‘Everything a Coach is Looking For in a Player’, Dooley’s Impact Felt on Multiple Teams

August 14 - Ryan Dooley’s impact was never more evident then after he was hit by a pitch against Centreville on Mar. 30. 

He was hitting .571 at the time and South Lakes was off to a 5-0 start. Over the next five weeks, Dooley played through the hand injury, a nagging pulled oblique muscle and missed a game over spring break after spraining his finger while sliding headfirst into second base. He hit just .206 and the Seahawks dropped 10 of 14 games while he was battling the ailments. 

By May 7, Dooley was fully recovered and got hot again. He strung together five straight multi-hit games and hit .667 as the Seahawks won three of four before dropping a 7-6 extra-inning decision at Patriot in the Region 6D quarterfinals. He’d hit .397 with 25 hits and a .531 on-base percentage for the season, earning second-team all-region honors. 

He hasn’t stopped hitting since. 

Dooley, a left-handed swinging rising senior who has committed to play at the Virginia Military Institute, joined his Marucci Stars team in early June and hit .367 with a .557 on-base percentage while playing in showcase events and tournaments up and down the east coast. He took a weekend off in mid-July to help the North team win Gold at the Commonwealth Games, then suited up full-time for Vienna Post 180 - who he’d played part-time with throughout the summer - during its run to a second straight state championship. 

“Ryan is a dude,” said Kevin Sisk, his coach with the Stars. “His athleticism to play multiple positions this summer was huge for our team. More than this is his ability to compete and his high baseball IQ. At the plate, running the bases, or defense he is a bulldog and battles till the end. 

“He is everything a coach is looking for in a player. A winner.”

Dooley, who has played both middle infield positions and all three outfield positions and even pitched a bit during the American Legion campaign, settled in at second base the past few weeks as Post 180 strung together perhaps the best season in the storied program’s long history. He hit .408 with 29 hits in 20 games and was one of the toughest outs last week at the Mid-Atlantic Regional, going 13-for-23 over six games as Vienna advanced to within a game of its first World Series berth. 

“He really made a difference with his athleticism,” Post 180 manager Nick Good said. “He’s extremely versatile, he can really play anywhere in the field. He was a great fit at the top of the lineup.

“He’s willing to lay down a bunt, sacrifice guys over and do what is good for the team as a whole.”

Dooley says that selfless approach and mentality is a product of often being the youngest player early on. “When I was younger, I played with older guys and wasn’t as good as them,” he said. “So I had to do what I could to help the team. And that was fine to me, that was growing up and that was just how you played the game. That was what you had to do.”

He’s no longer the young guy on the team who has to lay down bunts and move runners over to earn a spot in the lineup - he hit .383 in 270 plate appearances with the four teams this spring and summer - and yet it remains a big part of Dooley’s game. 

That mentality and work ethic, he says, was instilled at a young age by his father, Sean, and while playing for Madison coach Mark ‘Pudge’ Gjormand with the Reston Warriors youth program. It grew while playing alongside his older brother, Jack, an all-region shortstop himself two years ago, and for South Lakes coach Morgan Spencer, who has quickly rebuilt the Seahawks program. 

“He was always the better Dooley,” he says of his older brother. “He was always the best player on every team we played together, so I wanted to be like him. He and my dad showed me what it was like to work hard.”

That fire has only grown, as evidenced while playing through the ailments this spring and then the heavy workload this summer. 

“I embrace it because I love the game, I love competing and I love winning,” Dooley said. “I love playing with my teammates and I love working hard. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Photos of Ryan Dooley were submitted and taken by Joey Kamide

Vienna Post 180’s World Series Bid Falls Short at Mid-Atlantic Regional

August 12 - Vienna Post 180 came up just short of earning its first American Legion World Series berth. 

The Virginia state champions entered the day riding a 16-game winning streak, averaging 11.9 runs per game this summer and needing one victory over the host team, Randolph County (N.C.) Post 45, to claim the double-elimination Mid-Atlantic Regional. Post 180’s bats, however, fell silent as it dropped 3-0 and 3-2 decisions at McCrary Park in Asheboro, N.C. 

The losses end a record-breaking season for Vienna (36-4), which repeated as state champions and set a single-season mark for victories. Randolph County (36-10) qualifies for the World Series for the third straight year.

“This week we hit well up until the championship,” said Vienna’s second baseman, Ryan Dooley, a rising senior at South Lakes who has committed to play at the Virginia Military Institute. “We had a good amount of hard-hit outs because Randolph had a shift on almost every batter and it worked in big situations. When we had opportunities to score runs, we didn’t execute the way we usually do.”

Added Eric Lingebach, an Oakton grad who is transferring in to play at Christopher Newport. “It didn’t end how we would have liked. But, all-in-all, [the season] was a huge success.”

In yesterday’s first game, Post 45 left-hander Trevor Marsh used a variety of off-speed pitches to keep Post 180 hitters off balance. 

