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Park View Baseball Squaring off With Dulles' Top Teams

Coach Leap's team looking to prove it can contend.

The Park View High baseball team has done a terrific job of jumping in front of opponents early on in games this season.

In all seven of the team’s games going into this week, the Patriots had scored first, resulting in a solid 4-3 record. The Patriots’ wins have come over Dulles District rival Loudoun County and non-district opponents Musselman High (West Va.), Bishop O’Connell (Arlington) and Wakefield (Arlington).

Last week, Park View played perhaps its worst game of the season in a 12-6 setback to district foe Heritage. The Patriots, who led 3-0 after the top half of the first inning, committed seven errors and allowed 10 unearned runs in the setback.

Park View also jumped to a 3-0 lead in a 10-9 loss to non-district opponent Herndon.

"We’re really not sure what we’re going to be like," said Park View coach Mickey Leap, still getting a feel for how good this year’s squad can be. "We’re playing well enough to win."

That is true. Park View, with its 4-3 mark, is better than .500 at this point. Coach Leap pointed out that the Patriots will be truly tested in district games this week against Dominion on Tuesday, Potomac Falls on Thursday and host Broad Run this Friday night.

Going into this week, all three of those opponents were carrying 2-0 district marks. Potomac Falls was last year’s district tournament champion, while Broad Run took the regular season title.

"It’s a big week for us, no doubt," said Leap, whose Park View squad is 1-1 in district play. "Potomac Falls and Broad Run are two of the top teams in the league."

<b>PARK VIEW</b> has real good potential of being a player for the district crown. The Patriots displayed some of their potential in their win over host O’Connell, a 4-2 victory. O’Connell, a private school member of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC), recently defeated the metropolitan area’s top-ranked team this spring in Paul VI High (Fairfax).

So in knocking off O’Connell, Park View notched an impressive feather in its cap.

Two of Park View’s top players this season have been sophomore outfielder Jonathan Mason and senior catcher Dylan Smith. Mason, the No. 3 hitter in the Patriots’ line-up, is batting around .500 with six doubles and six RBIs. He bats from the left side.

Mason is also Park View’s No. 2 starting pitcher. A right hander pitcher, he is 1-1. The victory came in a relief appearance against O’Connell.

"This is the first year he’s thrown for us," said Leap, of Mason. "He’s got a decent fastball and a good curve ball when he locates it. He just gets the job done."

Park View’s No. 1 pitcher in the rotation is right hander Jimmy Kerby (2-1).

Smith, the senior catcher, was batting at a .542 clip going into this week. Smith, who will be playing the sport collegiately next school year at Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg), has a pair of doubles and seven RBIs on the still-young season.

"A lot of his outs have been hard hit baseballs," said Leap.

Other stellar seasons for the Patriots have come from senior shortstop Billy Bradley (.360 batting average) and junior third baseman/relief closer Ben Rosado, who is hitting .316 with a home run and five RBIs from the No. 5 position in the line-up.

Leap said his team can be a factor in the district title race if it plays consistently well.

"The main thing is we need to come out and play every day," he said. "If we do, we can compete in this league. With Broad Run and Potomac Falls being the front runners, everyone else is kind of jumbled up. Dominion is 2-0 too. It’s going to be interesting as the year goes along."