POOLESVILLE – Poolesville Falcons junior first baseman Zach Widenhofer stole the show with his three-run sixth inning home run to lead the Falcons varsity baseball team (12-2) to a 4-2 win over the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons (10-7) at Poolesville High School on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
Falcons head coach Steve Orsini explained that hit one could not script, saying, “No … that would be the ‘Casey At Bat’…. I was saying go over, go over. That kid was back there. That was a shot. He got all of it that time.”
Widenhofer believed it might be the biggest hit of his career, saying, “It might be…. That was my first home run.”
Falcons junior pitcher Brady Pearre, who picked up the win with 6.2 gritty innings pitch, described his reaction to the home run, saying, “Crazy. I don’t even have the words to explain it. Insane.”
Orsini said, “Feels great. That’s a big win. Every year that’s a battle playing them end of the year. It means something for both of us. This year we just got a little luckier than they were. That’s how it usually been. It’s usually been a one run game the last three years.”
Widenhofer added, “It feels great. I love winning. It feels amazing right now.”
As for Pearre, not getting the final out in the game, Pearre said, “I let one get away from me…”
Senior Cole Carmack got the save able to record the final out for the Falcons.
However, the final out was of a game-saving variety, a catch by senior centerfielder Cooper Myers. The Barons had runners on first and second with two outs. Senior catcher Spencer Sampson sent a ball to center that Myers made a terrific leaping catch to preserve the Falcons’ win.
“Cal’s was just a tremendous catch. And here’s the funny thing: He’s not even our starting centerfielder. Our starting centerfielder hurt his elbow. So, we kind of have to shuffle some things right before the game started. But he’s an outfielder. Yeah, that’s his favorite love playing centerfield. And that’s icing on the cake. It ended on a great play. Great game. Ended with a great play,” said Orsini.
Barons senior pitcher Spencer Hacker took the loss, pitching a complete game. Hacker had kept the Falcons at bay most of the evening. Yet, to start the sixth, Hacker ran into trouble.
In the sixth, after Hacker led off the inning with back-to-back walks, Hacker was able to get the first out on a fly to left. This brought up to bat Widenhofer, who proceeded to launch a Hacker pitch over the left field fence.
For Widenhofer he felt on the pitch, Hacker came inside, saying, “Well from the previous at bat I had struck out. So, I was anxious because of that and I really wanted to win. So, I was looking for the inside fastball…”
Barons head coach John Schmidt described Widenhofer’s home run. “I can’t really explain it. He got a mistake pitch. We left the ball in over the plate and he hammered it. So, can’t really do much about that. Our pitcher threw his butt off. You know, it shouldn’t come down to one pitch. But it did…”
Schmidt was also displeased with how he and his coaches did not put his team in a position to win. Schmidt said, “We tried to string a few together there. And we had a bad base-running mistake at the end. Didn’t know the situation. You know, that’s on us as a coaching staff. We got to coach our guys better at base running and better situations. We got to do a better job of knowing the situations going into the game.”
Schmidt did compliment the catch to end the game but reiterated that this loss was on the coaches, saying, “The kid made a good catch to end it. So, we got to do a better job of winning close games. And that’s on the coaching staff. We got to do a better job of getting our players ready.”
Orsini could not have been happier with his Falcons knowing the Barons are always a hard-nosed team that can make some noise.
The Barons scored their runs in the second inning off of Pearre. Hacker started the inning with a double and junior Drew Packs RBI single-plated Hacker. The Barons loaded the bases with two outs. Pearre got junior right fielder Jamie Mills to ground out to second to end the Barons rally at 2. This lead held until the sixth-inning homer.
And Orsini said of his starting pitcher Pearre performance, “He’s just phenomenal on the mound…. he’s a player.”
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