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Woodbridge Baseball Gearing up for 2013

When baseball season winds down in the parity-laden Cardinal District, the odds are at least one good team will be left sitting at home for the onset of regional play. In 2012, that unlucky group was Woodbridge.

Despite a 14-6 campaign that saw the Vikings compile a nine-game winning streak including a victory over eventual regional champion Hylton, Woodbridge’s postseason run was quashed just one game in with a loss to Osbourn Park in the district semifinals.

Vikings’ head coach Jason Ritenour hopes the memory has inspired the 2013 iteration to push itself just that much harder.

“I’d like to think that [last year] makes them hungry,” said Ritenour. “They’ve been working hard. I know that’s one of their team goals this year to make it out of the district and make the playoffs.”

The Vikings’ returners are highlighted by four-year starter Logan Farrar, a VCU commit. Farrar, who has spent the lion’s share of his career at center field to this point, will be used at shortstop, a position he will also play in college.

With current George Mason starter Brandon Gum entrenched at short the previous four seasons, Farrar excelled in center, but he’s confident in making the transition to middle infield.

“I’m here to just show everybody that hey, even though nobody else has seen it, I can pull it [shortstop] off, and I’ll be pretty good at it this year,” said Farrar.

Along with Farrar, Tyler Deen, Talon Young, Chase Upham, and Spencer Porter will also reprise their starting roles from a season ago.

On the hill, the Vikings will rely upon a four-headed battery. Porter, Young, and T.J. Pietrandrea will all see significant innings, along with newcomer Brandon Baxter, who was a fixture on the JV squad a season ago. Upham will once again be relied upon at catcher.

“We have a lot of guys we’re going to count on,” said Ritenour of his pitching situation. “I would not say that we have a clear-cut number one and number two, but we have some guys who can pitch.”

Pitching depth will prove advantageous for the Vikings this season, in the wake of VHSL rule changes that severely restrict the amount of innings a pitcher can throw within a window of time.

"The teams that have multiple arms that can go for them are the teams that I think will succeed this year,” said Farrar. “For us, having multiple arms that can get the job done is just a bonus.”

Woodbridge will open its season with a non-district tilt at Westfield on Mar. 12. The Vikings will also pick up non-league games with Osbourn, Edison, Mountain View, and Colonial Forge among others.

With Hylton, who Ritenour believes may boast “the most talented team in the entire state,” Osbourn Park, Forest Park, and Potomac all poised to compete for a district title in 2013, matriculating to regionals will once again be a tall order.

“I think it’s going to be a battle, it’s going to be tough in district play,” said the coach.
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