By Spencer DuPuis
Viva Loudoun High School Intern
Leesburg (April 8, 2014) – It was a chilly and windy spring evening on Friday, April 4 as Heritage High School senior pitcher Zack Hopeck took the mound to face pitcher Hank Biggs and his undefeated Woodgrove Wolverines in the Pride’s first Dulles District game of the season. In a preview of two teams with Dulles District and Conference 21 title hopes, Biggs struck out 10 in a complete game 6-1 win over the Pride.
Hopeck went through the first inning in a breeze getting Matt Jeffery to fly out to Pride’s centerfielder Austin Wood, Colin Reid popped out to shortstop Nick Fuhrmann and Matt Wright grounded out to Pride’s second baseman Jack Howard to end the inning.
Biggs also blew threw the first getting Pride’s right fielder Ben Taylor on a ground out to short and getting both Hopeck and Fuhrmann out on strikes.
The top of the second was also a breeze for Hopeck getting Hazen Dean to ground out to Howard at second, Will Hoffer to fly out to center and then getting Todd Brooks to ground to Ryan Studebaker at third to end to inning.
Biggs was dominate yet again in the bottom of the second after walking senior first baseman Tyler Richards getting both Howard and DH Brent Smith on strikes, then sophomore catcher Chad Koehler to flyout to left to end the inning.
Pride’s Hopeck left some pitches out over the plate allowing Biggs a double to left, then Brendan Whitfield sacrificed Biggs to third,then DH Dillon Serley blooped a single to center which brought Biggs in to score from third making it Woodgrove 1-0. Then Hopeck got Matt Jeffery to pop out to Howard at 2nd, Colin Reid singled to center which brought Serley in and then Reid moved to 2nd on the throw which made it 2-0.
Matt Wright came up to the plate during the inning and slapped a single into left, Reid scores making it Woodgrove 3-0. Hopeck thenn hit Dean sending him to first and finally Hopeck and the pride get out of the inning by striking out Hoffer.
Biggs has another 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the third with Wood flying out to left and both Studebaker and Taylor grounding out.
In the top of the fourth, Hopeck was trying to settle in and got Brooks to fly out to Howard in shallow center but then walked Biggs, who later steals second after he gets Whitfield to strikeout. But after a catcher’s interference by Koehler sends Serley to first then Hopeck gets Jeffery to pop out to right. Hopeck escaped a potential jam in the top of the fourth with runners on first and second but his ability to overcome the Biggs walk by striking out Whitfield showed his confidence in his pitches.
Biggs kept cruising getting Hopeck and Fuhrmann to fly out and getting Richards to strikeout to end the inning, with the fourth inning in the books Biggs kept his no hit bid alive to the fifth inning.
Hopeck continued to leave the ball out over the plate and it costed him giving up a single to Reid, luckily he got both Wright and dean to fly out to center. But another pitch to hit resulted in a double by Hoffer to left which let Reid and the Wolverines plate another run, making it Woodgrove 4-0. On the throw to home Hoffer went to third giving Woodgrove another chance to add to their lead but Brooks struck out to end the inning.
As Biggs entered the bottom of the fifth with his no hit bid intact the Pride were set out to break it up. Biggs walked Howard on four pitches giving the pride some hope with DH Smith up but he grounded out sending Howard to second and in scoring position for catcher Koehler, looking to prove himself at the plate this season after being a defensive-only catcher last season .. and he did just that sending a Biggs’ pitch to center but not far enough to score Howard, who was forced stop at third with one out.
Wood then chopped the ball to the pitcher sacrificing his at bat to get the Pride on the board as Howard scored to make it 4-1, but Studebaker struck out to end the rally. Thus escaping the skaky inning for Biggs with just one hit and one run allowed at that point.
Hopeck got going as the sixth inning came around. He got Biggs to strikeout on three pitches, Whitfield to fly out to Taylor in right, and got Serley to flyout to Wood in center to end the inning.
Taylor leads off the bottom of the sixth with a single up the middle, Biggs balked which gave Taylor second base, Fuhrmann hit a sharp grounder to Biggs who threw to first to get him out and Taylor advanced to third; Richards then walked. Now the Pride were threatening with runners on the corners and two outs, but Biggs got Howard to hit a dribbler to short for the easy out at second.
In the top of the seventh, Hopeck walked Jeffery on four pitches, reid singled to right; moving Jeffery to second. Hopeck then overpowered Wright to get his fifth K out the game. But more trouble loomed when Dean hit a dribbler to third and Studebaker couldn’t handle the ball giving him first on the error.
The Wolverines, threatening with bases loaded and only one out, but Hopeck got Hoffer to strikeout swinging for the second out. With the bases loaded and two outs Woodgrove coach Brad Bauder opted to pinch hit senior Austin Taylor for Brooks. Taylor delivered with a single to deep right center plating two insurance runs for the Wolverines. That made it Woodgrove 6, Heritage 1.
Runners were in scoring position for Biggs after Taylor took a chance and stole second on Koehler. Hopeck ended the threat, however, with a strikeout.
As the Pride were hoping of coming back from the 5-run deficit they were stalled by Biggs as he struck out the side to end the game giving the Wolverines the 6-1 win and starting 2-0 in the Dulles District. The Pride took their second consecutive loss and starting with an 0-1 record in the district.
Pitching for the Wolverines:
Biggs-W, 7.0 IP, 1R, 1ER, 10K, 3BB
Pitching for the Pride:
Zack Hopeck- L, 7.0 IP, 6R, 3ER, 8H, 7K, 2BB
Offensively for the Wolverines:
Jeffery- 1-3 BBReid- 3-4 RBI 2R
Wright- 1-4 RBI R
Dean- 0-2 HBP E5
Hoffer- 1-4 2B RBI
~ Taylor- 1-1 2 RBI
Biggs- 1-4 2B R
Serley- 1-2 RBI R
Offensively for the Pride:
Richards- 0-1, 2 BB
Howard- 0-2, BB, R
Wood- 0-3, RBI