Though Coniglio notched just one strikeout, he also allowed only three hits, with two of them coming from Panther sophomore Justin Robles.
“I’m a contact pitcher,” Coniglio said. “My team did a heckuva job. They made plays left and right. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
The Spartans (4-2, 10-6) wasted no time in the contest, launching four hits and plating two runners in the first inning. Coniglio started the rally, smacking a single over second before being replaced by pinch runner Danny Sullivan. Then, with a 1-2 count, Evan Davis hit a line drive single to shallow center field, advancing Sullivan. Andres Ravelo then scored Sullivan with a double to left field. Zach Buck scored Davis with a single to right before a double play on the next batter ended the inning.
After quickly concluding the bottom half of the first, the Spartans got themselves on the board once again. Lance Goodwin began the second inning reaching by first on a hit pitch, but a fielder’s choice bunt from Nick Lindenfelder saw Goodwin thrown out at second. Lindenfelder then stole second during Matthew Ritchie’s at-bat before Ritchie brought him home with double to left field.
“I think with [Coniglio], if you can get a few hits early, it puts all the pressure on the other team, because he’s going to pound the strike zone,” Broad Run coach Pat Cassidy said.
Both sides were kept quiet in the third and fourth innings, with Potomac Falls (1-5, 5-6) pitcher Drew Daczkowski finding his stride and striking out three of the six batters he faced in the two innings.
But the fifth inning proved to be problematic for the Panthers once again. Ritchie, opening up the inning for the Spartans, hit a line drive to right field before stealing second on the subsequent at-bat. While the Panthers were able to field out the next two batters, an error to first on a Ryan Hale bouncer enabled Ritchie to reach home and increase the Spartan lead 4-0. Hale, after stealing second, would reach home on a double from Buck before the Panthers were able to close out the inning.
Panther reliever Spencer Buehler kept the Spartans hitless in innings six and seven, but the Spartan defense stayed equally taut to maintain the shutout.
The Spartans now prepare for their May 5 contest against Stone Bridge, currently leading Conference 14 at 5-1 in conference play. Stone Bridge’s only loss in the conference came earlier this week, a 2-1 extra innings loss at home to Potomac Falls.
“I think with Potomac Falls beating Stone Bridge, it gives everyone a little bit of a chance [to win the conference],” Cassidy said. “I still think they’re the team to beat, but with Joe [Terrango] hitting them the other night, gives everyone hope.”
Viva Loudoun’s Nick Lutkins captured the great work in the game and posted this photo gallery of 174 images.
Viva Loudoun: We Live For Loudoun™
By Alanna Dvorak
Special to Viva Loudoun