An incoming freshman outfielder at UNC Wilmington, Marsh needed just 71 pitches in a two-hit shutout, the first time in 92 games that Vienna had been held scoreless. He retired 14 straight after Allen Yager (Oakton) led off the bottom of the first with a single, then set down the final seven Post 180 hitters after a two-out fifth-inning single by Jimmy Clark (Paul VI Catholic). The soft-throwing southpaw induced 14 fly ball outs. 

L.A. Rice (Flint Hill) took the loss, surrendering three runs (two earned) on six hits in five innings. Lingebach struck out three with three walks in two scoreless innings. 

With the regional championship down to a winner-take-all scenario in the playback game, Vienna was held scoreless by Randolph County’s Braxton Davis through the first three frames. Post 45 rallied for three runs in the fourth inning after reliever Zach Perkins threw what looked to be an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play into center field. The miscue would prove costly. 

In the bottom of the fourth, Dooley singled and Avery Neaves (South Lakes) later drove him in with a sacrifice fly. Vienna then drew closer when Luke Erdmann (Madison) scored Neaves on a ground out in the sixth. They’d threaten again in the seventh when Yager and Dooley reached on singles, but reliever Tatum Marsh got Lingebach to ground out and fanned Neaves looking to end the game. 

Perkins took the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) in three innings of relief work. Post 180 starter Shane Stiehl (South Lakes) pitched two scoreless frames but was relieved after walking the first two batters in the third. Justin Taylor (Flint Hill) pitched the final two innings. 

“Going down to a regional and competing against other state champions was a blast,” said Taylor, a rising Cornell sophomore who struck out eight in four scoreless innings over his three relief outings at the tournament. “Almost every other team had some history of being in the [World Series], so we were a bit overlooked. So it was fun to go out and shock some teams by winning our first four games.”

Notable: Dooley was 3-for-4 in yesterday’s second game and finished 13-for-23 (.565) for the week. He hit .408 with 29 hits in 20 games, most coming after completing his summer campaign with his Marucci Stars travel team … Neaves, one of the hottest hitters over the first four days at the tournament, went 0-for-6 yesterday. He finished the week 8-for-19 and hit .429 with 42 hits, 10 home runs, 45 RBI and a post-record 18 doubles this summer … Lingebach had a quiet week - going 4-for-18 over the six games - after posting big numbers through the regular season. He finished the season hitting .365 with team highs in hits (46), homers (16) and RBI (63), which set a new single-season post record … Perkins and Yager also topped the 40-hit mark. Perkins hit .404 with 12 doubles, four homers and 38 RBI and Yager hit .366 with 10 doubles and 23 RBI.

Quotable: It’s always fun to be apart of something like this when guys from different schools or even rival schools can come together to win ball games and have fun doing it … These guys on the team were dedicated to the grind and dedicated to being there for one another. I believe that’s what separates Post 180 from other Legion teams in our district and in our state.” - Vienna Post 180’s Justin Taylor

Next: Randolph County begin play in the World Series on Thursday in Shelby, N.C. against Shrewsbury (MA) Post 397, the Northeast Region champion. Vienna’s season is complete. 

Photos of, clockwise from top left, Allen Yager, Justin Taylor and Ryan Dooley by Joey Kamide

Richards, Taylor Provide Lift, Post 180 Plays for Mid-Atlantic Region Title Today

August 11 - Seth Richards and Justin Taylor had to join their Vienna Post 180 teammates late this week at the American Legion Mid-Atlantic Regional in Asheboro, N.C., and the late arrivals didn’t waste any time leaving their mark. 

Richards, the recent Oakton graduate who had to take a final for his calculus class earlier this week as a precursor to his freshman year at Villanova, tossed 5.2 innings and limited Brooklawn (N.C.) Post 72 to two runs on four hits over 5.2 innings in a 6-2 win last night at McCrary Park. 

The left-hander admitted to not having command of his off-speed pitches - he walked five - but rolled double-play balls in the second and fourth and got two batters to pop out to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the third. It was his fourth win of the summer. 

“I had a little problem early, I couldn’t get it across for strike,” Richards said. “But I just had to keep pumping the zone and trying my best.”

Added his manager, Nick Good: “He’s a competitor. He was a little bit around the plate, and I think maybe he was a little bit amped up. But he made some pitches when he needed to.”

After reaching the 105-pitch limit with two outs in the sixth, Richards was relieved by Taylor. The Flint Hill grad has been recovering from a torn rotator cuff in his non-throwing shoulder suffered during his freshman season at Cornell, and he had to finish an internship obligation before joining Post 180 this week. After issuing a bases-loaded walk, Taylor recovered to strike out Jake McNellis on three pitches, then fanned this side in the seventh. 

Since joining the team on Friday, Taylor has recorded six strikeouts in two innings over his two relief outings and is 2-for-5 with three runs, two walks, a sacrifice bunt, and also reached when he was hit by a pitch.

“We were fortunate enough to get Justin back,” Good said. “We’ve been patient with bringing him back and healed up and this is what he does. He loves the competition.”

The two pitchers limited Brooklawn’s top two hitters, McNellis and Nick Nocella, to one hit in six at-bats. They had entered with nine hits, five walks and nine RBI between them in the first three tournament games. 

