The Chantilly High baseball team got its new season underway last week with a pair of games. The Chargers won their season opener at Edison High, 10-0, on Tuesday, March 15, but lost three days later on Friday against host Yorktown High, 2-1.
The Chargers, coming off an 8-12 season last year, were scheduled to play at Stone Bridge High in Ashburn this past Monday, March 21. But poor weather forced the game to be postponed. The make-up date is set for Wednesday, March 30 in Ashburn.
Chantilly, a member of the Concorde District, played a good all-around game in the win over Edison, which is a member of the National District. Starting pitcher Dan Lawler, a senior, tossed five shutout innings, allowing five hits and striking out nine. He walked two. Strong one-inning relief outings came from junior Chris Fraser (2 strikeouts) and senior Brett Riddle.
“Dan’s going to be solid for us this year,” said Chantilly head coach Kevin Ford, of Lawler. “He’s a good pitcher with pretty good stuff. He is not overpowering but has good location on his fastball. He does a good job throwing three pitches and hitting his spots. His best pitch is his fastball and he keeps hitters off balance a little bit.”
A year ago Lawler earned Second Team All-District accolades. By the end of the 2010 season he was one of the Chargers’ top starters.
At the plate, Chantilly knocked around 11 hits versus the Eagles. The Chargers had solid games from senior Sam Zimmerman (2 hits, including a double, sac fly), sophomore Sonny Romine (double, 2 walks, 2 RBI), junior Kevin Johnston (single, walk, RBI), senior Collin Ryan (2 singles), senior Ben Langford (2 singles), senior Connor Major (2 singles), senior Brian Morrow (1 hit, 2 RBI), junior Brady Caslavka (2 walks), junior Jake Acosta (RBI), and junior Tom Wood (RBI). Dan Speed and Casey Gittings, both juniors, earned walks.
Chantilly, against the Eagles, scored a pair of runs in the first, third, and fifth innings. The Chargers put things away for good with a four-run top of the seventh.
“We hit the ball well, executed well on some hit and runs, and worked some walks,” said Ford. “It was a good game for us at the plate.”
<b>CHANTILLY’S</b> following game versus Yorktown was pitching dominated. For the Chargers, Caleb Reinhardt, a junior, pitched five strong innings. Will Bashaw, a senior, pitched two innings of relief.
“Caleb has the best stuff on the team,” said Ford. “He throws the ball hardest and has good movement on his fastball and breaking ball.”
Three of Chantilly’s key position players this season will be Langford, a third baseman and the team’s No. 3 hitter in the order; senior shortstop Jamie Danehower, the team’s leadoff hitter; Zimmerman, a second baseman who hits in the No. 5 spot; and Johnston, a backup catcher for the Chargers last year and starting backstop this season who will hit somewhere in the middle of the order.
Zimmerman injured a hamstring against Yorktown while on the base paths legging out an RBI double. Ford was unsure when he will return.
“He hurt it rounding second and going to third,” said the coach, who was concerned about the extent of the injury.
Ford likes his team’s offensive potential. The Chargers do not have a lot of power but can hit the baseball.
“We didn’t have a whole lot of pop offensively,” said Ford, of the Yorktown game. “We have solid hitters.”
Chantilly’s team captains are Lawler, Langford, and Zimmerman.
Ford likes the potential of his team and wants to see the Chargers play fundamentally sound baseball. By doing so, they will be in a lot of games and could be a factor in the tough Concorde.
“I’d like to see us play good baseball,” he said. “I think we have a solid team. If we can get guys to play like they can and stay within themselves, I think we could do very well. I feel good about our seniors and their leadership. Everyone supports each other.”
Chantilly will travel to Orlando April 16-22 for Spring Break week.