Chris Addams coaches several baseball teams in Fairfax. His Little League Senior All-Stars made it all the way to the state championship game. His older team, Fairfax Post 177 of the American Legion, recently found themselves in the state tournament, losing to a robust Vienna Post 180 team.
Though their season is now over, it’s hard to forget just how far Fairfax Post 177 has come, the amount of talent they had, and the support from the community, Bob Sotille and Dave Jones.
Fairfax got off to a hot start in the district tournament with a 12-9 win over Alexandria on July 16, courtesy of pitcher Ryan Dunetz’s excellent play on the mound.
“The Alexandria game was a lot of scoring, and it was back and forth, going both ways,” Addams said. “A pretty good game, and it was intense as a lot was on the line because we wanted to continue to advance.”
Dunetz, according to Addams, is a player that approaches every pitch with the same intensity, leading to success for the team throughout state and district play.
“Ryan practices to the point of perfection,” Addams said. “The little things are what he tries to clean up to make him stronger, and his work ethic makes him a sharp ballplayer all around.”
Two days later, the team faced Falls Church with David Joslyn stepping up on the mound and ultimately helping the team earn a 12-8 victory with Jason McGee contributing three runs. Though they would lose to Vienna 180 2-0 in the district tournament, all hope was not lost. Fairfax could still find their way to the state tournament. After a 12-0 victory over McLean on July 20, with Dunetz and Logan Darrow leading the way, Fairfax would be heading to the state tournament.
“We made history,” Addams said. “It took a long time to get back here and for us to be able to get to the state tournament was a big deal for the coaches and players.”
Entering the state tournament, however, Fairfax drew a tough stretch. Their first opponent would be Chesapeake, who won the title the previous year. Though they lost 9-4, the tournament was double elimination, meaning they would still be alive and live to play another game.
Fairfax earned a 6-3 win over Arlington on July 27 with Dunetz again leading the way on and off the mound, going six innings while also recording two hits, adding to the strong play by Dillon Brody, who had two hits himself.
Unfortunately, Fairfax again ran into Vienna and lost, ultimately ending their season. Though the loss hurts for the players, Addams says he is proud of what the group accomplished and the talent of each player helping contribute to this incredible run.
“Offense wins games, but defense loses games,” Addams said. “When you have good pitching, it enables the team to ring up outs, and throughout this run, both sides did their job the best they could, and the results speak for themselves, and good things happened.”
Unlike the Little League players, Addams’ group ranges from 17-19, with some players playing college baseball. Also, Addams said he isn’t in it for the victories and adulations for the guys he coaches; he’s there to help them find their purpose. Additionally, it’s hard to disagree with what Addams preaches to his teams every time they step on the field and how they conduct themselves off it.
“I want my players to come out on the field and give maximum effort, and that goes the same off the field,” Addams said. “When we win, we win with class, and when we lose, we lose with pride. It is better to say oh well as opposed to what if. Take all those lessons off the field and become better men because of it.”