The Hot Wings team of the new Northern Virginia Collegiate summer baseball league includes multiple players and the head coach from the Sun Gazette coverage areas.
Madison High School graduate Morgan Spencer is the head coach. Madison assistant baseball coach and head football coach Justin Counts, a Marshall High graduate, is an assistant.
The season is expected to begin, July 2, with teams playing an 18-game schedule.
“We have a lot of good arms and we have guys who can swing the bat,” Morgan said. “We are excited about this team.”
Madison graduates Pete Nielsen, Kyle Novak and Mason Satterfield are three of the players. Nielsen and Novak played at George Mason and James Madison universities this past season.
Other local players are Avery Neaves and Ryan Dooley, who played for the state champion Vienna Post 180 American Legion team last summer; Langley High grad Kenny Lippman (Denison College); Marshall High graduate Robert Kelley (he will play at Potomac State); and McLean High graduate Jack Slade (Harford Community College).
Paul VI Catholic graduate Michael Morgan (James Madison University) is another team member.
Based on some of those players’ early-season college batting statistics this spring before the seasons were cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hot Wings have the potential to be one of the league’s top hitting teams.
In 16 games, Novak batted .317 with two homers, three doubles and 16 RBI. Morgan batted .364 with 12 hits and four RBI.
Neaves hit .310 in nine games at Chesapeake College. The versatile Neaves had four doubles, one triple, drove in six runs and stole seven bases. He had two doubles and an RBI in his final game.
Nielsen hit .241 in 14 games with 13 hits, including a homer.
On the mound, Kelley and Satterfield were high-school players this spring, but those seasons didn’t begin because of the pandemic.
Slade was 1-0 for Harford and Lippman had not yet pitched for Denison. Lippman was 3-1 with a 4.27 earned run average in 40 innings with 34 strikeotus as a freshman. Dooley was a high-school infielder for South Lakes this spring. He will play at Virginia Military Institute.
Slade pitched against Nielsen and Novak in high school when they played for Madison.
“It will be cool and nice to have them behind me instead, hitting and giving me run support,” Slade said.