Mustangs rolling along
SMCA picks up win over NOVA, now 10-3
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.”