A windy start at Eagles’ new home
MANASSAS — Hours before the scheduled start of Osbourn’s home opener, the weather would have befitted the opening of a new field: warm, calm and sunny.
But a cold front that shifted the winds out of the northwest had different ideas. The sunny serenity that was mostly Miami-like turned into a Chicago-like chill, with brisk winds adding to the contrast.
The wind pushed long throws off-target and made high pop-ups adventurous. Even working against the occasional strong gust, Osbourn’s offense hit the ball solidly on the way to a 10-0, five-inning win over non-district foe Brentsville.
Although the wind was strong, it was more of a nuisance than a game-deciding factor. It frequently blew dirt from the softball field into the baseball stands, or picked up dirt from third base and deposited it well past first base.
Despite that, only one of Osbourn’s runs had a clear link to the gusts. With the Eagles (5-0) up 6-0 in the fourth inning, Devan Ewell hit a high pop to second base. But the wind-aided shot pushed closer to the first-base line, and dropped out of the reach of Brentsville second baseman Charlie Kincheloe.
Ewell ended up on third, and the Eagles’ lead increased to seven as Greg Morris, running for pitcher Mike Merryman, scored on the play.
“I thought it would be an out, and I loafed it at first,” Ewell said. “Then I picked it up, and [first-base] coach [Larry Crowder] told me I’d better hustle.”
Osbourn broke open a 1-0 game an inning before, when a two-out rally saw five Eagle batters reach base consecutively. Three of the hits were run-scoring doubles from Ewell, Jess Stewart and Robert Lydick. Kevin Potter singled home the Eagles’ sixth run before Tiger relief pitcher Bobby Collier got the inning’s final out.
The Eagles’ first run also came with two outs, when Brian Dunleavy tripled to score Ewell.
“We have to get better at putting people away,” said Tigers coach Dave Pryzbocki, whose team fell to 0-2 on the season.
Merryman did his part on the mound, limiting Brentsville to three hits over five innings while striking out seven and walking only one.
“He was sharp and consistent, real consistent,” Eagles head coach Keith Howell said of Merryman. “We expect him to get ahead [in the count].”
The Tigers open their Bull Run District schedule today when they entertain George Mason. Osbourn, meanwhile, is back on its new field on Friday when Gar-Field visits.
OSBOURN 10, BRENTSVILLE 0, 5 inn.
Brentsville 000 00 — 0 3 1
Osbourn 105 13 — 10 13 0
Engel, Collier (3) and Mittong; Merryman and Williams. W –Merryman. L — Engel. HR — none.