By Dan Sousa
Viva Loudoun Editor
Purcellville (Aug. 25, 2013) – No matter what you did this summer vacation it will be hard to top the history-making memories forged by 15 local baseball players as they banded together to become the first ever host team to capture the Babe Ruth 13-15 World Series championship. Greater Loudoun’s near-perfect 8-day run in the tournament ended with a 8-3 win over Westchester, Calif., Saturday in the title game on a sun-drenched Saturday afternoon at bucolic Fireman’s Field.
Loudoun also becomes the first Virginia team to win the Babe Run 13-15 World Series title in its 61-year history.
“It’s pretty crazy knowing no host team has ever won the championship,” said Loudoun closer Kaleb Bowman after recording the final out of the World Series and becoming the focal point of a pile of celebrating Loudoun players in front of the mound.
Fittingly Bowman ended the World Series with a strikeout as the theme all week was a Loudoun staff stock-piled with arms. Six Loudoun pitchers in the tournament combined for a whopping 59 strikeouts in just 42 innings of work and posted a staff earned run average of 1.50. Bowman didn’t allow a run in 6.2 innings of work in his closer role and was named to the tournament’s All World Series team.
“I’ve always loved closing, coming into tight situations,” said Bowman.
Austin Rader, who pitched two complete game victories in the tournament including the win in Friday’s semifinals, was named the tournaments MVP after posting 22 strikeouts with two walks in 14 innings while giving up only two earned runs.
Christians McDowell, who got the win Saturday after 5.1 innings of work, finished with a 0.75 ERA and showed great poise Saturday as he worked out of jams in the first three innings, giving up just one unearned run as he stranded six runners.
“I didn’t really sleep last night,” said McDowell. “I just wanted to come out throwing strikes and keep focus today.”
Another of Loudoun’s talented pitchers, Hank Biggs, had to watch the last two games from the sidelines after being sent to the hospital after a scary collision Tuesday.
“All I remember is running down the baseline and then waking up in the ambulance,” said Biggs, who was airlifted to Fairfax Hospital.
Biggs finished with a 1.24 ERA and struck out 14 in 5.1 innings of work. Not allowed to be in the dugout after his severe concussion, his teammates dedicated the remainder of the World Series to him and his blue No. 44 jersey hung in the Loudoun dugout.
“It’s kind of a miracle to be able to come out two days later and watch them win, and knowing that they did it for me puts a smile on my face,” said Biggs.
Opposing hitters spent most of the tournament trying to solve the Loudoun staff as their batting average was .241 vs. Rader and just .184 vs. McDowell, .143 vs. Biggs and .136 vs. Bowman.
“It all fell together,” said Loudoun manager Tim Owen.
Kyle Bowles led Loudoun in hitting during the tournament and was named to the All World Series team after hiting .409 with a team-high six runs scored.
The story of Loudoun at the plate in the tournament was much like Saturday as it was a balanced attack — eight different players scored runs Saturday and six different players drove in runs. For the tournament, Loudoun had 10 different players collect two or more hits and 10 different players drove in runs.
Zack Costello finished with a .385 average whiole Ryan Hanvey hit .357 and Daniel McDyre III was .333 for the week. Hunter Gore and Clayton Baine each drove in four runs during the tournament.
On McDowell used strikeouts to end the first and second inning with two Westchester players on base.
Loudoun went up after Adam Lockhart led off the bottom of the second with a rip to center for a single. Two outs later, McDowell blooped a single down the right field line and advanced to second on the throw in.
Howard then roped an RBI single to right, just over the out-stretched glove of the leaping second baseman for the Loudoun lead.
Westchester tied it in the top of the third inning after back-to-back errors including a sacrifice bunt that wound up down the right field line on a wild throw, scoring the runner from first base. With a runner at third and no outs yet, McDowell was able to keep Westchester from scoring the go-ahead run as he recorded three strikeouts.
