlin bats to a minimum. In the field: Chelsea Lang, John Ryan Fields, and Reyn Butterworth provided solid defense, as they have all season long.

AAA (ages 9-11)

On June 3, under the lights at Westgate Park, the Giants and Brewers completed a game that had started on May 27, but was interrupted by thunderstorms after one inning. The game was restarted in the top of the second with the Brewers ahead 3-1. The Giants were able to take back the lead 5-3 in the top of the third, but the Brewers busted out with five in the bottom of the inning and held on for a 12-8 victory. The Brewers offense was sparked by Sam Sanders (triple, two doubles) and Brandon Sauter (double, two singles), while the Giants were led by Chandler Petty (single, double, three RBI), Ronan Kelly (triple, 2 singles) and John Cascella (two singles, walk, two RBIs).

The AAA playoffs got underway on Saturday, June 7, with all eight teams engaged in first round contests. The Giants battled the Diamondbacks at Walnut Hills Park in a low scoring pitchers’ duel and were barely able to eke out a 7-5 decision. The DBacks used a strong outing from starter Porter Stewart to jump out to an early 3-0 advantage, but the Giants came roaring back with five in the bottom of the third to take a 5-3 lead. Key hits in the inning came from Michael Hammond and John Cascella and from Ronan Kelly and Jonathan Oppenheimer, who drove in two runs each with back-to-back hits. The lead was short lived, however, as the DBacks tied it at five in the top of the fourth behind hits by Jake Traverse and Gaspar Green. Ben Petty came through in the bottom of the fourth for the Giants by singling in the go ahead run, and this time the lead held up. The Giants added an insurance run in the fifth, and Michael Hammond and George Papadopoulos combined to keep the DBacks scoreless in the final two innings, with Papadopoulos impressively striking out both players he faced to end the game and earn the save. Kelly was also impressive on the mound for the Giants, striking out six batters while allowing no hits and only one run in two stellar innings of relief.

The AAA playoffs continued on Monday, June 9, with a second round game at Walnut Hills between the Giants and the Angels to see who would advance to the Championship Game. The final score was 15-4 in favor of the Giants, but this started off as a tight pitchers’ duel, with the Giants holding a narrow 1-0 lead after two innings. Angel starter Noah Rosenberger kept his team close with an outstanding performance, striking out four Giants and giving up only one hit and one run in two innings. Meanwhile, Giant starter Michael Hammond was tossing a gem of his own, going three innings, allowing only two hits and one run, while striking out four Angels. With Rosenberger out the game, the Giants bats came to life in the third, when they banged out five hits and displayed some daring base running to put five runs up on the board. Key hits in the inning came from George Papadopoulos and George Lewis, who each singled in two runs, and from Hammond, whose ground rule double early in the inning ignited the crowd and his teammates. Hits by Chandler Petty and John Cascella and a walk by Jack Biggs kept Giants on the bases throughout the inning. The resilient Angels got the score close again in the fourth, when pitcher Eli Nassif held the Giants scoreless and the Angel offense scratched out two runs behind hits by Will Izdepski and Hunter Benson and a walk by Sammy Skocki to bring the score to 6-3. But the Giants scored five more in the fifth with RBIs by Hammond, Ronan Kelly, Ben Petty and Baker Reid, and four more in the sixth to give the Giants a comfortable lead. Cascella then shut down any hope of an Angel comeback by closing out the last two innings in fine fashion, allowing only one hit and one run while striking out four. The Giants’ pitchers were aided throughout the game by some great defensive plays by Kelly, Hammond, Lewis and Biggs and by Jonathan Oppenheimer, who made a quick reaction on a ball that was deflected off the pitcher, to make the throw to a stretching Ben Petty at first for the out.

Single A (ages 6-9)

The FCKLL Single A Championship game featured the second seeded Volcanoes and the fourth seeded Sea Dogs. The air was thick with excitement as these two battle tested teams squared off in the muggy Monday evening air at Walnut Hills West. The fans were in for a treat, with an exciting game of playoff baseball. Both teams played solid defense with great hustle and several close plays but offense would ultimately decide this game.

