Perhaps the only thing more perplexing than Aaron Osborne’s recent string of success has been the possibility that it exists. Sure, Osborne has been locked in at the plate; pitches often seem like watermelons moving slower than residential speed limits.
But the fact that Osborne, a member of the Chantilly American Majors All-Star team, has now hit five home runs in his past five at-bats warrants some explanation, along with why he’s even still getting pitched to. Dating back to Chantilly American’s last game, a 13-11 win over Central Chesterfield on Tuesday, Osborne is 6-for-6 with five home runs and 13 RBIs.
He’s been an equal-opportunity slugger too, hitting curveballs and fastballs that cross both halves of the plate. Some have sailed over the center field fence, others have found their way to left and right. The only constant, though, has been that not a single one of them has been a solo shot.
“It’s just [about] staying focused, hitting pitches that are there and that you can hit out,” said Osborne, who was also the winning pitcher by allowing one run on three hits.
With the Virginia state title up for grabs Wednesday night at the Lincoln Lewis Vanoy Fields in Fairfax, Osborne’s exploits helped Chantilly American to a four-inning, 11-1 win over McIntire Little League of Chesapeake.
<b>CHANTILLY AMERICAN</b> will advance to the Southeast Regional tournament, which will be held Aug. 7-14 in Ceredo-Kenova, W.Va. And although he admitted to having checked out the tournament’s Web site, Chantilly American manager Sean Matthews insisted that no hotel rooms had been booked and no GPS units had been set. Truthfully, Matthews said, he didn’t even know when the tournament was.
“Nothing matters now,” Matthews said. “You play for Virginia with a big smile and it doesn’t matter now if we win, lose or draw. Now we get to go to regionals. … They get to go to regionals. I get to accompany them.”
Osborne’s first homer, which followed his 3-for-3, seven-RBI performance during Tuesday’s win over Central Chesterfield, came in the top of the first inning and scored shortstop Mike Sciorra.
After a scoreless second inning, Chantilly American erupted in the third. With one out, Andrew Kim reached on a single before Osborne’s second homer of the game landed beyond the fence. And first baseman Eason Recto, who finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, blasted a solo shot to follow.
Chantilly American would get two more runs that inning to carry a 7-0 lead into the fourth before surrendering a solo home run. But Sciorra went deep, Kim reached on a single again and Osborne’s third home run made it 10-1. Finally, Recto scored from second to end it on catcher Grant Bain’s RBI-single.
“[Osborne] did great, but he knows this is a team effort,” Matthews said. “These guys did great.”