Energized by McDowell’s clutch pitching, Loudoun jumped back ahead in the bottom of the third as Costello stroked a lead-off double deep into the left field alley in the cavernous outfield. After a sacrifice bunt by Baine — Owen was more than content to have his team play “small ball” all week — Lockhart hit a ball on the button to second base that scored Costello.
McDowell set down the California team in order in the top of the fourth and then the host team broke the game wide open by sending 11 men to the plate in the bottom of the fourth, scoring six times.
Bowman started the big rally with a lead off single up the middle. Hanvey laid down a sacrifice bunt and after a wild throw, Loudoun had Bowman at third and Hanvey at second. Howard walked to load the bases.
McDyre followed with a ground ball that was booted by the shortstop, scoring Bowman to make it 3-1 Loudoun. Westchester brought in a new pitcher and Bowles greeted him with a line drive single to left, making it 4-1.
Costello hit what might have been a grand slam in smaller ballpark but settled for a sacrifice to deep left to make it 5-1. Baine was hit by a pitch to once again load the bases.
Lockhart, who put the ball into play in Friday’s walk off win in the bottom of the seventh inning, smashed a single to left and it was 6-1.
Loudoun continued to pound the ball with McDowell hitting a sacrifice fly to deep center and Bowman collected his single hit of the inning, driving in Loudoun’s sixth run of the outburst with a another hit back through the middle.
Owen said the goal Saturday was for McDowell to give Loudoun four strong innings and with the 8-1 lead he pitched into the fifth but exited after giving up a two-run double with no outs.
Bowman gave up a hit to put runners at the corner and then Westchester’s comeback hopes took a u-turn when an attempted steal of second base, looked to score a run as Costello’s throw skipped into center field but the batter had interfered with Costello as he tried to throw down to second and he was then ruled out with the runners returning to their bases.
Still with runners at the corner and just one out, Westchester tried a safety squeeze bunt but Bowman, a University of South Carolina commit who helped Woodgrove High School to the AA state semifinals in the spring as a sophomore, pounced on the bunt and threw to Costello who made a nice tag at the plate for the second out. Bowman then got the next hitter to fly out to center.
Westchester put two runners on with two outs in the sixth inning on a walk and error but Bowman got a ground out to Howard at second and he then worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning to put Loudoun in the record books.
World Series MVP: Austin Rader, Loudoun VA
World Series Batting Champ: Matthew Lonardo, Cranston RI .500
All World Series Team
OF – Matthew Kanfer, Westchester CA
OF – Layne Heble, Brazoswood, TX
OF – Kyle Bowles, LoudounVA
IF – Stephen Myers, Atlantic Shore NJ
IF – Travis Collins, Cranston RI
IF – Ulyesses Perez, Westchester CA