The defense for each team was high on effort and hustle. The Volcanoes were able to record six outs in the field, getting things going by holding the Sea Dogs scoreless in first and putting five points on the scoreboard. Masao Gallan had a nice play for the force at second base. The Volcanoes defense recorded several more nice outs; one on a play in from the outfield to second base for the out, a great hustle play to gather a loose ball to get the force at second, and an amazing line drive catch by shortstop Jake Marsh. The solid defensive effort continued into fifth with a great catch by second baseman Edwin Wegener, who also had great solo effort to get the force at second to end the inning. The Sea Dogs defense recorded eight outs. Jonah Maco had a nice play at second base for an out in the first. The second inning saw the Sea Dogs defense hold their opponent scoreless for the inning, Sammy Findler grabbed a grounder then connected with Nathanael Clock at second base for the out and Shortstop Colt Dixon made a great catch on a fly ball to end the inning. Sammy Findler made nice solo play at third to record an out. Jonah Maco had a great grab from behind plate catching a foul tip. In the fifth, the Sea Dogs needed a great effort, Nathanael Clock who has come big all season got the defense going, catching a shot down the third base line, and Gunner Dixon closed out the inning with a solo play collecting a well hit grounder and tagging second for the out. The defense was good by both teams but the bats were really working and led to an offensive showcase. This was a back and forth offensive battle, that was tied at 15 the end of the fourth. The Volcanoes hitters were impressive with eight batters perfect at the plate. Angelo Santucci went five for five and scored a run, Patrick Connelly went five for five on his way to score three runs, Harris Hunt crushed a double on his way to going five for five and scoring three runs, Edwin Wegener also went five for five while scoring two runs, Jay Geeslin was four for four and scored a run, Jake Marsh had nice night going three for three, Paul Salinetti went four for four and scored a run, and finally Luke Stienbicker scored twice to go along with his three for three effort. Top to bottom the Volcanoes batting order was tough with Masao Gallan three for four and scoring twice, Everett Wishrad going two for three with a run scored, Jack Turner also had a two for three night scoring two runs and Christopher McCoy had a great hit and scored a run. The Sea Dogs offense was stymied in the first inning but then bats came alive, four Sea Dogs had perfect nights at the plate. Colt Dixon ripped a double in a five for five performance and scored two runs, not to be out done by his brother Gunner Dixon who also went five for five, scored three runs, and belted a double. Sammy Findler also smacked a double and went four for four and scored two runs; and Cristian Henry scored twice going four for four. The whole team was handling their business at the plate: Tommy Davies roped a double, scored four runs going four for five, Jonah Maco went four for five scoring three runs, Sam Varner scored two runs hitting four for five, Nathanael Clock had another great day going three for four scoring three runs and he absolutely launched a double into deep center field, Anthony Viola went three for four and scored three runs, Nathan Lake hit three for four and scored two runs and Nathaniel Pollard hit three for four and scored a run. The stage was set for an exciting finish. The Sea Dogs got things started in the final inning with the score tied, hitting four of their five doubles in the inning. Nathaniel Pollard began the inning with a nice single to set the tone. Tommy Davies, Sam Varner and Colt Dixon – who drove in the first run of the inning – all continued to set table for Gunner Dixon who knocked his double collecting two RBIs on the hit. Two batters later, Nathanael Clock connected on a double for his best hit of season plating more runs, Anthony Viola kept things going with a nice single. Then, Sammy Findler got in on the action solidly cracking a double. The Sea Dogs bats did their job opening up a lead, now it was the Volcanoes turn. The Volcanoes came out strong with Paul Salinetti leading off with a nice base hit, Everett Wishrad, Jack Turner, and Luke Stienbicker all kept it going with Stienbickers RBI starting the scoring going. Angelo Santucci, Patrick Connolly, Harris Hunt, Edwin Wegener, and Masao Gallan were all able to get hits to keep the rally going. However, in the end it was not quite enough, in a play that echoed his play all season long, the Sea Dogs quiet leader Gunner Dixon closed out the game and sealed the Sea Dogs victory. The final score of this hard fought Championship game was Sea Dogs 27, Volcanoes 19.


Giants’ Charlie Rowe makes good contact while DBacks’ Davis  Kendrick reaches for the ball.

Giants’ Charlie Rowe makes good contact while DBacks’ Davis
Kendrick reaches for the ball.










Giants’ John Cascella singles in the third inning in front of DBacks catcher Davis Kendrick.

Giants’ John Cascella singles in the third inning in front of DBacks catcher Davis Kendrick.









Giants’ Jack Biggs and DBacks’ Zach Wu-Rorrer await the pitch.

Giants’ Jack Biggs and DBacks’ Zach Wu-Rorrer await the pitch.











The Giants celebrate their playoff victory over the Diamondbacks.  Seated: Jonathan Oppenheimer, Jack Biggs. Kneeling: Ben Petty, Ronan Kelly, George Lewis, George Papadopoulos, Tapi Goredema. Standing: Coach Ed Hammond, Michael Hammond, John Cascella, Manager Bob Cascella, Charlie Rowe, Baker Reid, Chandler Petty, Coach Aaron Petty.

The Giants celebrate their playoff victory over the Diamondbacks. Seated: Jonathan Oppenheimer, Jack Biggs. Kneeling: Ben Petty, Ronan Kelly, George Lewis, George Papadopoulos, Tapi Goredema. Standing: Coach Ed Hammond, Michael Hammond, John Cascella, Manager Bob Cascella, Charlie Rowe, Baker Reid, Chandler Petty, Coach Aaron Petty.

Little League Winds Up Regular Season

June 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

By Neal Comstock
Falls Church Times Staff
June 13, 2014


The regular season ended last week and playoffs have begun. In this first season after which the Falls Church Kiwanis Little League (FCKLL) lost three of the four fields at Westgate Park due to the expansion of Westgate Elementary, the remaining field at Westgate was busy this week with playoff games. Playoff games were also held at other area fields more than in past years.

