Vienna The Oakton baseball team started strong on a sunny Saturday afternoon, April 6, scoring three runs in the first inning. But while the Cougars came out with a bang, it was a blast by Madison senior Ben Socher that put the finishing touch on a lopsided Warhawks victory.
Socher launched a two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning, putting an exclamation point on an 11-3 Madison victory during the battle of Vienna at Oakton High School. The Cougars came into the contest undefeated and ranked No. 4 in the Northern Region, but failed to hold a 3-0 lead as the No. 1 Warhawks came storming back.
"We knew Oakton was hot coming into this game being undefeated," Socher said, "but we knew if we just kept at it, kept with our hitting approach at the plate, kept playing defense, we’d be fine."
Madison improved to 9-1, earning its ninth straight win after dropping its season opener to Fairfax on March 20. The Warhawks took the lead for good with four runs in the third inning, including a two-run single by third baseman Dan Powers.
"We know they’re a good team, but this is always a fun game to play," Powers said. "Everyone’s grown up in Vienna and we know all the guys on that team. It’s just a fun game to play."
Madison added three runs in the fourth, including a two-run single by designated hitter Michael Nielsen, who finished with two hits. Socher, Powers, shortstop Andy McGuire and first baseman Patrick Eason also had two hits.
"We know they’re a good team, but this is always a fun game to play. Everyone’s grown up in Vienna and we know all the guys on that team. It’s just a fun game to play."
—Madison senior Dan Powers
Oakton suffered its first loss after a 7-0 start.
"[Madison] answered back, they did what they needed to do and then we just couldn’t get it going again," Oakton head coach Justin Janis said. "… We need to take the right lessons from it. We need to learn how to respond when things aren’t going our way."
Third baseman Dale Good had two hits and an RBI for Oakton. Shortstop Mitchell Carroll had a two-run double.
"We have 10 [Concorde District] games coming up," Good said, "and we have to realize this game doesn’t mean anything for that part of our season."
Sophomore Brian Eckert started on the mound for Madison and pitched three innings, allowing three earned runs. Junior Nick Brady pitched three-and-a-half perfect innings of relief before sophomore John DeFazio got the final two outs.
"This one’s for pride," Madison head coach Mark Gjormand said. "… It’s good for the school, good for the community, good for the region."
Madison remained No. 1 in this week’s edition of the Northern Region coaches poll. The Warhawks host Langley at 6:30 p.m. today. Madison will host McLean at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 12.
Oakton moved up to No. 3 in the poll. The Cougars host Herndon at 6:30 p.m. today. Oakton will host Chantilly at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 12.