November 3 - Danny Fitzgerald and Jack Thompson combined on a five-hit shutout as MVP Royals National 2020 defeated Diamond Elite 18U, 2-0, in the NVTBL Premier Showcase League’s fall championship game earlier today in Lorton.
Fitzgerald (W.T. Woodson), who has committed to pitch for Catholic University, started and struck out five while scattering three hits in three innings. After a single by Justin Rebok (Broad Run) to begin the top of the third, he’d strike out his final three batters. Thompson (South Lakes), a Virginia Military Institute recruit, battled some control issues - he walked four and hit two - but worked through traffic and fanned five over four frames to earn the decision.
The Royals (15-0) did just enough to complete their unbeaten fall campaign.
“To go undefeated in anything is doing something, especially against the teams we’ve played,” said MVP coach Mark ‘Pudge’ Gjormand, the coach at Madison who had Oakton skipper Justin Janis on his staff this fall. “It was a good game, a good way to end it. They won it last year, so we wanted to get it back and it’s good to bring that home to MVP.
“I could do this for a few more months with this group, it’s fun to see another side and be able to coach guys like Derek Furr and Gavin Collins and not have to compete against them.”
Less than 24 hours after beating NOVA Premier, 1-0, in 12 innings in a semifinal contest, Diamond Elite (7-5-2) stranded 10 runners and left the bases loaded in the fifth. Coach Bill Mason’s club had a five-game unbeaten streak snapped.
Diamond Elite left-hander Thomas Haller (Woodgrove) pitched well but took the loss after surrendering one run on three hits over five innings. The lone run allowed by the Washington & Lee University commit came when he balked in a run on a pickoff attempt with runners at the corners in the fourth. MVP got its second run on a sacrifice fly by Davis Kelley (Oakton) off reliever Nate Spinks (Heritage) in the sixth.
“We had some great chemistry. It kind of reminded us of the Nats with their run towards the end of the year,” Thompson said. “It was fun to win it.”
Notable: In Diamond Elite’s 1-0 semifinal win over NOVA Premier yesterday, the two teams combined to strike out 40 times over the 12-inning contest. Jaden Keuhner (Champe) hit a walk-off sac fly to plate the game’s lone run, while Rebok, Ian Babey (South Lakes) and Nick Barenz (Dominion) combined to limit NOVA Premier to five hits. Barenz went the final three frames to earn the win … In MVP’s 3-1 semifinal win over the Metro Senators yesterday, Ryan Murphy (Madison) struck out eight while allowing one unearned run on two hits in 6.2 innings and Thompson got the final out to earn the save. Derek Furr (Westfield), Mason Satterfield (Madison) and Kelley each had two hits.
Quotable: “It’s been like coaching an All-Star team, so it made for a great fall. Coach Janis, it was great to be able to work with him. We really focused on them being high school kids, being able to go to Homecoming, not having them travel down the east coast.” - MVP coach Mark ‘Pudge’ Gjormand
Media: Thompson was named the Player of the Game and interviewed here … The final out was recorded by Thompson, who earned the victory … MVP’s two runs scored on Haller’s balk and Kelley’s sacrifice fly.
Photos of Danny Fitzgerald, left, and Jack Thompson, right, by Joey Kamide