Golden Elks’ sea­son ends in ex­tra in­nings

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS -

— Af­ter a late-game come­back al­lowed Elk­ton to keep its sea­son alive for at least one more in­ning, the Ce­cil County squad sim­ply ran out of magic.

Se­nior Solomon Har­ris de­liv­ered an RBI sin­gle to cen­ter field as the Golden Elks ral­lied from a one-run deficit in the bot­tom of the sev­enth in­ning to force ex­tras in­nings against vis­it­ing Har­ford Tech. How­ever, the Co­bras scored five runs in the fol­low­ing frame to break open the con­test and hand Elk­ton a heart-break­ing 12-7 loss in the 2A East Re­gion Sec­tion I base­ball quar­ter­fi­nals late Fri­day af­ter­noon.

“I knew we could do bet­ter,” Elks se­nior start­ing pitcher Mike Mo­ran said. “It just kind of hurts to end the sea­son at this point in the play­offs. I know we could have gone far.”

Af­ter Har­ford Tech plated a pair of two-out runs in the top of the sev­enth in­ning to move ahead of Elk­ton, 7-6, the Elks bat­tled back in the

ELK­TON

Elk­ton se­nior Solomon Har­ris hangs his head in dis­ap­point­ment af­ter Har­ford Tech scored five runs in the eighth in­ning to de­feat the host Golden Elks in the 2A East Re­gion Sec­tion I base­ball quar­ter­fi­nals on Fri­day.

bot­tom of the frame. Se­nior Nathan Bakeoven and ju­nior Nick Greg­son were both hit by pitches to open the in­ning, be­fore Har­ris fol­lowed with a run-scor­ing base knock to cen­ter. The host squad was then un­able to plate the win­ning run af­ter the next three bat­ters failed to hit the ball out of the in­field.

“We had the meat of our or­der up and we had a good swing that moved the guys over. We just didn’t

have enough to end it there,” Elks coach Josh LeBrun said of the sev­enth in­ning. “Those se­niors showed a lot of heart, got on base, and got the one run we needed to keep it go­ing.”

The Co­bras wasted lit­tle time strik­ing back in the eighth against the re­lief pitcher, Greg­son.

Af­ter a sac­ri­fice bunt moved a pair of run­ners into scor­ing po­si­tion with one out, the next bat­ter re­ceived an in­ten­tional walk to load the bases and keep the dou­ble play in or­der. Jarrett Sch­nei­der then de­liv­ered his team the lead with a two-run dou­ble to deep cen­ter. Af­ter the next bat­ter grounded in an RBI fielder’s choice, Devin Guido fol­lowed with a two-run dou­ble to right field.

“Dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son [when we lost to Elk­ton, 4-3, on April 20], we hit the ball hard but right at them. To­day we were able to find some of those holes and hit some gaps. Late in the game, when we needed it, [our of­fense] stepped up and de­liv­ered,” Co­bras coach Paul Daniele said. “They don’t give up and they be­lieve in each other.”

Josh Hucke picked up the com­plete-game vic­tory for Har­ford Tech, as he set Elk­ton down in or­der in the bot­tom of the eighth in­ning. The se­nior fin­ished hav­ing scat­tered eight hits and three walks with five strike­outs.

“Any loss is tough, es­pe­cially a play­off game, be­cause you can’t come out an­other day,” LeBrun said. “There’s no to­mor­row. That’s the end of it.”

Mo­ran threw the first five in­nings, but de­parted in the top of the sixth in­ning in fa­vor of Greg­son af­ter he al­lowed a sin­gle and a dou­ble with no outs. Af­ter a sac­ri­fice fly and a throw­ing er­ror al­lowed both run­ners to score, Greg­son recorded a pair of strike­outs to es­cape the frame with the Elks lead­ing 6-5.

“The ump was squeez­ing me and that’s why my pitch count was up, but I was just try­ing to throw as many strikes as I could,” said Mo­ran, who al­lowed nine hits and three walks with six strike­outs. “I was try­ing to keep them off-bal­ance the sec­ond time through the or­der.”

Har­ford Tech opened the game’s scor­ing with one run in the first in­ning, but Elk­ton re­sponded by cross­ing the plate three times with two outs in the sec­ond in­ning. Both Mo­ran and Dakota Hodg­son scored on a throw­ing er­ror, be­fore Matthew Coy scored on a sin­gle by Kyle Spencer.

Af­ter the Co­bras re­sponded with a pair of runs in the third in­ning to tie the game, Bakeoven and Greg­son both sin­gled and scored on RBI by Har­ris and Mo­ran in the bot­tom of the frame to re-take the lead.

Elk­ton then ex­tended its ad­van­tage to 6-3 in the bot­tom of the fifth when Har­ris walked, stole sec­ond, reached third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI dou­ble by Mo­ran.

The Co­bras ad­vance to face Fall­ston in the sec­tional semi­fi­nals on Mon­day.

Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JOR­DAN SCHATZ

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