One of the best things about early-season high-school baseball is that ace pitchers are on display all over, showcasing their mitt-popping fastballs and other skills.
There are quite a few high-quality hurlers on local teams in the Sun Gazette coverage areas, and they have been impressive in the first few days of the campaign.
The Yorktown High School team has senior right-hander Nathan Knowles and tall junior lefty James Tallon. Each have fastballs that touch 90 mph if not higher.
The two combined for a three-hit, 14-strikeout 4-0 victory over the McLean Highlanders in a May 5 home game. Tallon, who has committed to play college ball at Duke University, started and struck out 13 in six innings, allowing three hits and walking just one. He was overpowering at times.
Knowles pitched the final inning with one strikeout, no walks and allowed no hits or runs. He will pitch at the College of William and Mary.
“It’s nice to have two talents on the mound of that caliber,” Yorktown coach John Skaggs said.
McLean junior right-hander Griffin Stieg did not pitch against Yorktown, starting in centerfield. Stieg, though, is the ace of the McLean pitching staff. He will play college ball at Virginia Tech.
In his one start this season, Stieg fanned four with only one walk in 42/3 innings against a strong-hitting Lake Braddock team, the defending Class 6 state champion. He is expected to start a weekend game against South Lakes.
The Madison High School team is deep in pitching depth, led by senior right-hander James Triantos and sophomore righty Bryce Eldridge. Both throw in the 90s and have been impressive this season. Triantos didn’t allow a hit in four innings against West Potomac, with nine strikeouts. Eldridge didn’t yield a hit in three frames against McLean, with two Ks.
Triantos will play at the University of North Carolina. Eldridge already has committed to the University of Alabama.
Stieg said he wanted to pitch against Madison, as well as throwing against Lake Braddock. “You always want to pitch aganst the best,” he said.
Oakton High righty Zach Danielczyk is another ace who already has thrown a 77-pitch complete game to get a victory against an always-good West Springfield team. He allowed four hits.
Bishop O’Connell has right-handers Bobby McDonough and Jack O’Connor on its staff. Each already has pitched and enjoyed success on the mound this season.
Marshall High’s Kyle Robinson is the ace of the Statesmen’s staff, having a couple of impressive strikeout efforts so far.