Mus­tangs rolling along

SMCA picks up win over NOVA, now 10-3

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By PRINCE J. GRIMES pgrimes@somd­

Through two in­nings of a home Old Line Base­ball Con­fer­ence game against North­ern Vir­ginia Homeschool on Tues­day, the South­ern Mary­land Chris­tian Academy base­ball team went through nine bat­ters, nor­mally a good sign of of­fen­sive pro­duc­tion.

The good part about the hot of­fen­sive start was that six of the nine bat­ters reached base, in­clud­ing three on hits and another on a walk. The bad part about it was the Mus­tangs failed to take ad­van­tage, scor­ing zero runs, in large part due to baserun­ning er­rors.

The bats con­tin­ued to click in the third in­ning, how­ever, and once South­ern Mary­land Chris­tian cut down on its own mis­takes, the re­sult was an eight-run frame to carry the Mus­tangs to an 8-3 win over the Lions on an un­usu­ally chilly April day.

“We’re miss­ing a cou­ple of

guys out of our lineup, but the guys I have still can hit,” South­ern Mary­land head coach Greg Cor­rick said. “I knew we were go­ing to put it to­gether even­tu­ally. We just hung some guys up on base. We made some baserun­ning mis­takes, but we had that one big in­ning. Once we had that, I knew we were off to the races.”

Start­ing pitcher Evan Buchanan earned the win

for South­ern Mary­land. In four in­nings of work, he al­lowed two hits, two walks, no earned runs and had two strike­outs. Caleb Maige was the los­ing pitcher, giv­ing up 10 hits, two walks and six earned runs be­fore be­ing pulled af­ter the third in­ning.

Maige’s third-in­ning trou­bles be­gan when South­ern Mary­land lead­off hit­ter Corey Rosier reached base on an er­ror. The Mus­tangs con­nected on four straight hits af­ter that, in­clud­ing dou­bles by fresh­men Austin Simms and Day­ton

Cor­rick. Rosier and Simms would each reach base once more, on sin­gles, be­fore the in­ning fi­nally ended with the Mus­tangs ahead 8-0. Rosier went 3 for 4 hit­ting in the game with two runs scored and two runs bat­ted in. Simms went 3 for 4 with one run scored and one RBI.

“Our con­fi­dence,” Simms said of what drives this team. “And just work­ing to­gether, not get­ting down.”

With a large lead, South­ern Mary­land got sloppy de­fen­sively in the fourth, com­mit­ting three er­rors

that led to a Lions run. Maige reached base on a sin­gle and later scored on a failed dou­ble play. The in­ning would end with­out more dam­age. Maige was the only North­ern Vir­ginia bat­ter with mul­ti­ple hits, go­ing 2 for 4 with two runs scored.

“I had a cou­ple of good pitches,” Buchanan said. “My fast­ball did pretty good. That was good. My curve­ball was sus­pect at some points in the game, but my change-up was pretty good. I guess ev­ery­thing just worked out.”

In the fifth in­ning, Day­ton Cor­rick re­placed Buchanan on the mound to pitch the fi­nal three in­nings. Cor­rick al­lowed four hits, three walks and two earned runs, both com­ing in the fi­nal in­ning. In all, the Lions had six hits and com­mit­ted five er­rors. The Mus­tangs had 12 hits and four er­rors.

With the win, SMCA im­proved to 10-3 this sea­son, 3-0 in the Old Line Base­ball Con­fer­ence, a su­perb start for a team of al­most all fresh­man and sopho­mores, and in its first year in a tough- er con­fer­ence af­ter leav­ing the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent Schools Ath­letic League as its reign­ing back-to-back cham­pion.

“We just got great team chem­istry,” Greg Cor­rick said. His team nearly de­feated Leonard­town on the road, fall­ing 9-7 to the Raiders on March 26. “They’re all close. We’re su­per young. I got mostly fresh­men and sopho­mores, play­ing at a var­sity level.

“All my guys are young, so the pro­gram is grow­ing and fu­ture is re­ally bright.”

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