Glen Allen rallies to win 2017 Rookie State Championship


Rappahannock’s Colt Barron attempts to throw out a baserunner during the 2017 8-year Old Rookie Baseball State Tournament.
Photo by Leonard Banks

Glen Allen did the unthinkable.

Out of field of eight teams, the Richmond-based team defeated its area neighbor Rockville, to win the 2017 8-year Old Rookie Baseball State Tournament. After a dogfight during the first four and a half innings, where it appeared Rockville held a slight edge leading by a margin of one run, Glen Allen struck back by taking the lead on a Connor Slaski RBI single that scored Garrett Crabbe that eventually gave them a 4-3 win to force a second game.

From the first day of the tournament, adversity and the unmistakable ability to remain poised proved to be no strangers Glen Allen.

After narrowly losing to Summit Point (7-6), Glen Allen bravely fought back to escape the fate of double elimination.

“I thought it was fabulous for eight-year old boys to lose and come back the we did,” Glen Allen Manager Sean Connor said. “We came back to win three games in one day and return to win two more – it was spectacular.”

With one run separating the two teams, Glen Allen narrowly out-hit Rockville.. However, although game two was not a blowout, the Glen Allen dominated Rockville with a 5-0 shutout to win the coveted title.

Defense and timely Glen Allen hitting forced Rockville to a hole, trailing 2-0 after two innings. In the bottom of the third inning, Glen Allen extended their lead to 4-0 courtesy of RBIs from Steele Smith (triple) and Chase Hannett (single).

Glen Allen completed the shutout in the bottom of the 5th inning, after another Smith RBI (single) that scored Connor Slaski.

“The heart, the way they kept their heads up, everybody contributed, and it wasn’t one kid to do a lot of things,” Connor added. “Everybody stepped up and they all played well today.”

Glen Allen’s path to the state championship included victories over Arlington (District 3), New Kent (District 1), Summit Point (District 9), and Rockville (District 5).

The next step in Glen Allen’s championship season will be the Southeast Regional Tournament, in Palm Beach, Fla., on July 18.

“It will be an opportunity for the boys to see what that level looks like,” Connor said. “We will find out what we need to do differently, what we need to grow, and how we need to build. We can play small ball, big ball, and score a lot of runs, if we need too.”

As for the host Rappahannock team, they lost 23-1 during opening day against Rockville. Rappahannock’s lone run took place in the bottom of third inning after Leeland Pentecost’s single scored Jason Streagle from third base. Rockville scored in every inning, including a grand slam home-run from Collin Felts in the top of the 4th inning.

Rappahannock was eliminated from the tournament after losing to Stafford, 15-4.

The experience of playing against talent from across the state will forever be embedded in minds of Rappahannock. Rappahannock head coach, Michael Wharton believes the experience will make his players stronger. “Overall I think they are handling it pretty well – they just enjoy playing the game of baseball,” he said.

The historic doubleheader win at Stuart Field, took place on the final day of the four day tournament (July 6-9).  The championship is sanctioned by Babe Ruth Baseball, and Cal Ripken Baseball. The Rookie Tournament is the first time that the Rappahannock Athletic Association / Rappahannock Culpeper Baseball has ever hosted the event.

Participating All Star teams included:

Rappahannock: Brooklyn Smith, Wyatt Allen, Lee Pentecost, Colt Barron, Aden Mifsud, Aidan Robinson, Drew Robinson, Michael Orahood, Elias Croushorn, Jason Streagle, Silas Wharton, Xavier Todd, Hayden Waddell, Manager Michael Wharton, Coach Chris Orahood, Coach Eddie Barron.

Glen Allen: Chase Hannet, Dylan Sampson, Steele Smith, Garrett Crabbe, Dylan Taylor, Connor Slaski, Tucker Von Herbulls, Keshav Surresh, Collin Bashin, Caleb Connor, Luke Perini, Jaxon Perrialliat, DJ Heny, Manager Sean Connor, Coach Chris Crabbe, Coach Surresh Soundararajan.

Rockville: Carter Richardson, Connor Papas, Ethan McKenna, John Fournier, Jacob Rao, Logan Smith, Luke Frei, Brooks Johnson, Christian Patton, Hudson Toone, Collin Felts, Savannah Martin, Head Coach Dave Frei, Assistant Coach Will Patton, Scorekeeper Afton Johnson, Assistant Coach Roy Toone.

Summit Point: Johnny McCarthy, Kheelan Curry, Tio Garza, Chaz Milburn, James Moore, Tommy Evans, Marshall Derrick, Chase Jones, Landon Brady, Gabe Showen, Tanner Sharp, Braylon Holmes, Manager Adam Brady, Coach Tom Moore, Coach Barrett Evans, Coach Donnie Showen, Coach Jason Jones.

Stafford: Luke Raniella, Jeremy Laidley, Bryce Thompson, Will Proffitt, Joseph Brooks, Jacoby Jackson, Hunter Haught, Jude Hardy, Brodie Fletcher, Zach Carter, Luke Flynn, Sean Raniella, Rick Proffitt, Mike Flynn.

New Kent: Josiah Pulling, Trevor Spence, Ethan Johnson, Lucas Figuly, Caleb Marable, Keegan Branch, Bryce Hochman, Damian Barnes, Jonah Sorrell, Alex Daniel, William AJ Wilson, Grayson Strickler, Tony Wilson, Manager Greg Pulling, Coach Jonathan Hochman, Coach Kevin Johnson.

West Augusta: Brandon Argenbright, Zach Armstrong, Aiden Astarb, Ty Averill, Jacob Bartley, Cade Bradley, Kaleb Cook, Shane Huffer, Peyton Loan, Brian Mayberry, Jr., Cooper Reed, Cooper Simmons, Carson Townsend, Coach Cole Armstrong, Manage Chad Townsend, Coach Craig Williams.

Arlington: Aidan AJ McCracken, Jones Tallent, Ryan Di Vincenzo, Jasper Dennis, Charlie Winburn, Ryan Cooney, Nicholas Socknat, Aiden Kaminski, Matthew Langley, Shane Campbell, R. Brady Oliver, Booker Lawson, Liam Finkel, Assistant Coach Neal Lawson, Assistant Coach Albert Jones Tallent, Head Coach Joseph JP Cooney.

Sponsors: Griffin and Errera, James Welch with Country Chevrolet, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sperryville Trading Inc., John Goetz Law, PLC, A to Z Pawn, Rocky’s Party Rentals, Shawn’s BBQ, Rankin’s Furniture.