Posted May 14, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Offense comes to life for Rams in win

Hott, Tyler.jpg
Tyler Hott

Smoot, Mark.jpg
Mark Smoot

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

STRASBURG -- Strasburg picked the right time to find its offense.

The Rams have been struggling at the plate, but the bats came to life Tuesday night against Central in a 16-1 Bull Run District baseball win over the Falcons. The game was called after 5 innings due to the mercy rule.

"We've been struggling hitting lately, so it was nice for us to hit well tonight and get our confidence back," Strasburg senior Tyler Hott said. "This was a huge win for us to secure [a tie for] second. They just beat William Monroe last night. We knew we were in control of our destiny and came out and got the win."

The Rams pounded out 11 hits, and also drew seven walks and were hit by a pitch three times.

"I thought our hitters had good command of the strike zone,' Strasburg coach Jeff Smoot said. "A lot of times you here people say pitchers do that, but hitters need to be able to that too.

"We were patient when we needed to be, and we were aggressive when we needed to be."

The win avenged a 7-3 loss to Central earlier this season.

Strasburg scored in every inning. An error led to a Rams' run in the first. In the bottom of the second Strasburg loaded the bases on a single and two hit batters off Central starter John Plunkett.

Strasburg's Ryan Smoot hit into a fielder's choice and a throwing error helped score two runs for a 3-0 lead.

The Rams opened things up in the bottom of the third, scoring seven runs before Central recorded an out.

Strasburg's Ian Butler and Ryan Smoot each had two RBIs in the inning, which saw 13 Strasburg batters come to the plate.

"We just got beat," Central coach Donn Foltz said. "They played well and they were the better team tonight."

Strasburg starter Mark Smoot pitched four innings, allowing only three hits and striking out six.

Mark Smoot got into a jam in the top of the third, as the Falcons loaded the bases with two outs, but he struck out Plunkett to end the threat.

"I felt good tonight," Mark Smoot said. "I tried to attack the strike zone and not get behind the hitters. The defense played well behind me."

The Falcons (13-5, 9-4 Bull Run) were coming off a huge win on Monday night, beating district regular season champion and defending Group A state champion William Monroe, 3-2. The win snapped the Green Dragons 42-game winning streak.

Lukas Waldron, Cody Sager, Zach Herbaugh and Jordon Hosaflook each had a single for the Falcons.

Central plays at Manassas Park tonight. If the Falcons win they will be the No. 2 seed in next week's Bull Run District tournament, which starts on Monday.

"We just have to go down there, play our best and take care of business," Foltz said. "Hopefully, this game will be an eye opener for us."

Hott, Todd Dean and Ryan Murphy each had two hits for the Rams. Hott and Ryan Smoot each had four RBIs.

The Rams (15-4, 10-4 Bull Run) have clinched at least a tie for second place. If Central loses to Manassas Park tonight the Rams will finish all alone in second and be the second seed in next week's tournament.

"We know the tournament's going to be tough," Hott said. "We know that anybody can beat anybody in this district on a given night. Hopefully this win will give us some confidence going in, and we can keep it up."

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com

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