Majors (ages 10-12)

In the last game of the regular season on Saturday, May 31, at Westgate Park, Bobby Asel was solid at the plate for the Tigers. Asel went two for three, drove in one and scored one run. The Athletics’ jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the top of the first. The As threat began with a single by Thomas Downs. A passed ball then moved Downs from first to second before he stole third and home. The Athletics then tacked on more runs when Gus Bayer scored on a walk by Timmy Bradley and scored on a two-run home run by Caleb Parnell.  The Tigers scored four runs of their own in the first on an RBI single by Asel, a two-run error, and an RBI single by Sela Scheinman. The Athletics went up for good in the second, scoring five runs on two doubles and an RBI single by Parnell.  After pushing across three runs in the bottom of the third, the Tigers faced just a 10-7 deficit. A two-run double by Mark Comstock and a groundout by Gavin McNabb triggered the Tigers’ comeback. Finally, Bayer got Danny McMahon to strike out to end the threat.  The Athletics piled on seven more runs in the top of the fourth. Declan Quill’s single got things going, scoring Zach Walker and Nick Sharrer. That was followed up by Bayer’s double, bringing home Quill and Downs.  One Tigers run crossed the plate in the bottom half of the sixth, making the final score 17-8.  A groundout by Peter Villa set off the Tigers rally but Downs got the last out, as the LL Tigers’ Scheinman flew out.

AAA (ages 9-11)

The Giants and Dodgers squared off on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Walnut Hills West on May 31 and thrilled the crowd of onlookers with an exciting, tightly contested battle that ended 11-10 when the Giant’s Michael Hammond stole home with the winning run in the bottom of the fifth. The Giants never held the lead until the final play, thanks to some strong relief pitching by Daniel Trauberman and Casey Scheuerman, who held the Giants to only three runs in the middle three innings, and clutch hitting from Scheuerman and Nate Jackson, who each collected multiple hits for the Dodgers. The Giants’ relievers were also able to keep the game close with strong outings by George Papadopoulos (two innings, five strikeouts), Charlie Rowe (scoreless fourth inning) and Ronan Kelly (two strikeouts). The Giants were sharp on defense, throwing out three Dodgers on the base paths. Peter Kratz tried to go from first to third on a single to right by Scheuerman in the second inning, but Hammond rifled the ball to Jack Biggs, who relayed it to John Cascella at third for the tag. Then when Cascella was catching in the fourth, he gunned down Scheuerman trying to steal second, with Kelly applying the tag. The very next base runner was Jackson, who stole second, but then got caught in a pickle when Cascella threw behind the runner to Kelly, who executed the run down to perfection with Biggs, who made the tag to record the out. The biggest play on defense came with two outs in the top of the fifth. With two runs already in and the Dodgers threatening to break the game open, Henry Thatcher sent a fly ball to left center that looked like it would drive in another run and keep the rally going, but Ben Petty moved quickly to his left and made the grab to end the rally and set up the walk-off victory in the bottom of the inning. The offensive fireworks for the Giants came from Tapi Goredema (triple, two singles, three runs scored), George Lewis (single, walk, two RBI), Cascella (triple, scoring on the overthrow), Rowe (single, walk, RBI), Kelly (single, two walks) and Biggs (single, walk).

AA (ages 8-10)

On the last day of the regular season, on a perfect May 31 Saturday afternoon at Larry Graves field, the AA Sand Gnats defeated the Rockhounds, 12 to 4. The game was tied at one after one inning, but the Sand Gnats put it out of reach with nine more runs in the second and third innings. The Sand Gnats game ball went to Kyle Hill. While playing catcher, Kyle threw out a base stealer at third base.   He made a nice catch to help close out the game in the fifth inning, along with a couple hits. Starting pitcher Michael Craig pitched two strong innings, and he was relieved by Connor Tye, Evan Ramsey, Forest Beason and Max Vitt to finish the game. Evan Ramsey had a strong all-around game to celebrate his ninth birthday. He scored four runs on four hits, and made a nice play at second base in the first inning to keep two runs from scoring.   On the bright side for the Rockhounds, pitcher Patrick Short had a terrific first inning, throwing a mere 14 pitches, giving up one run and fanning three batters. Jill Vaughn went two for three at the plate and demonstrated her skill in the field with a fantastic catch of a long fly ball to left centerfield.   Nathan Madden pitched a brilliant fifth inning, striking out the first three batters he saw with only 15 pitches. Unfortunately, the Rockhounds could not capitalize, and came up with no runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. The game was called for time at the end of the fifth.

