Despite failing to beat South County in three meetings during the regular season and Patriot District Tournament, the Lake Braddock baseball team came out strong against the Stallions in the Northern Region final on June 3.
A two-run opposite-field home run by sophomore Garett Driscoll gave Lake Braddock a 2-0 lead in the second inning and a two-run double by senior Ryan Owens extended the advantage to 4-1 in the third. Lake Braddock, winner of 21 games, showed the ability necessary to knock off undefeated South County. However, a six-run fourth inning for the Stallions eliminated much of the Bruins’ belief they were capable.
Sparked by a Luke Bondurant grand slam, South County turned a 4-2 deficit into an 8-4 lead in the fourth and defeated Lake Braddock 9-5 to capture the region title at Madison High School. Down by five runs in the seventh, the Bruins scored a run and put two more runners on base, but it was too little, too late.
"The most disappointing thing for me tonight is as soon as that [six-run inning] happened, everybody just dropped," Lake Braddock head coach Jody Rutherford said. "The faces of everybody dropped. The way they handled themselves on the field dropped and that’s unacceptable. … The guys compete. The game wasn’t too big for them. South County is a good team. We have to be able to keep our heads up. We talked about it a little bit in practice that they’re a good team. They’re going to get their swings in and hopefully that we react a little bit differently, with a little bit more mental toughness, but it just didn’t happen."
Thomas Rogers had three hits and an RBI for Lake Braddock. Kenny Towns, Nathan Parker and Alex Gransback each had one hit for the Bruins.
"Definitely, everyone got down on themselves," Towns said. "No one had the confidence after that [six-run inning]. I’ve seen plenty of times where we scored more than four runs in three innings. We’ve done it tons of times and no one had confidence in doing that. They almost forgot how good we were right when that happened."
Lake Braddock’s season ended on June 7 with a 5-4 loss to Great Bridge in the state quarterfinals.
— Jon Roetman