With its 16th consecutive win, Vienna (36-2) drew to within a victory of its first-ever appearance in the American Legion World Series. They will play the tournament host, Randolph County (N.C.) Post 45, today at 1:30 p.m., with a playback game to follow should the two-time reigning Virginia champions drop the first contest. Randolph County (34-10), previously a member of the Southeast Region, has advanced to the past two World Series. 

Ryan Dooley (South Lakes) remained scorching hot at the tournament, going 2-for-4 with two runs. The Virginia Military Institute recruit is 10-for-16 and has scored 10 runs in the four games. Luke Erdmann (Madison) added two hits and Eric Lingebach (Oakton) reached three times on two walks and a single. 

“We’re pretty pumped up,” Richards said of the opportunity to advance to next week’s World Series in Shelby, N.C. “We’re excited to get after it tomorrow with a big crowd against the home team.”

Notable: Zach Perkins (Madison), who tweaked his hamstring the previous night, had a pinch-hit RBI sacrifice fly during a three-run fifth inning … Avery Neaves (South Lakes) doubled and scored in the first inning and is 8-for-13 with three doubles, a home run and 11 RBI in the tournament … Brooklawn (32-11) is one of the country’s most-accomplished programs with 30 state titles since 1954.

Quotable: “It’s been a lot of [physical therapy] all summer, and I’ve just been doing what I can to make a full recovery. This is part of my preparation for the fall. I’m doing what I can do to help out, and these guys are picking us up too.” - Post 180’s Justin Taylor, on his return from a left rotator cuff injury suffered in the spring.

Next: Vienna plays Randolph County for the region championship at 1:30 p.m. today, with a playback game to follow if necessary. 

Photo of Seth Richards by Joey Kamide

Neaves Powers Post 180’s 2-0 Start at Mid-Atlantic Regionals

August 9 - Avery Neaves continues to come up clutch as Vienna Post 180 has continued its unbeaten playoff run by winning its first two games at the American Legion Mid-Atlantic Regional in Asheboro, N.C.

Neaves, a graduate of South Lakes entering his sophomore year at St. Johns River State College in Florida, broke a fifth-inning tie with a three-run double in Post 180’s 6-2 win last night over Randolph County (N.C.) Post 45. His bases-clearing blast off the left-center field wall at McCrary Park came a day after the catcher hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly and later scored the winning run in an 8-7 win over Brooklawn (N.J.) Post 72. 

Neaves is 4-for-5 with three doubles and seven RBI over the two games at the double-elimination tournament and is hitting .452 with nine homers and 40 RBI in 25 games. He’s hit a post-record 18 doubles. 

Vienna (34-2) has won 14 straight and will play Morgantown (W.V.) Post 2 (35-8) tonight at 7:30 p.m. 

Last night, Braden Huebsch (South Lakes) earned the decision after striking out seven and walking one in 6.1 innings. The right-hander, who went the distance in Saturday’s state championship game in Lynchburg, scattered nine hits and twice worked out of bases-loaded jams. On both occasions, he retired UNC Wilmington recruit Trevor Marsh to end the threat. 

The game was played in front of an estimated crowd of 500, most on hand to cheer for the tournament’s hosts. Randolph County (33-10) has advanced to the World Series the past two years. 

“Randolph County is no joke as a host team,” Vienna manager Nick Good said. “They are a very good team.”

Justin Taylor (Flint Hill), who had missed over two weeks while recovering from a shoulder injury, rejoined the team yesterday and came on in relief with one out in the seventh. After Randolph County loaded the bases, Taylor struck out the final two batters. The rising Cornell sophomore was also 1-for-3.  

In Wednesday’s win, Zach Perkins (Madison) pitched the final 3.2 innings to earn the decision. He got an assist from his defense when third baseman L.A. Rice (Flint Hill), with the tying run at second base, made a diving stop of a hard ground ball and threw out the base runner to end the game. 

Perkins’ relief outing came after Brooklawn reached reliever Chris Blake (Madison) for three runs (two earned) to tie the game at 6-6 in the fourth. Rice started and allowed three runs (two earned) in three innings. Perkins and Virginia Military Institute recruit Ryan Dooley (South Lakes) each had three hits to pace Post 180’s 12-hit attack. 

Notes: Good wasn’t sure who would start tonight’s game, but said it was likely multiple pitchers would be used out of the bullpen. Left-hander Seth Richards (Oakton), who will pitch at Villanova next spring, will get the ball tomorrow … Vienna is without first baseman and left-hander Josh Gjormand (Madison), who is on a family vacation but would return should the team advance to next week’s World Series … In today’s elimination games, Brooklawn plays Wilmington (N.C.) Post 10 at 12 p.m. and Randolph County plays Canal (DE) Post 25 at 4:30 p.m. Hamburg (N.Y.) Post 527 and Funkstown (MD) Post 211 have been eliminated. 

Photo of Avery Neaves by Jane Davis

Post 180 Begins Play at American Legion Mid-Atlantic Regionals

August 7 - Two-time reigning state champion Vienna Post 180 will begin play this afternoon at the American Legion Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament in Asheboro, N.C. 