On a fine May 28 Wednesday afternoon at Larry Graves field, the AA Red Wings defeated the Rockhounds 12 to 4. This was the second time these two teams met this season. Though the Rockhounds won the first contest, this time they were no match for the Red Wings offensive onslaught. Lead-off batter Jake Barakat jumpstarted the Red Wings’ offense on Wednesday with a base hit in each of his three plate appearances. The Arra brothers, Chris and Phillip, also swung hot bats, combining for four hits, four RBIs, and four runs.   Theo Schmidt and Phillip Arra turned in strong pitching performances, yielding a combined five hits and four runs over four innings of work.   At the end of the game, the Red Wings players celebrated Samuel Tombul for his toughness. Samuel reached base and subsequently scored two runs after being hit by a pitch in two of his three at-bats. Rockhounds pitcher Harris Lechtman struck out three batters in the first inning and yielded two runs, while his teammate Scott Shields yielded one run in the third inning while striking out one. Shields also knocked in a run with a double in the second inning. In the third inning, Rockhound catcher Kenzo Valentin thrilled his teammates and the crowd with an inside-the-park home run.   It was the Rockhounds’ first and only home run of the season.

On a mercifully dry May 17 Saturday afternoon at Larry Graves field, the AA Scrappers defeated the Rockhounds, 10 to 5. The game was close in the early innings, but the Scrappers offensive onslaught proved too much in the end. On the plus side for the Rockhounds, good hitting and base-running from Nathan Madden, Joel Haas, Harris Lechtman, and Garrett Vaughn broke the Rockhounds scoring slump with a big first inning. Lechtman pitched a scoreless fourth inning — an inning that the Rockhounds got out of with a chance to come back, thanks to a solid defensive play by Madden at second base, who fielded a tough ground ball and fired it to Short at first base for the third out.   The Scrappers pitchers maintained control in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings though, holding the Rockhounds scoreless. Still, the Rockhounds kept an upbeat spirit. The next day, the Rockhounds celebrated the joy of little league baseball at Nationals Park, where the Nationals hosted Little League Day.   Little League teams from the DC metropolitan area paraded around the park prior to the Nationals game with the Mets. The Rockhounds then cheered the Nationals on their way to a 6-3 victory.

Single A (ages 6-9)

The Sea Dogs and Mud Cats met in a May 31 Saturday afternoon thriller; a game that featured both tough defense and some great hitting.  These two tough teams battled it out with smart, high effort play all the way around.While the hits were hard to come by due to exceptional defense on the part of both teams, each side did manage to get some hits and run production to keep the game close until the final out.  The Mud Cats offense saw Jacob Sargent and Kai Ferro each go three for three and score runs, while Zach Pierce and Domanic Zacharias Martin went three for four scoring two runs each. Ethan Bomersheim, Sammy Fried and Liam Glavin all managed to go two for three at plate, while Nora Cunningham got a timely single in the fourth to plate a run for a RBI.  Graham Ingalls and Francesca Copley also added hits for the Mud Cats to ensure everyone reached base safely during the game.  On the offensive side of the diamond, the Sea Dogs had Colt and Gunner Dixon, along with Nathanael Clock, Cristian Henry and Sam Varner have perfect days at the plate. Gunner Dixon, Nathanael Clock, Nathan Lake, Anthony Viola, and Sammy Findler each scored runs.   Nathaniel Pollard added a nice hit for the Sea Dogs.  A great defensive showing was on display by both teams.  The Mud Cats defense made some great catches in the field to go along with solid glove work and good decisions.  Noah Winters set the tone in the first for the Mud Cats by making two solo put outs at second base, while Zacharias Martin added an exclamation point at shortstop with a great grab of a rocket line drive off the bat of Nathan Lake to end the inning. Fried added two putouts at third base in the third inning with Sargent providing two additional putouts in the fourth.  Ferro provided an impressive out in the fourth from the catcher position by snatching a foul pop up off the bat of Jonah Maco. In the fifth, Ferro then combined with Bomersheim at first base to make a solid one for three putout to wrap up the strongest defensive effort of the year for the Mud Cats.  The Sea Dogs played solid defense, and made good decisions as well.  Jonah Maco was a standout for the Sea Dogs making two plays at first base for outs early in the game; he also caught a ball off the mound and made a nice scoop and throw to Nathan Lake at first base to record two outs at the end of the game.  Lake snatched a frozen rope hit out of thin air from the shortstop position.  Nathanael Clock was on the receiving end of a great throw from Sammy Findler for a force out at first.  It was another gold glove performance from Findler who also made a great catch charging in from the outfield and was in on a play at second base as well.   Tommy Davies’ quick reaction and sure glove work lead to two tag outs on the base path.  Gunner Dixon turned in another solid day with a nice play at third base to record an out.  Each ball club played hard, smart and high energy defense that ruled the day.  The Mud Cats defense held the Sea Dogs to their lowest offensive output of the season.  This was a well-played, competitive game that ended with the final score Mud Cats 9 – Sea Dogs 5.

