The one-two punch of scoring early while relying on strong pitching to shut down the opposition propelled Vienna Post 180 to the championship in the American Legion state baseball tournament last week in Lynchburg with a 5-0 record.
Vienna (32-2) clinched the crown Aug. 3 with a 6-4 victory over Warrenton West Post 72. Post 180 scored four runs in the first inning and led throughout. Vienna never trailed in any state-tourament game.
Post 180 plated six second-inning runs in its second-to-last contest, a 13-0 victory. In its other three outings, Vienna scored three in the second inning; one in the first and four in the second; and four in the first in its initial contest.
That run support gave the starting pitchers a big cushion, and they did the rest by giving up little.
In those contests, Vienna yielded just eight runs, of which only four were earned. The pitchers combined to walk only 10 and they struck out 26. They allowed 6.4 hits per game.
Each of the five starters in the state earned wins. Right-hander Braden Huebsch was 2-0, winning Vienna’s first and fifth games, going the distance in the final. He combined for a shutout in the opener, throwing five of six innings. Left-hander Josh Gjormand threw a six-hit, seven-strikeout shutout in game two. Southpaw Seth Richards was the winner in 62/3 frames in game three with nine Ks. Righty L.A. Rice got the win in game four. The starters limited pitches throwin no more than 107 pitches.
“Our pitching really came on and was better than we expected it to be,” Vienna manager Nick Good said. “We thought we would be more of a hitting team. And we hit well, but the pitching has been outstanding all season and even more in the playoffs.”