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In 13-error baseball game, King George takes conference lead with win over Fauquier

Friday, May. 2 | By Jeff Malmgren
The Fauquier Falcons lost to King George, 14-6, Friday. --Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
Jordi Estes had one of the best 0-for-4 performances in baseball history Friday, presumably.

His statistically line provided a perfect microcosm of how the King George Foxes beat the Fauquier Falcons, 14-6, on the road in Warrenton.

The Foxes' leadoff hitter, Estes went 0-for-4 at the plate but reached base four times on three errors and a walk. He also scored three runs, twice crossing the plate because of a Fauquier error.

"Errors were 100 percent responsible for us losing that game," Falcons coach Matt O'Saben said. "You can't turn a seven-inning game into a nine-inning game, which is basically what we did. We forced ourselves to have to make … extra outs."

Fauquier finished with eight errors, including four in the sixth inning. King George scored eight runs in that inning to break a 6-6 tie.

"That's a lot" of errors, Fauquier third baseman Ty Pavlock said. "We've had a couple errors that have led to some big innings this year. That's something we really need to work on."

The Falcons have struggled recently after beginning the season on a 5-1 run. The loss to King George was their third consecutive and it knocked Fauquier out of first place in Conference 22.

The Foxes took over the conference lead by improving to 4-2 (8-2 overall). Fauquier's record fell to 3-2 (5-4).

"It's a good win," King George coach Thad Reviello said. "It doesn't mean, by any means, that we're on cruise control, because we've still got four more [conference games]. It doesn't do us any good to win this one and then lose to someone we beat the first time."

The Foxes lost to Fauquier earlier this season, 6-1, April 12. The Falcons haven't won since, though.

Following spring break, they lost to Eastern View, 5-2, and James Wood, 7-4. Then a pair of games postponed by rain kept Fauquier off the field for eight days.

With the combination of that layoff and five conference games remaining on their schedule, the Falcons remain optimistic.

"I wouldn't say we're worried," Pavlock said. "I'm sure we'll get on a roll. … We've got plenty more games left. It'll work itself out."

The Falcons hung with King George through five innings Friday, but all those errors kept them from taking a lead. With the scored tied, 1-1, after one inning, the Foxes scored four runs in the top of the second via three errors and RBI singles by Trevor Lyburn and Jay Buckner.

King George also struggled defensively, though, allowing the Falcons to narrow their deficit to 5-4 in the bottom of the third inning. The Foxes committed two of their five errors in that inning after Sam Batson hit a leadoff double and Travis Croson followed with a single. Both Falcons later scored on errors.

Ryan Simpson tied the score, 6-6, in the bottom of the fifth inning by reaching base on a single, advancing two bases on an error and scoring on a passed ball. That, however, only set up King George's eight-run sixth inning.

The Foxes loaded the bases with one out to begin the sixth and then Fauquier center fielder Jon Harris dropped a fly ball, which turned a potential sacrifice fly into two King George runs and opened the floodgates. The Foxes soon added four consecutive RBI singles by Corey Henderson, Matt Wright, Hunter Toliver and Lyburn.

"Those kind of things are occasionally going to happen. It's high school baseball," O'Saben said of the four-error inning. "The Nationals are averaging an error a game and they're a major league team.

"It's something that's correctable," he said. "It's something that's well within our skill set to do."

King George tested the Falcons' defense by striking out only five times in the game. In fact, they struck out only four times against Fauquier's starting pitcher, Charlie Simmons, who had struck out 16 batters in a game earlier this season.

"You put the ball in play and good things will happen," Reviello said. "We were hitting the ball. The name of the game is … put pressure on the defense, and we did that."

Bucker finished with three RBIs on 2-for-3 hitting while Lyburn went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs, Michael Hundley went 1-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs, Henderson went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run, and Wright went 1-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.

Plus, Cody Bell went 0-for-1 with four walks and a run, illustrating another Fauquier issue Friday. Simmons gave up five walks and five hits over five innings and took the loss after allowing eight runs (one earned). Simpson allowed six unearned runs on two walks and four hits over 1/3 inning before Chandler Kezele pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, allowing one hit and one walk.

Pavlock led the Fauquier offense, going 1-for-1 with two walks. Batson went 1-for-3 while Croson, Gavin Cranford and Simpson each went 1-for-4. They didn't collect nearly enough hits to compensate for eight defensive errors.

"It's just [one] game. It's not the end of the world," O'Saben said. "I'd be concerned if I didn't feel like we had the talent to move forward from this, but we do. We have the pitching depth and offense, and defensive skills and athletes to eliminate those mistakes."

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