Vienna (32-2) will play Brooklawn (N.J.) Post 72 in its opener at 12:30 p.m., with the loser playing in an elimination game tomorrow. Post 180 has won 12 straight behind a lineup that is hitting a cumulative .357 and averaging 12.3 runs per game, and its pitching staff allowed just eight runs while sweeping five games at the state tournament last week. 

Three players in manager Nick Good’s lineup have driven in more than 30 runs, and shortstop Eric Lingebach (Oakton) and catcher Avery Neaves (South Lakes) have posted record-breaking campaigns. Lingebach, who is transferring to play at Christopher Newport, is hitting .389 with 16 home runs and has set a new post record with 61 RBI in 30 games. Neaves, who plays at St. John’s River State College in Florida, is hitting a team-high .430 with nine homers and 33 RBI in 23 games. He tied Post 180’s record with his 15th double in Saturday’s state final win and Good views him as an extension of the coaching staff on the field.

“I don’t know where this team we would be without this team from a leadership standpoint,” the manager said.

Others have also swung hot bats.

Zach Perkins (Madison) is hitting .389 with three homers and 33 RBI and Allen Yager (Oakton) is hitting .380 with 23 RBI. They join Lingebach and Neaves as players who have eclipsed 30 hits. The versatile Ryan Dooley (South Lakes) has been a key addition since joining the team full-time after completing his summer season with the Marucci Stars travel program, and two-way standout Josh Gjormand (Madison) adds both leadership and production on the mound and atop the lineup. 

Braden Huebsch (South Lakes) went the distance on Saturday and won’t be available until tomorrow. He’s 7-0 with a 1.47 ERA in 49 innings, pacing the staff in all three categories. Gjormand and L.A. Rice (Flint Hill) each have five wins, and lefty Seth Richards (Oakton) is 3-1 with a 1.34 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 33.2 innings. 

The other six teams at the regional are Canal (DE) Post 25, Morgantown (W.V.) Post 2, Wilmington (N.C.) Post 10, Funkstown (MD) Post 211, Hamburg (N.Y.) Post 527 and the host, Randolph County (N.Y.) Post 45. The tournament will run through Sunday, and the schedule and scores can be found here

Photo of Avery Neaves by Joey Kamide

Vienna Post 180 Jumps to Early Lead, Repeats as American Legion State Champions

August 3 - Braden Huebsch went the distance as Vienna Post 180 jumped to a 4-0 first-inning lead and held on to beat Warrenton Post 72 West, 6-4, in the American Legion state final today in Lynchburg. 

Huebsch, an All-Liberty District selection as a senior this spring at South Lakes, worked around 10 hits and settled down after Warrenton (19-4) drew to within 4-3 in the second inning. He’d work around a base runner in each of the next four frames, getting Billy Hoad (Brentsville District) to ground into a double play to end the sixth and striking out Carter Cunningham (Battlefield) with a runner on to end the game. 

The state championship is the second straight and sixth overall for Vienna (32-2), which has won its last 12 games. 

“I just can’t say enough about Braden, he’s just so calm under pressure,” Post 180 manager Nick Good said. “He’s been so key for us down the stretch. He just hung in there.”

Huebsch, who tossed five shutout innings in a 10-0 win over Post 72 West in the tournament opener on Tuesday, improved to 7-0 this summer. He finished with five strikeouts and two walks while being charged for three runs. 

“I feel like we’ve just started playing our best all-around baseball,” said Vienna leadoff man Josh Gjormand, who was 2-for-3 with three runs today and finished the tournament 7-for-17 with nine runs and three RBI. “Everyone seems to be heating up at the right time, not only at the plate but in the field and on the mound as well.”

Vienna’s Allen Yager (Oakton) and Jimmy Clark (Paul VI Catholic) each went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Avery Neaves (South Lakes) added two hits. Yager was named the tournament’s most valuable player after going 7-for-15 with four RBI. Warrenton got two hits apiece from Cunningham and Mason Posey (Brentsville District), while Nathan Mabe (Kettle Run) took the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits in five innings. 

Post 180’s starters posted a 0.91 ERA at the tournament, permitted just eight runs (four earned) in 30.2 innings. “The tournament is such a testament to pitching,” Good said. “You have to play five days in a row, and we were fortunate to keep Huebsch under 80 [pitches on Tuesday] so he could pitch the championship game.”

Post 180 advances to the Mid-Atlantic Regionals next week in Asheboro, N.C. It will open the double-elimination tournament on Wednesday against Brooklawn (N.J.) Post 72, which is 27-10-1 and on Wednesday claimed its 30th state title since 1954. 

Other teams clinching berths to the regional are Canal (DE) Post 25, Wilmington (N.C.) Post 10, Hamburg (N.Y.) Post 527, Funkstown (MD) Post 211 and host Randolph County (N.C.) Post 45. The state champion from West Virginia will be determined in tomorrow’s final between Berkeley Post 14 and Morgantown Post 2. 

“Every guy knows their role and embraces it and that’s a huge reason for the success we’ve had so far,” Gjormand said. “When you get a team with this kind of chemistry and heart, it’s hard to beat.”