On Monday, June 2, on beautiful evening, the Sea Dogs and the River Cats engaged in a back and forth battle with solid defense and some hard hitting offense.  Both teams gave great effort, playing some outstanding baseball in regular season finale for both teams. Defensively both teams were sharp and played well.  The Sea Dogs came out ready to play making 13 outs in field. Gunner Dixon takes most valuable player honors in field, he grabbed three fly balls at Shortstop to single handedly record the first three outs of the game.  Dixon made two more grabs from second base in third and was on the receiving end of a nice throw from Jonah Maco to end the game.  Nathanael Clock made two very nice plays at shortstop scooping grounds and using his quick feet to hustle to the bag at second for the out.  Clock also had a nice out at third earlier in the game.  Tommy Davies made a nice play at first early in the game and an great catch from mound in the final inning.  Jonah Maco charged a shallow fly from second making a nice catch and the sure handed Sammy Findler had another great day snagging a pop up from the pitcher spot.  The River Cats were strong in field as well with several nice grabs and good throws to collect eight outs including nice stops by Cooper Stevenson and William Hahn and a great fly ball grab by Dylan Redding.  Game balls were given to Ian Redding for his fantastic hustle and diving layout grab in the dirt at shortstop and Sawyer Barrett for his improved hustle, determination and sportsmanship while going three for three at the plate. The Tough Guy award went to Liam Green who bounced back without a tear after a violent but unavoidable collision at first base. After both teams were held scoreless in the first the bats started to come alive.  The Sea Dogs had Jonah Maco, Nathanael Clock, Nathan Lake, Cristian Henry, Nathaniel Pollard, Tommy Davies, and Colt Dixon all go three for three.  Cristian Henry lead the team with three runs scored.  Nathan Lake, Nathaniel Pollard, and Tommy Davies each scored two runs.  Colt Dixon, Gunner Dixon, Nathanael Clock, Anthony Viola, and Sammy Findler each scored a run.  Cristian Henry and Nathaniel Pollard share the offensive honors for the Sea Dogs, both having outstanding games.  The River Cats saw Hayden Abbott and Garrett Stevenson each went three for three and Sawyer, Nolan Green, Quinn Harbin, and Liam each go two for three.  Marcus Leary shown great determination fouling off a number of pitches and “staying alive” in the batter’s box in route to a couple of hard to handle hits.  And William Hahn’s hustle down the line on his final at bat on a sharply hit ball made his teammates and coaches proud. The hard fought game ended with the final score Sea Dogs 14 – River Cats 6.

Rockhound pitcher Patrick Short, shown here uncorking his fastball, also  helped his cause with his bat, hitting two for three on the day and scoring a run.   Also pictured is third baseman Joel Haas.

Rockhound pitcher Patrick Short, shown here uncorking his fastball, also helped his cause with his bat, hitting two for three on the day and scoring a run.  Also pictured is third baseman Joel Haas.

Rockhound Harris Lechtman takes a swing in a game vs. the Sand Gnats.   Sand Gnat catcher Charlie Meyer is also pictured.

Rockhound Harris Lechtman takes a swing in a game vs. the Sand Gnats.  Sand Gnat catcher Charlie Meyer is also pictured.







Rockhound Jill Vaughn is ready to run from third base in a game vs. the  Sand Gnats.  Sand Gnat third baseman Forest Beason stands ready.

Rockhound Jill Vaughn is ready to run from third base in a game vs. the Sand Gnats. Sand Gnat third baseman Forest Beason stands ready.









Rockhound Scott Shields delivers his four seamer in a game vs. the Red  Wings.

Rockhound Scott Shields delivers his four seamer in a game vs. the Red Wings.












Rockhound Harris Lechtman hustles from second to third base on a grounder by teammate Cameron Barnes.

Rockhound Harris Lechtman hustles from second to third base on a grounder by teammate Cameron Barnes.











RedWing Henry Martin gets a hit.  Also pictured are Rockhounds' catcher Kenzo Valentin as well as Umpire and league alumni Erik Martin.

RedWing Henry Martin gets a hit. Also pictured are Rockhounds’ catcher Kenzo Valentin as well as Umpire and league alumni Erik Martin.














On To State for GM Boys & Girls Soccer

June 5, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Daniel Donovan saves a goal for the Mustangs in their victory over Maggie Walker on Wednesday night.

Daniel Donovan saves a goal for the Mustangs in their victory over Maggie Walker on Wednesday night. (Photo by Marybeth Connelly)

By David Witzel
Falls Church Times Staff
June 5, 2014

Victories in last night’s Regional Semifinal matches have assured both George Mason’s Boys and Girls Soccer teams of another trip to Radford and the State soccer tournament.  The Girls defeated Goochland 10 to 0 at Goochland while the Boys faced down Richmond’s Maggie Walker 5 to 2.

