Yorktown pitcher Graeme Fineman knew it was gone. Washington-Lee designated hitter Teddy Herbert wasn’t so sure.
With Yorktown leading 3-1 in the fifth inning, Herbert drove Fineman’s first pitch of the at-bat to deep right-center.
“That thing was high,” Fineman said after the game. “There was no doubt about that one.”
Herbert’s fly ball cleared the fence in right-center for a three-run homer. It was one of just two hits for W-L Friday night, but it was enough to lift the Generals to a 4-3 victory over Yorktown at Greenbrier Park.
Yorktown led 3-0 with two outs in the fifth inning, when Fineman induced a ground ball off the bat of W-L second baseman Lucas Dolan. Instead of retiring the side, however, a Yorktown error allowed the Generals to score their first run and brought Herbert to the plate. The sophomore slugger delivered a go-ahead three-run homer, though Herbert said he wasn’t sure it was gone off the bat.
“I saw [the pitch], let it rip, see what happens, and it was good,” Herbert said. “… [W]hen I got to first base, I saw the [outfielder] at the fence looking up …”
Washington-Lee, which defeated Yorktown in last season’s National District championship game, improved to 5-1 with Friday’s victory.
“It’s just one of those things. You get a couple guys on against a good pitcher, hope he makes one mistake and we capitalized on it,” W-L head coach Doug Grove said. “We were fortunate to win because that kid definitely pitched well enough to beat us, there’s no doubt about that.”
“It’s just one of those things. You get a couple guys on against a good pitcher, hope he makes one mistake and we capitalized on it. We were fortunate to win because that kid definitely pitched well enough to beat us, there’s no doubt about that.”
--- W-L baseball coach Doug Grove
Fineman tossed a complete game, throwing 114 pitches. He allowed four runs --- none earned --- and just two hits in seven innings. He walked two, hit one batter and struck out two. Fineman took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before surrendering a one-out infield single to W-L third baseman Andy Collins.
Fineman’s lone mistake, Herbert’s home run, came after what should have been an inning-ending ground out.
“It’s my job as a pitcher,” Fineman said, “even if stuff behind me happens; I still have to be able to get that one out.”
W-L starting pitcher Hunter Gray earned the win. He allowed three earned runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked three, hit one batter and struck out one.
James Mellin pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief to earn the save. The senior right-hander got out of a fifth-inning jam by inducing a 1-6-3 ground-ball double play.
Yorktown broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the bottom of the third. Third baseman Parker Denny led off the frame with an opposite-field, solo homer to right, which landed near some fans who were grilling behind the fence. Shortstop Bennett Nagurka and second baseman Aaron Lee followed with back-to-back doubles, giving the Patriots a 2-0 advantage. First baseman Teddy Schroeder then drove a 0-2 pitch back up the middle for an RBI single, extending Yorktown’s lead to 3-0.
Yorktown had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t push across the tying run.
Lee finished 2-for-4 with an RBI. Yorktown right fielder Jeffrey Antetomaso went 2-for-3. The Patriots out-hit the Generals 8-2.
W-L will travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C., during spring break. Yorktown (4-2) will play today and Monday in Williamsburg.