The Mclean High baseball team’s season ended on Memorial Day afternoon with a 13-11 extra innings loss to W.T. Woodson in a Northern Region quarterfinals playoff game at Oakton High School. The Highlanders, the Liberty District runner-up this season , finished with an impressive 19-5 record.
McLean captured the regular season district title this spring before ultimately falling to No. 2 seed Madison in the district tournament finals early last week. Then, in a first round region playoff game last Friday night, May 28, the Highlanders soundly defeated Mount Vernon, 4-1, to advance to Monday’s holiday game against Woodson.
McLean, in a back and forth affair versus the Cavaliers, broke through for five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 9-6 lead. Key hits in the inning came from Denis Buckley (2-run double), James Oldenburg (double), and Jordan Ghannam (RBI double).
Earlier in the game, McLean had jumped in front, 2-0, in the bottom of the first inning. The key base hit that inning was an RBI single from Oldenburg. In the second, after Woodson had tied the game at 2-2, McLean’s Bruce Beatty sent a solo homer over the right field fence to give his team a 3-2 lead.
Woodson scored three in the top of the third and one in the fourth off McLean starter Sean Fitzgerald to go ahead 6-3 before the Highlanders scored a single run in its half of the fourth – that coming on an RBI single by Beatty to get the Highlanders within 6-4.
Then McLean exploded for its big five-run fifth inning to go ahead 9-6.
Woodson, though, scored three runs in the sixth to tie the game at 9-9 and that was still the score after seven regulation innings. Woodson took a 10-9 lead in the eighth on a solo homer from Ryan Lluy, but McLean tied the score in the bottom half of the inning on a sacrifice fly.
In the ninth, Woodson catcher Connor Reilly belted a three-run homer over the left center field fence – his third homer of the game – to give the Cavs a 13-10 lead. Reilly had earlier hit two-run homers over the right field fence in both the second and third innings.
McLean’s Charlie Geiger hit an RBI double for McLean in the Highlanders’ ninth to finish the game’s scoring.