Little League Wraps Spring Season

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.

June 25, 2014 


Feel free to leave a comment. Please increase the credibility of your post by including your FULL NAME and CITY. All comments are subject to editing for courtesy and content.