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KG varsity baseball show resolve in the face of adversity

 

After a tough 8-1 loss to Eastern View (9-4) on Monday night, the Foxes’ hopes of advancing into post-season tournament will be determined by the fate of games featuring Caroline versus Culpeper, and Eastern View (10-8, 9-4) versus Courtland (10-3).

On Friday, the Foxes changed their fate from a team that had its back to wall, to a team of destiny. Last Friday, after seven innings, the host Foxes defeated Courtland 6-4 to stay alive in the race for a playoff berth in the

upcoming Battlefield District Baseball Tournament Championship.

With the deck stacked against them, after losing their last two games to district rivals Eastern View (5-4) and Chancellor (10-0), the Foxes led, trailed and rallied to defeat the first place Cougars for the second time this season.

Dustin Phillips started the game with a five-inning performance that yielded four strikeouts, seven hits, four runs and two walks. Theo Klopsis earned the win with two innings of relief that resulted in three strikeouts, one hit, one walk and no runs.

In a losing cause, Courtland’s Travis Weaver gave up four runs, eight hits, three strikeouts and one balk in six innings of work to keep his team close.

In the bottom of the second inning, with two outs and the bases loaded, Klopsis drove in two runs with a single.
Weaver helped his cause after producing a RBI double that brought in Courtland’s first run.

Later in the bottom of the third inning, the Foxes extended their lead to 3-1 with an RBI single by TJ Thompson.
In the top of the fourth inning with two players on base, Clay Keranen slammed a double into right field.  Keranen’s clutch tied the game at 3-3. The following batter, Jesse Belcastro singled in the go-ahead run to give the Cougars their first lead of the game. The Cougars celebration would soon be short lived.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, with the visiting Cougar fans encouraging their team to hold on, the Foxes offense would soon return to form. With two outs, David Hunt scored Tyler Trustlow on a single that tied the game at 4-4. Hunt would later score on a triple by Klopsis. Klopsis would eventually score on a wild pitch by Cougar relief pitcher Nick Zaluzney.

With a 6-4 lead going into the top of the seventh inning, Klopsis retired the side with two strikeouts and a fly ball.
Throughout the season, the Foxes have faced challenges. From an ominous 0-5 start to facing elimination from post season play, the Foxes held together as a team and found a way to win in the face of adversity.

Has parity returned to varsity baseball in the Fredericksburg metropolitan area? Apparently it has, with five out of eight teams — Courtland, Chancellor, Caroline, Eastern View and King George — competing for four playoff spots, the scenario for the next Battlefield champion borders on intrigue.

Leonard Banks
Sports Editor

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