On a pleasant summer evening, Reston National took the field against a highly rated, 2-0 Vienna American team. Some have picked this team to make a run for the State Title.
Reston National Coach Grossman called heads during the coin toss and it was HEADS. He chose the visiting dugout due to the pleasant breeze flowing into it and the ability to jump on Vienna American and get some runs. Everything was to look like a smart decision on this fateful evening.
In the top of the first, after one out, Marty led off with an infield single. Conor beat out an infield hit and with first and second and one out all looked well. Coach Grossman tried a delayed steal and Marty slid into third on a close play but was called out. In the bottom of the first, Sam strolled to the mound and looked sharp. The first batter singled. The next batter hit a shot to Conor at short for out one. The next batter grounded out to Justin who made a nice play as he fired across the diamond to Jake for out two. The last batter grounded out to Conor at short who fired to Jake at first to end the inning. Only eight pitches and after one it was 0-0.
In the second, Jake hit the ball hard but grounded out to short. Justin beat out an infield hit. Graham grounded out to first and no runs scored. In the bottom of the second Sam got the first batter to fly out to Brendan who made a nice catch in left for out one. The next batter walked. The next batter hit a shot to Marty’s left at second. He got to the ball, whirled and fired to short to get the lead runner by a step. After a two out walk, Sam settled down and blasted a hard fastball past the last batter for out three. After two it was still a scoreless tie.
In the third, Brian led off with a walk. Chance came in to run for him. Matt walked. Marty laid down a perfect bunt to move the runners to third and second with only one out. Conor delivered with a long double to left off the fence to score Chance and Matt. Reston Nationals fan cheered. Sam walked. Jake hit a single to load the bases. Conor scored on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the third Vienna American scored three on a couple of errors, but Sam settled down and got the last batter to popout to Johnny who made a nice catch at third. After three it was all tied up at 3-3.
Walks to Chance and Matt in the fourth put runners on base, but no runs scored in the top of the fourth. A leadoff single brought Coach Grossman out of the dugout and Sam left the mound to thunderous applause. He had pitched brilliantly. Conor came on in relief and threw heat. After a couple of outs on ground balls, he quickly retired the side with a strikeout of the cleanup hitter. After four it was still 3-3.
In the fifth, Reston National jumped on the Vienna American pitchers. A leadoff walk to Sam and another walk to Jake put runners on first and second. Chance came in to run for Jake. Justin bunted perfectly to move the runners. Tommy walked to load the bases. A walk to Brian scored Sam. A walk to Matt scored Chance. In the bottom of the fifth, Conor was dominant. He got two batters to ground out to Marty at short who fired to Jake each time and he blasted three strikes past another batter. After five it was Reston National 5 Vienna American 3.
In the sixth, Reston National picked up a key insurance run. Conor led off with a long double to right. Sam walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Jake then singled to score Conor. Coach Grossman sent Sam home but he was out at home by a step and then Jake was out at second trying to advance — also by a step. With two outs, Graham made some good contact but grounded out to end the inning. In the bottom of the sixth, Conor got the first batter to ground out back to the mound. The next batter went down on strikes. With two outs, the last batter fouled off a few pitches but finally hit a high pop fly behind second. Brendan drifted back and made the catch for out three.
Final Score: Reston National 6 Vienna American 3
Coach Grossman was available for a fairly long interview since Reston National does not play again until Monday. He said, “What a game! Our guys played fantastic defense, Sam pitched extremely well, and Conor did a great job at short, on the mound, and a lot of guys looked much better at the plate. Our two perfect bunts were a big reason we put up six runs on a very good team.
I really thought our team was much better than we had played the first two games and if we come ready to play, we have shown we can play with any team in the state. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Vienna American win our district. They are a strong team and I think we just played a great game, surprised them, and gave them something to remember about Reston. I am very happy for all of our guys and I’m looking forward to Great Falls on Monday.”
A few tickets remain as the Reston Nationals face off against Great Falls on their home field at Smith field on Monday at 5:30.