The Rappahannock Junior Panther Boys Baseball team took the field for three games this season. Head coach L. B. Settle, an RCHS alumnus, and assistant coach Donald O’Meara led the boys to a 1-2 record.
At home on April 13, Panthers lost to their first opponent, Locust Grove Middle School, 11-0. The team split with their final contender, Fredericksburg Christian School (whose team consisted of sixth- through 10th-grade athletes), beating them at home 17-6 and losing to them 8-7 away.
According to O’Meara, in their winning game, “Rapp had solid pitching from Evan Hitt for five innings and his twin brother Dylan Hitt for two innings. Bradlee Frye was the catcher for the whole game and did a good job keeping the ball in front. The Panthers all came out swinging the bats.”
In the second inning, the Panthers batted the whole lineup to score seven runs. “Our players were all aggressive and running the bases,” O’Meara said. “With Coach L.B. Settle overseeing third and Coach Larry Settle coaching first, many players had stolen bases.” Aaron Dodson, Dylan Midkiff, Gary Jenkins, Damien Smith, John Norris and Keith Walker all had solid base hits. Dylan Hitt, Evan Hitt and Bradlee Frye tallied multiple hits.
Rapp showed solid defensive skills in the infield and outfield. O’Meara noted: “Dylan Midkiff saw a lot of action as shortstop, along with first baseman Gary Jenkins who made some solid scoops, for several outs.” Damien Smith was active in center field, and Aaron Dodson caught a solid hit in right field, for the third out of the fourth inning with two men on base.
Out of the nine players on Rapp’s JP team, only four have ever played on the 60/90 field. And none of the players have ever played consistently on a grass infield. Coach L.B. Settle is proud of his team and looks forward watching them team grow and compete next year!