IF – Matthew Lonardo, Cranston RI
C – Anthony Chavez, Westchester CA
P – Austin Rader, Loudoun VA
P – Kaleb Bowan, Loudoun VA
U – Nate Grisius, Vienna VA
All Defensive Team
OF – Seton Bentz, Tallahassee, FL
OF – Carlos Jacobo, Westchester CA
OF – AJ Inatsugu, Westchester CA
1B – Anthony Milton, Tallahassee, FL
2b – Tyler Snover, Saginaw Valley, MI
3b – Brady Wood, Saginaw Valley, MI
SS – Elijah Simon, Brazoswood, TX
C – Brady Lantis, Saginaw Valley, MI
P – John Beneduce, Cranston, RI
U – Jack Howard, Loudoun, VA
World Series States
Austin Rader (2-0) 14 ip 13 h 4 r 2 er 2 bb 22 k 1.00 ERA
Christian McDowell (1-0) 9.1 ip 4 r 1 er 2 bb 12 k 0.75 ERA
Kaleb Bowman (1-0, 1 save) 6.2 ip 0 r 0 er 2 bb 8 k 0.00 ERA
Hank Biggs (1-0) 5.2 ip 2 r 1 er 4 bb 14 k 1.24 ERA
Griffin Buscavage 3.1 ip 2 r 2 er 2 bb 3 k 4.20 ERA
Ryan Hanvey (0-1) 3.0 ip 4 r 3 er 0 bb 0 k 7.00 ERA
Team Total (5-1, 1 save) 42 ip 16 r 9 er 12 bb 59 k 1.50 ERA
Kyle Bowles 22 ab 9 h 6 r 3 rbi .409 avg
Daniel McDyre II 18 ab 6 h 5 r 2 rbi .333 avg
Ryan Hanvey 14 ab 5 h 2 r 3 rbi .357 avg
Zackary Costello 13 ab 5 h 2 r 2 rbi .385 avg
Adam Lockhart 17 ab 3 h 3 r 3 rbi .176 avg
Jack Howard 14 ab 3 h 2 r 2 rbi .214 avg
Kaleb Bowman 14 ab 3 h 2 r 2 rbi .214 avg
Hunter Gore 8 ab 2h 0 r 4 rbi .250 avg
Hank Biggs 2 ab 2h 0 r o rbi 1.000 avg
Clayton Baine 11 ab 2 h 2 r 4 rbi .182 avg
Christian McDowell 7 ab 1 h 2 r 2 rbi .143 avg
Austin Rader 7 ab 1 h 3 r 0 rbi .143 avg
Nick Lemasnki 2 ab 0 h 0 r o rbi .000 avg
Griffin Buscavage 0 ab 0h 1 r 0 rbi — avg
Sam White 5 ab 0 h 1 r 0 rbi .000
Team Total 154 ab 42 h 30 r 27 rbi .273 avg
Previous Babe Ruth 13-15 World Series Champions
2013 – Loudoun, VA
2012 – Southeastern Lexington, KY
2011 – Tri-Valley, CA
2010 – North Syracuse, NY
2009 – Tallahassee, FL
2008 – Torrance, CA
2007 – Bellmore, NY
2006 – Torrance, CA
2005 – Jefferson Parish, LA
2004 – Jefferson Parish, LA
2003 – Taylorsville, UT
2002 – El Segundo, CA
2001 – Honolulu, HI
2000 – JPRD-East, LA
1999 – Sarasota, FL
1998 – Oakland, CA
1997 – Bakersfield, CA
1996 – Vancouver, WA
1995 – Glendale, AZ
1994 – Vancouver, WA
1993 – Carolina, PR
1992 – Scottsdale, AZ
1991 – Marietta, GA
1990 – Youngstown, OH
1989 – Cherry Hill, NJ
1988 – Honolulu, HI
1987 – Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks CA
1986 – Marietta, GAA
1985 – Alameda, CA
1984 – Tallahasses, FL
1983 – Culver City, CA
1982 – Elgin, IL
1981 – New Orleans, LAA
1980 – Rotterdam, NY
1979 – Detroit, MI
1978 – Nashville, TN
1977 – Gil Hodges of Brooklyn, NY
1976 – Manchester, NH
1975 – JPRD-East, LA
1974 – El Segundo, CA
1973 – Prince Georges, MD
1972 – Honolulu, HI
1971 – Puerto Nuevo, PR
1970 – Ewing Township, NJ
1969 – El Segundo, CA
1968 – New Orleans, LA
1967 – New Orleans, LA
1966 – New Orleans, LA
1965 – New Orleans, LA
1964 – El Segundo, CA
1963 – Tulsa, OK
1962 – Trenton, NJ
1961 – San Carlos, CA
1960 – Huntington, WV
1959 – Tulsa, OK
1958 – Charlotte, NC
1957 – Pensacola, FL
1956 – Trenton, NJ
1955 – Terre Haute, IN
1954 – Stamford, CT
1953 – Stamford, CT
1952 – Stamford, CT