Notes: Vienna has posted back-to-back 30-win seasons and has won 61 of 68 games over the past two seasons … Eric Lingebach (Oakton) set a new Post 180 single-season record, driving in two runs today to give him 61 RBI this season. That surpassed the previous mark set by Chris Burr in 1988 … Neaves’ fourth-inning double was his 15th of the summer, tying the club record set by Burr in 1988 and matched by Steve Paasch in 1990 … Good left impressed by the officials and grounds crew at City Stadium, the home of the Single-A Lynchburg Hillcats. “What a nice venue,” he said. “We got the total pro experience, they put on a fantastic tournament.” … Post 180 could get Justin Taylor (Flint Hill) back next week after missing the past couple weeks with an injury. A rising sophomore at Cornell University, Taylor was an integral part of the team’s state title run last summer. 

Photo of Braden Huebsch courtesy of Vienna Post 180 Baseball

Vienna Post 180, Warrenton Post 72 West to Meet for American Legion State Title

August 2 - Two area teams will play for the American Legion state championship tomorrow in Lynchburg. 

After weather postponed their game last night, Warrenton Post 72 West eliminated Leesburg Post 34 this morning with a 10-3 victory. The loss was the second straight for Leesburg (16-7), which dropped a 5-1 decision to Vienna Post 180 yesterday afternoon. 

Warrenton (19-3), meanwhile, clinched a berth in tomorrow’s championship round after Vienna (30-2) knocked out Colonial Heights Post 284 with a 13-0 win this morning. The two Northern Virginia teams will now meet in tomorrow’s final at 9:30 a.m., followed by a playback game if Post 72 West were to beat the defending state champions. 

Post 180 won an earlier matchup between the two teams, 10-0, on the opening day of the tournament, forcing Warrenton to go through the loser’s bracket to advance to the final. Vienna manager Nick Good, however, feels the teams are more evenly-matched than that outcome might indicate.

“I don’t think there’s that much difference between the teams,” Good said. “I told [Warrenton manager Kevin Lee] after, ‘We’ll see you in the final’, and sure enough that’s how it ended up.” 

In this morning’s first contest, which picked up in the sixth inning after last night’s rain forced its postponement, Warrenton got another big game from former Fauquier standout Blaze O’Saben, a rising sophomore at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and 2018 NOVA Nine Team selection. O’Saben was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI and has accounted for four hits and six RBI over the past two games after going hitless in the first two contests. 

“It’s always nice to be in a championship, especially after dropping the first game,” O’Saben said. “We’re all just excited to play Vienna again and hopefully put up a ‘W’ this time. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”

Caden DeCroo (Kettle Run), Carter Cunningham (Battlefield) and Craig Miles (Battlefield) also had two hits for Post 72 West. John Marquart (Loudoun Valley) was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI and Connor Miller (Loudoun Valley) also had three hits to lead Post 34. 

In this morning’s second game, Josh Gjormand (Madison) and Eric Lingebach (Oakton) paced a 14-hit attack for Post 180, which has won 11 straight games and has posted two shutouts while out-scoring its opponents, 33-4, at the tournament. Gjormand was 3-for-4 with a walk, double and three RBI and Lingebach was 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI. He has six hits over the past two games, five that have gone for extra bases. 

“Lingebah’s getting hot again and we’re starting to hit the ball,” said Good, who added that playing at the larger minor league park has had an effect on his team. Vienna clubbed 32 home runs in its 28 games prior to the state tournament, but hasn’t homered this week. “This is a huge ballpark. [Lingebach]’s last ball he hit, the guy caught it 380 feet away. And Avery [Neaves] hit one to the warning track as well.”

L.A. Rice (Flint Hill) went five innings to earn the decision in today’s win, scattering three hits on 62 pitches. Vienna’s starters have gone at least five innings in all four games, recording 21 strikeouts while allowing just four runs (one earned) in 23.2 innings.

Notes: Braden Huebsch (South Lakes), who pitched five shutout innings in the opener against Post 72 West, will get the ball tomorrow morning, Good said. Nathan Mabe (Kettle Run) is the probable starter for Warrenton … Offensive leaders among area players at the tournament include: Leesburg’s Marquart, who was 7-for-15 (.467) with two doubles; Warrenton’s Cunningham (6-for-12 (.500), 3 RBI) and Carson McCusker (6-for-14 (.429), 5 RBI); Vienna’s Lingebach (6-for-15 (.400), 6 RBI) and Allen Yager (5-for-11 (.455), 3 RBI); and McLean’s Jackson Kantor (5-for-7 (.714), RBI), who finished the summer with a 27-game hitting streak … Post 72 West assistant coach Jason DeCroo was ejected last night and ineligible to coach the remainder of the tournament … Post 180 is seeking its second straight state title and its sixth overall, having previously won in 1970, 1971, 1987 and 1990 prior to last year’s championship. Warrenton is playing in the state tournament for the first time since 1987 and is seeking its first title. 