The Girls beat Buffalo Gap 10 to 0 on Monday while the Boys defeated Wilson Memorial 4 to 0, both at home, to advance to the Region Semifinal. Read more

Little League Season Enters the Home Stretch

May 29, 2014 by · 1 Comment 


By Neal Comstock
Falls Church Times Staff
May 29, 2014

This is the last week of the regular season for the Falls Church Kiwanis Little League (FCKLL) and there were no games this past weekend for the Memorial Day holiday. Game reports are prepared by FCKLL Managers, Coaches and parents. Complete scores and standings can be found at

Little Leaguers After Marching in the Falls Church Memorial Day Parade

Little Leaguers After Marching in the Falls Church Memorial Day Parade







Majors (ages 10-12)

On Wednesday, May 21 at Westgate Park, Caleb Parnell led the A’s to 12-6 victory over the Orioles.  He racked up four RBIs on four hits, including singles in the first, second, and third innings and a double in the fourth inning.  From the mound, Parrnell threw nine strikeouts allowing one earned run, five hits and one walk over four and one third innings.  Nine runs in the first three innings helped the A’s prevail.  An RBI single by Timmy Bradley, an RBI single by Parnell, an RBI single by Hollman Smith, and an error in the first inning and a steal of home by Declan Quill during the second inning supplied the early offense for the A’s.  The A’s piled on three more runs in the bottom of the third and retained the lead for the rest of the game.

AAA (ages 9-11)

The Giants improved their record to 7-2-1 with victories in two closely contested clashes this week. First up was the Red Sox at Idylwood Park on May 19 in a seesaw battle that saw the lead change hands five times before the Giants came away with the 11-10 decision. Ryan Doherty was a one man wrecking crew in a losing cause for the Red Sox, smashing a triple, a single and a grand slam in his three times at the plate, but his efforts were not enough to overcome a balanced attack by the Giants that included contributions from Jonathan Oppenheimer (two hits, two RBIs), Ben Petty (two hits, HBP, two runs), Charlie Rowe (RBI double), John Cascella (RBI single), George Papadopoulos (RBI single, five stolen bases), Michael Hammond (RBI single) and Ronan Kelly (two hits, two runs).

Next up for the Giants was a road game against the Mason District Astros on May 23.  Possibly due to the unfamiliar surroundings of Mason District Park, the Giants seemed sluggish at first and found themselves down 8-3 after three innings.  The tide turned quickly after that, however, as the Giants scored nine unanswered runs and brought home the 12-8 victory.  George Papadopoulos delivered the biggest blows, going three for three with a single, triple and double, driving in three runs and scoring three more.  Tapi Goredema got on base all three times (single, walk, HBP), stealing eight bases and scoring two runs.  Ronan Kelly was a triple threat for the Giants, providing strong offense (two hits, two RBI), defense (four unassisted putouts) and pitching (tossing a scoreless fourth inning) and John Cascella was literally unhittable, earning the save by closing out the final two frames, allowing no hits and no runs while overpowering the Astros with five strikeouts.

Single A (ages 6-9)

On Tuesday, May 20 at Jefferson Village Park, the Sea Dogs defeated the Volcanos in a hotly contested match.  The defense was tough from both clubs.  The Sea Dogs showed off their skills with the leather, they had a high effort night and played very smart, knowing where to go to make the play.  Sammy Findler made a very nice play on a well hit fly ball to shallow center.   Tommy Davies stuck with a well-hit ball that fell in and made a great play to gather the ball and make the throw to Findler at second for the tag out.  Jonah Maco made a great hustle play from the mound to scoop the ball and make an excellent throw to Nathan Lake at first for an out.  On the following play, Lake made a nice effort to record the unassisted out at first.  Colt Dixon tracked a high fly ball to left field and almost made a great grab in an impressive effort.  Christian Henry and Gunner Dixon both made strong defensive contributions with nice catches.  Nathanael Clock contributed to several outs and showed off his ever-present hustle.  The Volcanoes had a great day in the field with a strong showing of defensive skill.  Volcanoes first baseman Harris Hunt had a great inning-ending double play catching a well-hit line drive and tagging first to put out the base runner.  Even with the stellar defense being played the hitters were still able to find a few holes.  The Sea Dogs big bats included Gunner Dixon, Sam Varner, and Nathanael Clock all going three for three.  Dixon was locked and loaded belting a double and two more strong hits and he also scored three runs.  Varner and Clock were locked in at the plate and each scored two runs.  Colt Dixon, Jonah Maco, Nathan Lake, Anthony Viola, and Sammy Findler all went two for three.  Colt’s smart base running was rewarded with two runs scored by Maco and Lake.  The Volcanoes’ hitters had a strong day at the plate with Harris have a perfect day at the plate and scoring three runs.  Three Volcanoes went three for four:  Jake Marsh scored three runs with two doubles and an RBI, Angelo Santucci scored two runs with three RBIs, and Jack Turner scored a run and had a RBI.  Jay Geeslin went two for three and scored a run.  Paul Salinetti also scored a run.

