The South Lakes High baseball team has had flashes of play this season in which it has displayed the kind of squad it is capable of being.
The most recent of those came early last week when the Seahawks stunned high-profile Madison, one of the Northern Region’s elite teams. South Lakes, in the Liberty District contest played in Reston on May 6, defeated the Warhawks, 7-2.
South Lakes received an outstanding outing from senior starting pitcher Paul Kirchner, who went the distance (7 innings) and held down the mighty visitors. He was aided by a South Lakes defense that committed no errors behind him.
"He just kept them off balance," said South Lakes coach Galvin Morris, of Kirchner’s effort. "They were hitting the ball in the air a lot."
South Lakes (4-15 record) went on to lose its final regular season game, 4-0, to district opponent Marshall on Saturday night. The game was originally scheduled to be played at South Lakes. But poor field conditions as a result of the recent rains resulted in the game being played at Waters Field in Vienna.
The Seahawks struggled at the plate in the loss to the Statesmen.
"We played well," said Morris, pleased with his team’s pitching and defense in the setback to Marshall. "We didn’t play to our potential on offense. We kind of struggled at the plate a little bit. We had some opportunities. We didn’t play the same way we played against Madison."
South Lakes was tabbed to be the No. 7 seed at this week’s district tournament. The Seahawks were set to meet No. 6 Marshall in a play-in game on Tuesday at Marshall. The winner of that game was scheduled to play No. 3 Langley in a quarterfinals game on Wednesday. The quarterfinals game winner will automatically secure a spot in the upcoming 16-team Northern Region playoffs.
<b>SOUTH LAKES</b> is certainly capable of winning a few games at districts. All four of its wins this season have come against district foes. However, South Lakes was 0-4 total in games against Marshall and Langley.
Still, the win over Madison was a confidence-booster.
"We were happy with the win, obviously," said Morris, of defeating the Warhawks last week. "Our kids came out and played well. We put it all together."
The Seahawks have improved as the season has gone on, according to Morris, and they always give it their best, win or lose.
"I think we’ve gotten a little bit better [with each game]," said Morris. "We play each game like it’s a championship. It was definitely a joyful atmosphere [following the Madison win], not only for our players but for the fans. Any time you beat a program like Madison, everybody is happy with that."
South Lakes senior catcher Scott Reed had base hits in each of his team’s games last week –a triple against Madison and a double against Marshall – to cap an incredible regular season in which he got at least one hit in each of the team’s 19 games. Morris said the only other South Lakes ball player he can recall getting a hit in every game of a season was former Seahawk standout Wyatt Toregas, who is now a member of the Cleveland Indians’ organization.
"He’s hitting the ball with confidence and hitting the ball well," said Morris, of Reed. "He’s improved a lot [from last year] as far as being confident at the plate. The game has slowed down tremendously for him."
Over Reed’s first 18 games of the season, he was batting .491 with two home runs, two triples 10 doubles and 21 RBIs. His on-base average was .547 and his slugging percentage was .842.
The All-Liberty District team was recently named. Both Reed and senior center fielder Noah Sweet were named to the First Team. Meanwhile, Seahawk players Jon Baamonde, a junior second baseman, and Kirchner (pitcher) made Second Team honors.