Tournament Schedule:

Day 1 Games (Tuesday, July 30)
Game #1: Vienna 10, Warrenton 0
Game #2: Leesburg 12, Albemarle 4
Game #3: Rocky Mount 9, McLean 4
Game #4: Lynchburg 6, Colonial Heights 2

Day 2 Games (Wednesday, July 31)
Game #5: Warrenton 5, McLean 1*
Game #6: Colonial Heights 15, Albemarle 1*
Game #7: Vienna 5, Rocky Mount 3
Game #8: Leesburg 15, Lynchburg 2

Day 3 Games (Thursday, Aug. 1)
Game #9: Colonial Heights 10, Rocky Mount 1*
Game #10: Warrenton 8, Lynchburg 6*
Game #11: Vienna 5, Leesburg 1

Day 4 Games (Friday, Aug. 2)
Game #12: Warrenton 10, Leesburg 3*
Game #13: Vienna 13, Colonial Heights 0*

Day 5 Games (Saturday, Aug. 3)
Game #14: Winner #12 vs. Winner #13, 9:30 a.m.
Game #15: Winner #14 vs. Loser #14 (if necessary)

*Elimination Game

Photos of Vienna manager Nick Good, left, by Joey Kamide and Warrenton manager Kevin Lee, right, courtesy of Post 72 West Baseball

Legion States: Gjormand, Posey, Dudak Pitch Area Teams to Wins

August 1 - Three area teams remain alive, winning behind big outings by their starting pitchers yesterday at the American Legion state tournament in Lynchburg. 

Mason Posey (Brentsville District) struck out 10 while scattering five hits and allowing one run in 6.1 innings as Warrenton Post 72 West eliminated McLean Post 270 with a 5-1 decision in the day’s first game. After Colonial Heights Post 284 knocked out Albemarle Post 74 with a 15-1 drubbing, Vienna Post 180 slipped past Rocky Mount Post 6, 5-3, behind a complete-game effort by Josh Gjormand (Madison). The left-hander, who will pitch across town at the University of Lynchburg, struck out seven and allowed one earned run on six hits. 

In the nightcap, Leesburg Post 34 cruised past Lynchburg Post 16, 15-2, getting six innings from Ryan Dudak (Loudoun Valley). The right-hander fanned six and permitted two runs (one earned) on five hits before Jonathan Sedmack (Loudoun Valley) came on and tossed a scoreless seventh. 

Offensive standouts yesterday included Leesburg’s Cameron Kerr (Heritage), who went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI to pace five Post 34 hitters who had two hits. Carson McCusker (Fauquier) went 2-for-4 with two RBI for Warrenton, and Avery Neaves (South Lakes) had two hits for Vienna. Post 270’s Jackson Kantor (McLean) had two hits and finished the tournament 5-for-7. 

Today’s three games were moved up to earlier start times due to forecasted rain. Colonial Heights (12-6) will meet Rocky Mount (12-3) in an elimination game at 9:30 a.m., with Warrenton (17-3) playing Lynchburg (7-8) in the other elimination game at 12 p.m. The final game today will pit the two unbeaten teams at the tournament - Vienna (29-2) and Leesburg (16-5) - at 3 p.m. 

Tournament Schedule:

Day 1 Games (Tuesday, July 30)
Game #1: Vienna 10, Warrenton 0
Game #2: Leesburg 12, Albemarle 4
Game #3: Rocky Mount 9, McLean 4
Game #4: Lynchburg 6, Colonial Heights 2

Day 2 Games (Wednesday, July 31)
Game #5: Warrenton 5, McLean 1*
Game #6: Colonial Heights 15, Albemarle 1*
Game #7: Vienna 5, Rocky Mount 3
Game #8: Leesburg 15, Lynchburg 2

Day 3 Games (Thursday, Aug. 1)
Game #9: Colonial Heights vs. Rocky Mount, 9:30 a.m.*
Game #10: Warrenton vs. Lynchburg, 12 p.m.*
Game #11: Vienna vs. Leesburg, 3 p.m.

Day 4 Games (Friday, Aug. 2)
Game #12: Winner #9 vs. Loser #11, 10 a.m.*
Game #13: Winner #10 vs. Winner #11, 1:30 p.m.

Day 5 Games (Saturday, Aug. 3)
Game #14: Winner #12 vs. Winner #13, 10 a.m.
Game #15: Winner #14 vs. Loser #14, 1:30 p.m. (if necessary)

*Elimination Game

Photo of Josh Gjormand courtesy of Vienna Post 180 Baseball

Vienna, Leesburg Cruise in Legion State Tournament Openers

July 30 - Leesburg Post 34 had seven different players drive in runs and Vienna Post 180 took advantage of 11 free passes as the two local clubs won their openers at the American Legion state tournament today in Lynchburg. 

In the day’s first game, Vienna beat Warrenton Post 72 West, 10-0, as the defending state champions ran its winning streak to eight. Post 72 West pitchers issued eight walks and hit three batters as Post 180 needed just six hits and used a four-run sixth inning to halt the game due to the 10-run mercy rule. 

