Prep Notebook: Swank Returns, Riverside Runs Winning Streak to 7

May 6 - John Heltebran hit a walk-off double to give Riverside a 2-1 win over Loudoun County on Friday to cap a week in which the Rams got Carson Swank back from an injury and increased their winning streak to seven games.

Friday’s win allowed Riverside (10-7 overall, 8-2 Dulles District) to keep pace with Woodgrove (11-7, 9-1) in the league standings entering their showdown tomorrow night in Purcellville.

The return of Swank provides a lift for coach Sam Plank’s club, which dropped its first five games and lost the 2018 NOVA Nine Team member and Yale University recruit to a broken hand after its second game. The senior shortstop is 4-for-7 with four walks since returning to the lineup in Monday’s 3-2 win over Loudoun Valley and hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning in Friday’s win over the Raiders.

“Getting our leader and senior captain back in the lineup was huge,” Plank said. “Our team started out 0-5 and faced some adversity with injuries, [but] they never made excuses or turned on each other. They just showed up every day and worked hard. I am proud of this team.”

Swank joins a lineup that has been paced by Heltebran and leadoff man Sajon Belser over the seven-game streak. Heltebran is 12-for-20 with three doubles and nine RBI over the stretch, while Belser, a College of Charleston recruit, is 10-for-19 with eight runs, four doubles, two homers and six steals.

Senior right-hander Gunner Canary, meanwhile, has put the Riverside staff on his back in the absence of classmate David Setien, the team’s top returning pitcher who will miss the season with a shoulder injury. Canary has appeared in five of the past seven games, twice in relief, and is 4-0 with a save, a 0.00 ERA and 22 strikeouts to four walks in 16 innings in those outings. Sophomore righty Wyatt Shenkman has also helped fill the void, striking out nine in a five-hit complete game in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Heritage and going six innings in a 3-2 win over Woodgrove on April 25.

Wolverines’ Curley, Fischer Combine to No-Hit Hayfield

Senior right-hander Jimmy Curley and junior lefty Adam Fischer totaled 10 strikeouts in a combined no-hitter in West Potomac’s 4-0 win over Hayfield on Friday.

Curley, a High Point recruit, retired the first seven and walked one before handing off to Fischer, who then struck out the side in the fifth and fanned six over his three innings. Justin Bassett had two hits for the Wolverines (12-5), which scored in each of the first four innings.

No. 7 Westfield Clinches Top Seed in Concorde District Tournament

Joe Clancy went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and five RBI in a 9-3 win over Chantilly on Friday and Nick Lottchea went 6.2 scoreless innings as Westfield posted its 12th shutout in a 6-0 win over Flint Hill on Saturday as the Bulldogs clinched the top seed in the Concorde District Tournament and finished the regular season on a five-game winning streak.

The Bulldogs (17-3 overall, 7-1 district) are off until next Wednesday, May 14, when they will host the winner of the tournament’s play-in game. The Concorde’s middle three seeds will be determined tomorrow, when Oakton (5-13, 0-7) travels to No. 1 Madison (15-4, 4-3) and Centreville (14-5, 4-3) travels to Chantilly (9-10, 3-4).

Photos of, clockwise from top left: Jimmy Curley courtesy of West Potomac Baseball, Carson Swank courtesy of Riverside Baseball, and Westfield’s Joe Clancy by Fred Ingham