June 6 - Jake DeLisi continues to come up clutch in the postseason, and his latest exploit has sent Brentsville District to within a game of reaching their first state final in 22 years.
Down to its last strike in Tuesday’s Class 3 state quarterfinals against visiting Park View-South Hill, the No. 5 Tigers (21-3) extended the game when courtesy runner Braeden Deslippe came around to tie the score at 4-4 on DeLisi’s two-out single in the bottom of the seventh.
Two innings later, Sam Beard hit a lead off single to begin the bottom of the ninth. Deslippe entered to run again for the catcher, and after stealing second, came around to score when DeLisi laced a game-winning single to center for his fourth hit and fourth RBI of the night. The 5-4 win was the eighth straight for the Region 3B champions, who will play Region 3C champion Fluvanna County (21-3) in tomorrow’s semifinals at 11 a.m. at Kiwanis Field in Salem.
Brentsville, which advanced to the state semifinals last year before falling to eventual champion Spotsylvania, last appeared in a state final in 1997, when the Tigers lost to Grayson County, 4-1. They beat Coeburn, 3-2, to win the Group A championship in 1995, the lone state title in program history.
DeLisi, who pitched a perfect game in a 9-0 win over Manassas Park to begin the region tournament on May 23 and is 8-for-15 in Brentsville’s four playoff games, struck out eight while allowing three runs on five hits in 5.1 innings. Vince DiMauro didn’t allow a hit and permitted one unearned run in 3.2 innings to earn the win in relief.
Beard finished 3-for-5 with a triple.
Below are recaps of the other VHSL state quarterfinal games involving Northern Virginia teams:
No. 1 Westfield 5, West Springfield 4 - Jake Hockett hit a game-tying triple and then came in on a wild pitch by Alec Reilly as the top-ranked Bulldogs (23-3) rallied and won in walk-off fashion against the defending state champions in the Class 6 quarterfinals. Hockett’s triple scored Nick Lottchea, who started the one-out rally with a double to the right-center gap for his game-high third hit of the night. Hockett finished 2-for-3 and Danny Leo earned the victory after allowing one unearned run over four innings in relief of starter Joe Clancy. Jake Roberti and Bryce Haynes drove in two runs apiece for the Spartans (14-12). Westfeld has won 12 straight entering its semifinal contest against Ocean Lakes (18-6) tomorrow at 10 a.m.
No. 2 Lake Braddock 5, No. 4 Centreville 4 - The Bruins (24-3) struck early against Colby Shriner, who was charged with all five runs while retiring just one batter as the Wildcats (18-9) fell into a 5-1 hole in the bottom of the first in the Class 6 quarterfinals. Bobby Leitzel, Jay Cassady and Connor O’Grady-Walsh each had RBI singles and Sam Grable had a two-run single during the big inning. Centreville reliever Eric Bohenek kept his team in the game while striking out four over 5.2 scoreless innings of relief, and the Wildcats chipped away at the lead ad drew to within 5-4 on Casey Bach’s RBI single in the fifth. Lyle Miller-Green, however, retired seven of the final eight batters he faced and struck out Bohenek to end the game with Thomas Trinca serving as the tying run at second base. Miller-Green posted his second straight complete game while improving to 6-0, striking out eight while scattering seven hits and allowing four runs (three earned). Lake Braddock has won 14 of 15 entering its semifinal tomorrow at 2 p.m. against James River (20-3).
No. 3 Stafford 5, Broad Run 0 - Elijah Lambros was 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI as the Indians (22-3) built a 4-0 lead in the second inning and Mike Tolson and Tucker Sullivan combined on a one-hit shutout in the Class 5 quarterfinals. Caleb McAlister, Lambros and Sullivan drove in runs as Stafford built its early lead on Spartans starter Anthony Puma, and Tolson’s RBI single in the bottom of the fourth provided the final margin. Puma had the lone hit - a second-inning single - for Broad Run (16-10), which was making its first state tournament appearance since 2011. Tolson went five innings to earn the win and Sullian picked up a two-inning save for the Indians, who have won six straight and 10 of 11 entering their semifinal tomorrow at 10 a.m. against Hickory (23-1).
No. 6 Riverside 9, Salem 3 - Carson Swank hit a first-inning solo home run to get things started and John Heltebran, Walsh and Reichard combined to drive in four runs during a five-run third inning as the Rams (17-7) built a 6-0 lead on the defending state champions and cruised behind starter Gunner Canary in the Class 4 quarterfinals. Heltebran, Walsh, Nick Connolly and Sajon Belser each had two of Riverside’s 12 hits and Canary limited Salem (18-6) to four hits and two runs (one earned) over six innings. The Rams will put their area-best 14-game winning streak on the line when they play Great Bridge (19-6) in tomorrow’s semifinals at 11 a.m.
Halifax County 11, No. 9 Stone Bridge 0 - The Comets (23-3) piled up 16 hits and their duo of Radford recruit Drew Harlow and Alex Lowery limited the Bulldogs (16-10) to three hits in the Class 5 quarterfinals. Mitchell Colombo took the loss after surrendering five runs (four earned) on nine hits over five innings in the final game for Stone Bridge skipper Mat Shannon, who will become an assistant director of student activities at Loudoun County’s newest school, Independence. Ryan Provencal had two of the three hits for the Region 5C champions, who were making their first state tournament appearance since winning the championship in 2015. Halifax will play Mills Godwin (20-3) tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the semifinals.
Ocean Lakes 2, Colonial Forge 0 - Aidan Henderson was again solid on the mound, surrendering just two runs on five hits in his third straight complete game outing, but the Eagles (16-9) were unable to muster any run support in the Class 6 quarterfinals. The Dolphins (18-6) scored the game’s lone runs on a two-run homer by Scott Hinds and Christopher Newport recruit Micah Singer tossed a four-hit shutout on 83 pitches. Henderson retired 14 straight after Hinds’ round-tripper, allowing five hits while striking out four. Colonial Forge was making its first state tournament appearance since 2007. Ocean Lakes will play Westfield (23-3) in the semifinals tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Liberty Christian Academy 11, Kettle Run 0 - Quade Tomlin was 2-for-3 with five RBI and homered twice off James Madison recruit Joe Vogatsky as the Bulldogs (25-1) extended their state-best winning streak to 22 games. Liberty Christian, the VHSL’s lone private school, reached Vogatsky for seven runs on eight hits over 4.1 innings, then added four insurance runs on reliever Michael Aldrich in the sixth. The Cougars (15-10), who were making their first state tournament appearance since 2016, were shut out for the first time since April 9 and just the second time this season. The Bulldogs will face Lafayette (17-7) tomorrow at 9 a.m. in the semifinals.
Photo of Jake DeLisi courtesy of Brentsville District Baseball