Zach Perkins (Madison) had a three-run triple to open the game’s scoring in the first, and he scored on a sacrifice fly by L.A. Rice (Flint Hill) to end the contest. Allen Yager (Oakton) was 3-for-3 with an RBI. Braden Huebsch (South Lakes) struck out four without walking a batter and worked around seven Warrenton hits over five innings to earn the win. Perkins pitched the final frame. 

Carter Cunningham (Battlefield), Sam Beard (Brentsville District) and Peter Benavides (Battlefield) had three hits for Post 72 West (16-3), which will play McLean Post 270 in an elimination game tomorrow morning. McLean (19-11) dropped its opener, 9-4, to Rocky Mount Post 6 this afternoon, getting a combined five hits from Drew Stieg (McLean) and Jackson Kantor (McLean) in the loss. 

In today’s second game, a three-run double by Justin Hanvey (Woodgrove) capped Post 34’s 12-4 win over Albemarle Post 74, which has won four of the past six state titles. Connor Miller (Loudoun Valley) and Cameron Kerr (Heritage) each went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Ben Nehring (Heritage) was 2-for-4 with a double. 

David Gingras (Loudoun Valley) scattered three hits in four scoreless innings to earn the win for Leesburg (15-5), which plays a Rocky Mount (12-2) team that has won eight straight tomorrow afternoon. 

In the nightcap, host Lynchburg Post 16 defeated Colonial Heights Post 284, 6-2. 

Tournament Schedule:

Day 1 Games (Tuesday, July 30)
Game #1: Vienna 10, Warrenton 0
Game #2: Leesburg 12, Albemarle 4
Game #3: Rocky Mount 9, McLean 4
Game #4: Lynchburg 6, Colonial Heights 2

Day 2 Games (Wednesday, July 31)
Game #5: Warrenton vs. McLean, 9:30 a.m.*
Game #6: Albemarle vs. Colonial Heights, 12 p.m.*
Game #7: Vienna vs. Rocky Mount, 4 p.m.
Game #8: Leesburg vs. Lynchburg, 7 p.m.

Day 3 Games (Thursday, Aug. 1)
Game #9: Winner #6 vs. Loser #7, 1 p.m.
Game #10: Winner #5 vs. Loser #8, 4 p.m.
Game #11: Winner #7 vs. Winner #8, 7 p.m.

Day 4 Games (Friday, Aug. 2)
Game #12: Winner #9 vs. Loser #11, 10 a.m.
Game #13: Winner #10 vs. Winner #11, 1:30 p.m.

Day 5 Games (Saturday, Aug. 3)
Game #14: Winner #12 vs. Winner #13, 10 a.m.
Game #15: Winner #14 vs. Loser #14, 1:30 p.m. (if necessary)

*Elimination Game

Photo of Connor Miller by Joey Kamide

Legion State Tournament Begins Tomorrow in Lynchburg

July 29 - After winning a seventh district championship in eight years, Vienna Post 180 turns its attention to pursuing a second straight American Legion state championship this week in Lynchburg. 

Post 180, which blitzed McLean Post 270, 16-1, in the District 17 final on Friday, will be the favorite to repeat when the double-elimination tournament begins tomorrow at Calvin Falwell Field, the home of the Single-A Lynchburg Hillcats. 

Manager Nick Good’s club ended three decades of frustration by winning its first state title since 1990 last summer. They have won 58 of 65 games over the past two seasons and return a handful of players from last year’s championship team, including former Oakton standout Eric Lingebach and slugger Avery Neaves, a South Lakes graduate who homered twice and drove in seven runs in the district final. 

Joining Vienna (27-2) in the field is McLean (19-10) along with District 16 champion Warrenton Post 72 West (16-2) and runner-up Leesburg Post 34 (14-5). A unique tournament format allows for the runners-up from Districts 16 and 17 to qualify, while other districts from around the state advance just their champions.

The other teams in the field are Albemarle Post 74 - which has won four of the past six state titles - as well as Colonial Heights Post 284, Rocky Mount Post 6 and Lynchburg Post 16, the host team. 

Vienna and Warrenton will meet in the tournament’s opening game tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m., while Leesburg plays Albemarle at 12 p.m. and McLean meets Rocky Mount at 4 p.m. in their first games. Colonial Heights and Lynchburg will play in the night cap at 7 p.m.

The state champion will advance to the Mid-Atlantic Regional from Aug. 7-12 in Asheville, N.C., with the World Series held from Aug. 15-20 in Shelby, N.C. 

