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Spartans Cool Off Titans

Broad Run’s Brocke shuts down Dominion bats.

The Broad Run High baseball team received a bit of a wake-up call when it recently lost a pair of Dulles District games.

The Spartans had pretty much been riding high prior to that. But the setbacks – to Loudoun County, 2-1, and to Potomac Falls, 2-1 – might have had a positive re-focusing effect on the team.

That certainly looked to be the case last Friday night when Broad Run won big, 12-1, over a visiting Dominion team that has put together a fairly good season up to this point. The Spartans (9-3 overall, 5-2 district), who pounded out 14 hits, won the shortened-game in four-and-a-half innings, due to the 10-run mercy rule.

"Our offense got going tonight, which took the pressure off of the defense," said Broad Run coach Pat Cassidy, whose team had struggled at the plate in recent games. "The last couple of games we’ve been pitching [well] and been playing outstanding defensive baseball."

But the bats were slumping. However, the offense woke up against Dominion as the Spartans scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning before batting around in the second and scoring seven more to take total control of the game.

Highlights of the first two innings included a hitting display from senior third baseman Kurt Reitzel, who knocked a two-run single in the first inning before pounding a three-run home run over the left center field fence in the second.

Also going deep was senior center fielder Andrew Mann, who sent a towering, two-run homer well over the left center field fence in the second inning. And as if that wasn’t enough, Mann, later that same inning, rocketed an RBI, line drive double into center field.

Also coming up with big hits over those first two innings for Broad Run were senior catcher Tommy Meier (RBI single), senior first baseman Cole Shain (pair of RBI singles), senior pitcher Trey Brocke (two singles) and junior right fielder Patrick Murphy (single).

<b>MEANWHILE</b>, Dominion (7-4 overall, 3-2 district), which had recently won huge over a tough Loudoun County team, 14-1, was simply having a bad night at Broad Run.

"We’re having a good year overall, but not tonight," said Dominion coach Jay Raines. "Broad Run is a very good team, very solid. We just didn’t come out to play."

Broad Run’s Brocke, the Spartans’ right-handed starting pitcher who allowed one single over four innings of work, stymied Dominion’s offense at the plate. The lone Titan base hit off of Brocke came from freshman left fielder Ryan Doyle, who singled into center with two outs in the second inning.

Other than that, Brocke, who struck out four, allowed only one other base runner, that coming on a one out walk to junior Chris Taylor in the fourth inning. Brocke gave way to the Broad Run bullpen for the fifth inning.

"I was trying to throw as many strikes as I could," said Brocke, who along with Spartan left-hander Shain, gives Broad Run perhaps the best one-two starting pitching punch in the district. "I think I hit my spots well. I was using a fastball, curve and change-up. I let my defense do the work."

Said coach Cassidy, "Trey did a great job. He changes speeds and keeps the ball down in the strike zone. Trey’s not a power guy, so he has to change speed."

The Broad Run defense made no errors on the night. Dominion had two.

Dominion’s lone run came in the fifth inning when junior Jonathan Knight, the Titans’ leadoff hitter, forced in a run with an RBI walk.

Dominion had two of its three hits in that fifth inning, its final at-bats of the night. The base hits that inning came from juniors Steven and Greg Smucker, who both roped line drive singles into center field.

The win for Broad Run snapped the mini-losing streak.

"It feels great," said Brocke, of the team win over Dominion. "We tried to stay positive [following the recent losses]. We’ll do real well if we can be consistent with the bats and keep our minds to it."

While Broad Run is especially strong at the top of its starting pitching staff this spring with Shain and Brocke, so is Dominion with starters Taylor (2-2, two saves) and senior Geoffrey McCowat (2-1). Neither was on the hill in the Broad Run game.

Dominion, at the plate, was hitting the ball well going into the Broad Run game.

"We’ve been coming out and hitting the ball," said Raines. "Tonight, our overall game was flat. We didn’t make a couple of plays [defensively] and it went from there."

Dominion was scheduled to play district games this week against Potomac Falls on Monday, Freedom on Tuesday and at Briar Woods on Friday.