Loudoun Valley defeats Woodgrove in the battle of the Purcellville rivals
PURCELLVILLE, Va. — On Monday, April 4, 2022, cross-town rivals Loudoun Valley and Woodgrove high schools met on the diamond, not more than 100 yards from the water tower that bears both their names in Purcellville, VA. While both schools are in the Loudoun County Public School system, only 4 miles apart, Woodgrove is Class 5a with 2,700 students and Loudoun Valley High School, with less than 1300 students1 is Class 4a.
Because of the different Virginia state classification, these rivals will only play once this season. Despite the size difference in the schools, the Valley Vikings prevailed with a 5-2 victory.
Viking junior Jake Slade started on the mound and pitched 6 solid innings. With the help of 7 strikeouts and a number of key defensive plays, Woodgrove was held scoreless through 6 innings. The shutout was in doubt a few times as, in the top of the 4th, with 2 outs and Woodgrove runners on 2nd and 3rd, junior catcher Mason Klonicke, hustled down a wild pitch and tossed to Slade who tagged out the Woodgrove runner at home plate. Then in the 5th inning, with bases loaded and no outs, junior Aiden Patterson (2b) caught a pop fly in shallow right field and threw to Klonicke to catch the runner trying to tag up and score. Slade then ended the 5th inning himself by catching a sky-high foul ball just before colliding with the backstop fence. To end the 6th inning, senior Morgan Miller made an impressive diving stop at short stop, spinning to his feet to make the throw to first, getting the batter out at first.
Offensively, Loudoun Valley turned a 1st inning lead-off walk into the first run of the game. Valley added to the lead in the 2nd inning when junior Ryan Sweeney singled to centerfield to drive in senior Ryder Finn, after Finn doubled to right field. The score remained 2-0 until the 6th when once again, Sweeney knocked in Finn (who had walked), this time with a single to right. Freshman Davis Bush followed with a double to rightfield, scoring junior Peter Nace (who had walked) and Sweeney, giving Loudoun Valley a 5-0 lead.
Bush threw the final inning in relief for Loudoun Valley. After surrendering 3 hits and 2 runs, Bush was able to strike out the final batter with bases loaded.
Meanwhile, just 4 miles away, in the junior varsity matchup at Woodgrove High School, Loudoun Valley took the lead into the final inning, but ultimately walked away with a tied ballgame.
While it would be great to have these schools play twice a year, Valley is happy to have bragging rights until 2023.
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