Teams at a Glance:

Albemarle Post 74
Manager: Eric Miles
Record: 14-7
Current Streak: Won 3
State Titles: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017
How Qualified: District 12 champion

Colonial Heights Post 284
Jeremy Cole
Record: 11-5
Current Streak: Won 4 
State Titles: 1961, 1965, 1986
How Qualified: District 11 champion

Leesburg Post 34
Brenton Peters
Record: 14-5
Current Streak: Lost 1 
State Titles: None
How Qualified: District 16 runner-up

Lynchburg Post 16
Frank Leonard
Record: 6-7
Current Streak: Lost 2
State Titles: 1941, 1966, 2005, 2012
How Qualified: Host team

McLean Post 270
Keith Horenstein
Record: 19-10
Current Streak: Lost 1
State Titles: None
How Qualified: District 17 runner-up

Rocky Mount Post 6
Aaron Haigler
Record: 11-2
Current Streak: Won 7
State Titles: None
How Qualified: District 10 champion

Vienna Post 180
Nick Good
Record: 27-2
Current Streak: Won 7 
State Titles: 1970, 1971, 1987, 1990, 2018
How Qualified: District 17 champion

Warrenton Post 72 West
Jim Lilek
Record: 16-2
Current Streak: Won 8
State Titles: None
How Qualified: District 16 champion

Tournament Schedule:

Day 1 Games (Tuesday, July 30)
Game #1: Warrenton vs. Vienna, 9:30 a.m.
Game #2: Leesburg vs. Albemarle, 12 p.m.
Game #3: McLean vs. Rocky Mount, 4 p.m.
Game #4: Colonial Heights vs. Lynchburg, 7 p.m.

Day 2 Games (Wednesday, July 31)
Game #5: Loser #1 vs. Loser #3, 9:30 a.m.
Game #6: Loser #2 vs. Loser #4, 12 p.m.
Game #7: Winner #1 vs. Winner #3, 4 p.m.
Game #8: Winner #2 vs. Winner #4, 7 p.m.

Day 3 Games (Thursday, Aug. 1)
Game #9: Winner #6 vs. Loser #7, 1 p.m.
Game #10: Winner #5 vs. Loser #8, 4 p.m.
Game #11: Winner #7 vs. Winner #8, 7 p.m.

Day 4 Games (Friday, Aug. 2)
Game #12: Winner #9 vs. Loser #11, 10 a.m.
Game #13: Winner #10 vs. Winner #11, 1:30 p.m.

Day 5 Games (Saturday, Aug. 3)
Game #14: Winner #12 vs. Winner #13, 10 a.m.
Game #15: Winner #14 vs. Loser #14, 1:30 p.m. (if necessary)

Photo of Calvin Falwell Field courtesy of the City of Lynchburg

Note: State champions list views as table on desktop or if mobile device is flipped horizontally.

Past State Champions Virginia American Legion State Champions
Year Team
2018 Vienna Post 180
2017 Albemarle Post 74
2016 Danville Post 325
2015 Albemarle Post 74
2014 Albemarle Post 74
2013 Albemarle Post 74
2012 Lynchburg Post 16
2011 Chesapeake Post 280
2010 Chesapeake Post 280
2009 South Richmond Post 137
2008 South Richmond Post 137
2007 Staunton Post 13
2006 Midlothian Post 186
2005 Lynchburg Post 16
2004 Winchester Post 21
2003 Richmond Post 361
2002 Richmond Post 361
2001 Newport News Post 368
2000 South Richmond Post 137
1999 Richmond Post 361
1998 Danville Post 325
1997 Newport News Post 25
1996 Bedford Post 54
1995 Poquoson Post 273
1994 Bedford Post 54
1993 Richmond Post 48
1992 Arlington Post 85
1991 Hampton Post 48
1990 Vienna Post 180
1989 Richmond Post 244
1988 Richmond Post 244
1987 Vienna Post 180
1986 Colonial Heights Post 284
1985 Midlothian Post 186
1984 Midlothian Post 186
1983 Newport News Post 368
1982 Dinwiddie Post 149
1981 Richmond Post 361
1980 Richmond Post 361
1979 Fairfax Post 177
1978 Fairfax Post 177
1977 Richmond Post 361
1976 Newport News Post 25
1975 Newport News Post 25
1974 Falls Church Post 130
1973 Richmond Post 361
1972 Norfolk Post 204
1971 Vienna Post 180
1970 Vienna Post 180
1969 Newport News Post 25
1968 Staunton Post 13
1967 Staunton Post 13
1966 Lynchburg Post 16
1965 Colonial Heights Post 284
1964 Churchland Post 310
1963 Front Royal Post 53
1962 Hampton Post 31
1961 Colonial Heights Post 284
1960 Staunton Post 13
1959 Hampton Post 48
1958 Sandston Post 242
1957 Front Royal Post 53
1956 Richmond Post N/A
1955 Richmond Post N/A
1954 Richmond Post N/A
1953 Norfolk Post N/A
1952 Alexandria Post 24
1951 Sandston Post 242
1950 Richmond Post N/A
1949 Richmond Post N/A
1948 Danville Post 325
1947 Alexandria Post 24
1946 Norfolk Post N/A
1945 Norfolk Post N/A
1944 Norfolk Post N/A
1943 --
1942 Norfolk Post N/A
1941 Lynchburg Post 16
1940 Norfolk Post N/A
1939 Alleghany Post 4
1938 Norfolk Post N/A
1937 Richmond Post N/A
1936 Highland Springs Post 144
1935 Richmond Post N/A
1934 Norfolk Post N/A
1933 Richmond Post N/A
1932 Alexandria Post 24
1931 Danville Post 325
1930 Alexandria Post 24
1929 Richmond Post N/A
1928 Alexandria Post 24

Today’s Top Story