On Thursday, May 22 at Falls Church High School, the Sea Dogs defeated the Iron Birds 21-7.  On the offensive side of the diamond, the Sea Dogs had six players perfect at the plate.  Tommy Davies had a great day at the plate going five for five and scoring two runs, followed by Gunner Dixon and Nathanael Clock who were also in zone, they each went four for four and scored three runs.  Nathan Lake and Sammy Findler each went four for four and scored two runs.  Colt Dixon and Sam Varner both made an impact on the game going three for four and scoring two runs each.  The Iron Birds had Ashwin Colby and Conrad Diemel both go three for three and score runs.  Harold Heller and Ryan Carroll each went three for four and scored runs.  With great speed on the bases JJ Peed and Anand Colby each scored runs for the Iron Birds.  Both teams were swinging the bats well and running both smart and hard on the bases.  A strong defensive effort was also on display by both teams.  The Sea Dogs were focused in the field, recording nine outs.  The defense for the Sea Dogs was highlighted by outstanding play by Sammy Findler and Colt Dixon.  Findler showed his ability with the glove making several great plays:  catching a liner at first and making another catch at third, making a nice play off the mound fielding a grounder, and making the throw to Colt Dixon at first.  Dixon was also on the receiving end of a nice throw from Nathanael Clock to get an out at second.  Other defensive standouts for the Sea Dogs included:  Christian Henry who made an incredible grab catching shallow fly ball hit to center, Nathan Lake made a great heads up play scooping up a grounder and hustling to the base to get the force out at third, and Jonah Maco who had a great catch at Shortstop and nearly made another grab.  Tommy Davies also had a terrific game especially behind the plate recording a force out in the fourth.   Gunner Dixon played a great game rising up as a team leader in field and on the bench.  The Iron Birds had a solid defensive showing recording four outs in the field and had several close plays.  All around the defensive hustle was great by each of the clubs.


Left to Right:  Megan Carpenter, Raptors Manager Doug Carpenter, Raptors Coach Jim Alverson and John Alverson in the Falls Church Memorial Day Parade

Left to Right: Megan Carpenter, Raptors Manager Doug Carpenter, Raptors Coach Jim Alverson and John Alverson in the Falls Church Memorial Day Parade







Tigers Jack and Peter Villa  marching in the Falls  Church Memorial Day parade.

Tigers Jack and Peter Villa marching in the Falls
Church Memorial Day parade.


Tough Loss Ends GM Baseball’s Season

By Steve Selby
Special to the Falls Church Times
May 28, 2014

It was not time for sports clichés: “You gave it your best;” or “You can’t win ‘em all;” or even “There’s always next year.”  No, no one wanted to say anything like that to the talented group of Mason varsity baseball players who had just lost a heart-breaker to Madison County in the opening round of playoffs. In an exciting game played on Memorial Day, the Mustangs came up short, and the fantastic roller-coaster of a season ended too soon.  With a 6-5 loss to Madison County, dreams of moving on in the playoffs, perhaps making the regional tournament, were dashed. The disappointed squad was left with the mundane chores of cleaning up the field, raking the mound, storing the gear – the kinds of chores you can do when your mind and heart are elsewhere.

Going into the game, the Mustangs knew that the #7 seed given to the Mountaineers was not a reflection of their ability or a true representation of their season.  Mason’s two regular season wins over the Mountaineers were by one and two runs. Mustang players were very aware that Madison had plenty of pop in its offense, as well as good pitching and defense.  They also knew that seven of Madison’s Bull Run District losses came on a total of nine runs. And, they were aware that two of those close losses had come against eventual Bull Run District champs Strasburg.  No, this was not a classic #2 vs. #7. This was a battle of equals, with perhaps a bit of an edge going to the Mountaineers who, as the sports cliché goes, had “nothing to lose.” Read more

JV Closes Season with No-Hitter

Sophomore Daniel Schlitt holds game ball and lineup card after pitching a complete game no-hitter against Strasburg High School.

Special to the Falls Church Times
May 28, 2014

The Mason JV baseball team finished its season with a 12-3-1 record closing their season with a no-hitter against Strasburg High School.

Mason Nips Monroe to Close Regular Season


Logan Nesson on the mound.

By Steve Selby
Special to the Falls Church Times
May 22, 2014

The George Mason Varsity baseball team closed out its regular season play with three tough games in five days, facing Strasburg twice and wrapping up against William Monroe on Wednesday.  And, when Monroe’s slugger Keegan Woolford led off Wednesday’s game with a blast that nearly took out a window on a bus parked out beyond the right field fence, it did not look good for the home team.  But, the ball fell just foul.  And, although Monroe would manage to score a couple of runs in the game’s opening frame, the Mustangs played solid defense, generated timely offense, and got strong performances from their pitchers to prevail in a well-played 5-4 victory over their Greene County opponents.

Monroe arrived with a 17-2 record, with narrow loses to Central and Strasburg marring their otherwise perfect record. They shut-out Mason in the teams’ earlier meeting in Standardsville and arrived looking to improve their record going into the playoffs. Coach Mike Maynard’s squad brings sound fundamentals, plentiful power, good pitching and a starting lineup with several all-district players. Like Mason, they are a young team. This dramatic contest was a harbinger of more good contests to come between rivals who clearly respect each other and relish the chance to compete.

