James Wood baseball falls to Fauquier in 10th

WINCHESTER — R. Charles Hott Field was appropriately named on Thursday, with temperatures hovering around 85 degrees when James Wood began its Class 4 Northwestern District baseball clash against Fauquier.

The winner wouldn’t be decided until the sun had long been down.

Fauquier rallied from a two-run deficit in the top of the seventh to send the game into extra innings and won thanks to two two-out errors and a passed ball in the 10th to bounce the Colonels 4-2 in a three-hour marathon.

Colby Monroe relieved in the top of the 10th for the Colonels and did not give up a hit. He walked leadoff batter Greyson Kramer, who moved up on a sacrifice. After a strikeout, Clay Goff walked.

Nate Winebarger then hit a grounder that eluded third baseman Jayden Nixon at third. The baserunner from second headed for home and the throw from left beat him, but it was dropped at the plate. Goff moved to third and then scored on a passed ball.

The Colonels were on their way to a shutout, thanks in a big part to five shutout innings from Jacob Bell. But an error in the top of the seventh helped the Falcons get even.

Pinch-hitter Bobby Slater led off the frame by reaching on the error against James Wood reliever Joe Spielman. Clay Goff walked and Nate Winebarger was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Nathan White replaced Spielman and Carson McCusker hit his first pitch for a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1. Harrison Whitt followed with an RBI single to left, but Winebarger was cut down going to third. A strikeout ended the inning.

James Wood had a runner reach second with two outs in the seventh, but could not get him across.

Each team had chances to score in extra innings. The Falcons had the best chance, with runners at second and third with one out in the eighth. White got a big strikeout. After an intentional walk, shortstop Kaden Spaid made a game-saving play. On Winebarger’s hot grounder through the middle, Spaid made a diving stop and flipped to second baseman Luke Gross for the force.

The Colonels (7-9, 3-5 district) had a runner a second with two outs in the eighth and White stranded a runner at second in the ninth.

Whitt, who relieved in the ninth, gave up a single to Monroe, his third hit of the game, and walk in the 10th but got out of the jam to earn the win.

The Falcons (4-9, 3-5 district) threatened in the first but Bell got out of the jam. A pair of walks sandwiched around McCusker’s single up the middle loaded the bases with one out. Bell beared down and got Nate Dulevitz on a tipped third strike that catcher Monroe held onto and fanned Jared Vinluan to end the threat.

The Colonels took the lead in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Monroe lined a single to right. Designated hitter Aden Payne then smoked James Swart’s first pitch into the right-center field gap for a stand-up RBI triple.

Bell, who entered the contest with a 1.98 ERA, faced runners on base in every inning but held Fauquier scoreless on each occasion. Right fielder Jaden Ashby made an excellent diving catch in the second.

James Wood finally added to its lead in the sixth. Hayden Cunningham singled to open the inning. Pinch-runner Daniel Copenhaver swiped second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball.

— Contact Walt Moody at

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