junior Zach McDonough followed with another single that chased Plagge.
“He was making his first varsity start and he was a little nervous,” said Leonardtown second-year head coach Chris Schoenbauer. “He was having a little trouble with his command and anything he was throwing for strikes they were hitting. I brought in Kenny [Rickett] and he did a great job. He basically saved the game for us.”
Plagge had yielded four runs in only one-third of an inning, but Rickett prevented further damage. He would eventually yield two runs, one earned, in 3 1/3 innings of relief and was never in line for a decision or a save. But while his effort could not be specifically categorized, Rickett’s appearance proved to be the turning point in the contest.
“I just came in [with one out] and tried to get the last two outs,” Rickett said. “I just came in and pounded the strike zone. I just mainly stayed with my fastball.”
Leonardtown scored three unearned runs in the top of the fourth and two more in the fifth to draw even at 6. The Raiders claimed their first lead of the game in the sixth when Nick Burch led off with a triple against Southern Maryland freshman left-handed reliever Andrew Sowinski and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Connor Cox.
The Mustangs immediately answered when Dayton Corrick doubled, took third on a wild pitch and then scored on a groundout
by Rosier against Raiders reliever Dylan Caldwell. But Caldwell immediately atoned in the seventh with a leadoff single, took second on a sacrifice bunt by Spencer Crispell then scored on a two-out single by Anthony Martinez.
Leonardtown added an insurance run on an error by McDonough in left that enabled Martinez to score. Caldwell always seemed to be in the right place at the right time on Saturday. He reached four times — a walk, a hit and two errors — and scored four runs. He also pitched the last two innings to earn the win and he is expected to start today at home against McDonough, a home contest at 4:30 p.m.
“We just kept putting the hits together and we kept scoring,” Caldwell said. “A lot of us hit the ball well today. It was a good way to finish out the week. I think we have some pretty high goals for this team. We want to win our division, win SMAC and win states. That’s a long way away, but that’s what our goals are.”
In the opening game of the tournament on Saturday morning, Leonardtown jumped on St.
Charles by scoring six runs in the bottom of the first en route to the five-inning win.
“I know it was tough for the guys to play a 9 a.m. game on their spring break,” Schoenbauer said. “They came out swinging the bats and we jumped on them right away.”
In the second game, Southern Maryland got four shutout innings from starter Evan Buchanan and three more from Matthew Sowinski as it blanked St. Charles. The Mustangs never scored more than two runs in any one inning, but it maintained the pressure right from the outset.
“It was a good win for us,” Corrick said of the opener. “We’re young, but we have a good team. We’ve only had one [Old Line] league game so far, but there’s some good teams in our league and playing against teams with older players like St. Charles and Leonardtown help us get ready for those games.”
Southern Maryland Christian is scheduled to host Wilde Lake of Howard County, while St. Charles is slated to be at Calvert. Both contests are scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Southern Maryland Christian Academy head baseball coach Greg Corrick huddles with Corey Rosier, left, and Austin Simms, right, in the first inning against Leonardtown on Saturday. The Mustangs gained a 4-0 lead early, but the Raiders rallied for a 9-7 victory.