After Woolford’s long foul ball scattered some dirt in the parking lot, he would reach base and eventually come around to score on a single by Jeffrey Early. A double by Dylan Shifflett would give Monroe a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first.  After a weather-related delay of 30 minutes, Mason came up to bat. Although a hustling Marsden Davis managed an infield hit, the Mustangs were unable to generate any additional offense.

Mason’s starting pitcher, senior Grant Hagler, retired the side in order in the top of the second.  Mason got a single from senior Connor Rhodes in the bottom of the inning, but could not get on the board. In the top of the third, Woolford led off with a double. Then, as they have all season, the Mustangs used good defensive plays to keep things in check. On a bunt by Tobey Collier, Marsden Davis pounced quickly on the ball and fired to second baseman Logan Nesson covering at first. Nesson made a nifty pick to get the first out. Shortstop Chris Meador then made a fine catch down the line in left field on a pop up.  A sharp line out to center fielder Evan Davis would close out the inning, keeping the score 2-0 for Monroe. Mason would threaten in the third when Nesson singled, Zach Lang was hit by a pitch and Meador followed with single.  But Monroe’s defense would hold, leaving Mason scoreless going into the fourth.

With Monroe coming to bat in the top of the fourth, Nesson took over for Grant Hagler. A bulwark for Mason’s pitching staff all season, Hagler went three innings, allowing three hits and no earned runs, while striking out one and issuing no walks.  Although Monroe would manage to load the bases, Nesson struck out the menacing Woolford to close out the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Mustangs’ offense began to click on all cylinders. Evan Davis led off with a double, moving to third on a single by Daniel Butler. After Hagler’s infield hit scored Davis, Gabe Terry singled sharply to center. With the bases now loaded, Nesson worked a walk to force in another run, gaining an RBI and tying the score. Zach Lang’s sacrifice fly would make it 3-2 Mason and a Monroe error would give Mason a 4-2 lead heading into the fifth inning.

Mason’s defense was on display again in the fifth.  After a single and strike out, Jake Abruzzi made a nice play at second to record the second out. On the next play, Meador charged quickly, grabbed the ball on a tricky bounce and fired to first to nip the runner and close out Monroe.

Monroe would draw closer in the sixth inning. Benjamin Bohlman reached first on an infield hit, just beating the throw by Meador on a bang-bang play at first. On a fielder’s choice, he would advance all the way to third. A sacrifice fly by Trevillian would make it 4-3 Mason. Hagler made a nice play on a grounder to third, closing out the Dragons. In the home half of the inning, Hagler and Terry each singled. After Nesson walked, Meador would also draw a free pass, making it 5-3 Mason.

Going into the seventh inning, everyone at the game knew that protecting a two-run lead against a team with as many good hitters as Monroe would not be an easy task. Woolford grounded out to Abruzzi for the first out. With two strikes on Collier, time was called by the home plate umpire. As if the tight game needed additional drama, play was halted for what seemed like an eternity, while frantic fans tried to communicate with the driver of an idling car in the upper lot, whose lights were shining brightly right into home plate.

When play finally resumed, Collier would single. Trey Lam followed with a single and a walk loaded the bases. On a grounder hit sharply to his right, a diving Terry would field the ball and toss to Nesson on a close play at first. A run scored on the play, making it 5-4 Mason. With the tying run 90 feet away, Mason’s faithful followers were starting to look for the smelling salts. But a sharply hit ball was fielded by Abruzzi who threw to Terry to end the game.

For the victors, Nesson went four innings, giving up seven hits and two earned runs, while walking only one and striking out four. Mason’s only seniors, Hagler and Rhodes, each hit safely to celebrate their final regular season games in Mustang uniforms. Strong infield play throughout the evening, backed by solid play in the outfield by Lang, Evan Davis and Sam Selby, once again contributed to a Mason win. As has been the case all season, it was a true team victory.

Mason finished the regular season with a 14- 6 record overall, going 12-4 in Bull Run District play to earn a second seed heading into next week’s Conference 35 playoffs. In non-district play Mason defeated Yorktown and John Champe, while losing tough, close games to Broad Run and Wilson.

As the great sports writer Red Smith once said, “Baseball is dull only to dull minds. Today’s game is always different from yesterday’s game, and tomorrow refreshingly different from today.”  It certainly has not been a dull season for this young, dynamic team led by head coach Adam Amerine and assistant coaches Brad Young and Ryan Costa. Again and again, someone has stepped forward to get a timely hit, make a key defensive play, take the extra base, or strike out a batter to get out of a jam.

In each victory, it has been easy to pinpoint significant contributions by virtually the entire lineup. Fans understood that no matter what the situation, this Mustang team was not going to give up.  That spirit has carried the Mustangs to a successful season and positioned them well for next week’s playoffs.

Playoffs begin at home on Monday at 6:00 p.m. when Mason will face the #7 seed team.  With a victory, Mason would advance to play on Tuesday, when they would face the winner of the game between the #3 and #6 teams.

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