Two Arlington Senior Babe Ruth baseball teams had strong showings in Southeast Regional tournaments at different venues.
The Arlington 14-under squad finished second in Fredericksburg and the Arlington 13s placed fourth with a 2-2 record in Hendersonville, Tenn.
“We did well in the region at 13s last year, so we felt we had a good chance to do well again this summer,” Arlington 14-under manager Dan Pototsky said.
The 14s finished with a 3-2 tournament record. The losses were against Tallahassee, Fla., by 3-2 and 11-1 scores, in the winners’-bracket final then championship game, respectively.
The 14s won their opener, 1-0, over Pitts County of eastern North Carolina behind a three-hit shutout thrown by right-hander Ketz Murray. He struck out nine and walked only one, throwing 91 pitches. There were six ground-ball outs, and Arlington did not make an error.
Murray also had the game’s RBI, coming in the first inning.
Bobby McDonough had two hits for Arlington, which had six total. The others went to Dillon Bass, Costas Tzoumas and Landon Thomas.
In its second game, the 14s had just three hits but still outscored Lawrence County of eastern Tennessee, winning 6-3, by taking advantage of nine walks and five errors.
Murray, Michael Keefe and Alex Zur had the hits. Bass, Murray (sacrifice fly), Quinn Brennan and starting and winning pitcher Bobby McDonough (sacrifice fly) had the RBIs.
McDonough worked 62/3 innings with seven strikeouts and just one walk. Arlington made only one error. Keefe earned the save.
Bass and Patrick Church stole bases.
Then Arlington lost to defending 13-under Southeast regional champion Tallahassee, 3-2. Arlington trailed 3-0, then rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh.
The game ended on a diving catch by the Tallahassee second baseman with a runner on third base for Arlington.
Arlington was hurt by four errors and had five hits. Zur had two hits and Ben Langsam had an RBI. Keefe pitched five innings with two strikeouts.
Arlington faced Pitts County again in the losers’-bracket, winning 4-3. A line-drive single by Tzoumas scored Brennan with the winning run.
Murray worked 62/3 innings for the win. He fanned three. Zur had two hits and McDonough had a hit and two RBI.
In the 11-1 loss to Tallahassee, Arlington had just three hits. Bass and Zur each pitched.
Arlington trailed just 2-0 in the fourth inning.
“That game was closer than the score indicated,” Pototsky said. “We did well. When you get into the losers’-bracket that makes it tough on your pitching. I know it sounds crazy, but I think every player on the team made a spectacular or diving play at one time or another. So they were into it.”
Many players on the 14s were also members of last summer’s Arlington 13-under all-stars that won district and state titles under Pototsky, then finished 1-2 in the region tournament.
“We did better this year in the region, so maybe they can win it next year at 15s,” Pototsky said. “The players did a nice job for sure. Our defense was really good and that was a key, along with our pitching.”
The Arlington 13s lost their first game, 4-0, to eventual champion Pitts County of eastern North Carolina to fall into the loser’s-bracket. Arlington had just three hits, going to Wade Bringham, Jaden Groome and J.J. Foti. Chase Rubin struck out six on the mound and Lorenzo Snyder fanned one.
In its second game, the 13s rallied from a 3-0 first-inning deficit to defeat Stanley County of western North Carolina, 9-3.
Trevor McAndrews (four innings) and John Farrell (three innings) combined on a two-hitter, walked just one and struck out one. McAndrews did not allow a hit.
Arlington had seven hits and took advantage of nine walks and five errors and the team stole six bases.
With the bat, McAndrews had two hits and an RBI. Groome and Tommy Devons each had a hit and an RBI, Farrell had a hit and two stolen bases, and Foti and James Thiriez had hits.
The 13s then blanked Orlando, 3-0, in their third game as Rubin threw a four-hit shutout. He struck out two, walked one and threw 88 pitches.
The 13s had eight hits, with Foti and Groome getting two each and Farrell having a double. Kegan Mahoney, Lorenzo Snyder and Bringham had RBI.
Arlington was eliminated, losing to Tullahoma of eastern Tennessee the same day, 7-0, a few hours later. Arlington had just two hits, from McAndrews and Thiriez. Bringham went four innings on the mound with four strikeouts and Snyder pitched three innings with a K.
For all tournament games during the summer, the 13s finished with an 11-8 record.
The team won district and state championships to qualify for region tourney play.