It was an inning not too many onlookers or Lake Braddock Bruins’ baseball fans will soon forget — four home runs in a single inning.
The baseball rarity took place last Friday night, April 29 in the Bruins’ 16-6 Patriot District win at Annandale High against the Atoms. In the top of the fifth inning, trailing 6-4, Lake Braddock launched four home runs to take the lead and go on to the win.
"It’s pretty rare," said Lake Braddock coach Jody Rutherford, who said he has had teams in the past capable of doing the same.
The homers came from senior second baseman Michael Quinteros, who actually had two home runs on the night, sophomore catcher Garrett Driscoll, sophomore outfielder Alex Gransback, and freshmen left fielder/infielder Jack Owens.
Lake Braddock, earlier in the week, had defeated visiting W.T. Woodson, 7-5, on Tuesday, April 26 before losing at home to South County, 5-3, the following day.
In action earlier this week, Lake Braddock defeated district opponent West Potomac, 12-1, in a home game on Tuesday, May 3. The Bruins (14-3) are scheduled to play at Lee this Friday at 6:30 p.m.
"We haven’t played our best ball yet," said Rutherford, whose team will conclude the regular season next week with district games versus host Woodson on Tuesday, May 10, and visiting T.C. Williams on Thursday, May 12. Both games are set for 6:30 p.m. starts. The district tournament is set to get started the following week on Monday, May 16.
"We’re still young and trying to build game by game to where we’re playing our best baseball of the year," said Rutherford.
<b>SOUTH COUNTY</b>, with no district losses, is on track to be the top seed at the upcoming district tournament. Lake Braddock, with two district losses (both against South County) is currently in second place while Woodson (3 district losses) is in third.
Rutherford said his team needs to improve defensively to get to the caliber of play of which he believes the Bruins are capable. He said several of his first-year varsity players have played at different positions in the field than what they were used to playing in the past.
"We’re young in a lot of spots," he said. "We’re just not playing very good defense.
We were moving some guys around. Some guys have been playing out of position [from what they are used to]."
But the Bruins, if they tighten up in the field, will be tough to score against because they have solid pitching with such players as senior Kenny Towns, junior Michael Church, and sophomore Thomas Rogers on the mound.
"I feel our pitching is one of the strengths of our team," said Rutherford.
Towns has helped the Bruins both starting and in late game relief. He earned the win out of the bullpen in Lake Braddock’s homer-fest win over Annandale.
"Kenny’s been dominant at times," said Rutherford. "He’s come in to save us a few times out of the bullpen."
Church, meanwhile, allowed just one earned run, total over three recent outings.
"He has above average high school velocity and mixes his pitches," said the coach, of Church.
Rogers, Rutherford said, pitched a good game in the Bruins’ loss to the first place Stallions last week.