St. Charles base­ball downs Lackey

Dod­son throws com­plete-game, one­hit gem for Spar­tans

Maryland Independent - - Sports B - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

Prior to the first pitch of his team’s game against Lackey on Mon­day, St. Charles head base­ball coach Zach Bush show­cased his for­tune-telling abil­ity, pre­dict­ing that whichever team scored the first run would win.

That pre­dic­tion turned out to be spot on as the Spar­tans set the tone with the first run of the game in the top of the first in­ning en route to an even­tual 4-2 vic­tory over the Charg­ers in In­dian Head in a South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Po­tomac divi­sion con­test.

Two of the three wins for St. Charles (3-11, 3-4 Po­tomac) this sea­son have come against Charg­ers, the first be­ing a 9-5 win on April 8.

The Spar­tans, who snapped a two-game los­ing skid with the win, are sched­uled to take on McDonough at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium in Wal­dorf at 4:30 p.m. to­day.

“We knew that from the game pre­vi­ously with them that it was go­ing to be very com­pet­i­tive. We were able to beat them last time and there was a lot of scor­ing,” Bush said. “Our phi­los­o­phy is to try to win in­nings and take it one in­ning at a time and we were able to score first.”

While St. Charles was able to score the runs it needed to win, ju­nior starter Elind­sey Dod­son pitched a com­plete game, al­low­ing just one hit, no earned runs and six strike­outs. He walked just two bat­ters and hit another with a pitch.

“The de­fense just made big plays be­hind me and as a pitcher I was able to re­lax and throw strikes,” Dod­son said. “Hav­ing a de­fense just gives me a lot of con­fi­dence and makes me com­fort­able on the mound.”

St. Charles lead­off bat­ter John Bowl­ing opened the game reach­ing first base on a field­ing er­ror and Cody Hill fol­lowed up with a dou­ble to left field, the game’s only ex­tra-base hit. Gage Di­et­rich then then hit a sac­ri­fice fly to deep cen­ter, bring­ing in Hill for the first run of the game.

With two outs and Seth Wine­gar­den on third base, Scotty Pickle hit a grounder to Hill, the Spar­tans’ short­stop, but Hill was un­able to gather the ball and make the clean throw to

first as Pickle came to home plate to tie the game at 1.

In the fourth, St. Charles’ Dy­lan Bell would reach first base on another Lackey field­ing er­ror with one out and Daniel Ven­ne­mann hit a sin­gle to left. Both run­ners would then ad­vance af­ter a balk by Lackey start­ing pitcher Devin Con­ner. Af­ter Tim Sprouse was walked by Con­ner, first base­man Devon Wil­liams hit a two-run sin­gle, bring­ing Bell and Ven­ne­mann home to give St. Charles a 3-1 lead.

“That was pretty big for the team and it felt good to fi­nally make con­tact this sea­son,” Wil­liams said. “This is a huge boost for us. We’ve made a lot of leaps and bounds from last year. We are mak­ing strides right now and we can only keep go­ing up.”

In the bot­tom of the fifth with two outs, Lackey came to within 3-2 as Carl Jones scored on a dropped fly ball in left that was hit by Con­ner.

Lackey’s Kevin Chen came in to re­place Con­ner on the mound to start the top of the sixth and got into trou­ble early.

Ven­ne­mann was hit by a pitch to start the in­ning and Sprouse sin­gled and ad­vanced to sec­ond on a throw­ing er­ror. Mo­ments later with Wil­liams up to bat, Ven­ne­mann scored on a wild pitch to give the Spar­tans their two-run lead back.

Lackey (3-10, 2-6), which left five run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion, got its lone hit on a two-out sin­gle from Jones in the bot­tom of the sixth.

Con­ner threw five in­nings for Lackey and al­lowed three runs on four hits, walked just one bat­ter with two strike­outs. Chen pitched the fi­nal two in­nings and hit two bat­ters, walked two, while al­low­ing just one hit and no earned runs with one strike­out.

The Charg­ers are sched­uled to be at North Point at 4:30 p.m. to­day.

Spar­tans take the field at Re­gency

While hav­ing al­ready played at Re­gency, home of the South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs sev­eral times this sea­son, St. Charles is slated to host McDonough to­day and Thomas Stone on Fri­day.

Ac­cord­ing to the Charles County Public Schools news re­lease, Blue Crabs man­age­ment is look­ing into get­ting more high school base­ball teams play­ing time at the sta­dium. The South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onships will be played at the sta­dium May 11.

Re­la­tion­ships between the Blue Crabs and high school teams in the re­gion haven’t been ex­plored too much in the past, but gen­eral man­ager Court­ney Knichel is aim­ing to change that.

“You guys are our neigh­bors, come over and play ball,” Knichel said in the news re­lease.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity not a lot of kids get,” Bush said in the news re­lease. “It’s an op­por­tu­nity, me as a player, never got — to play in a pro­fes­sional ball­park.”

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

St. Charles ju­nior start­ing pitcher Elind­sey Dod­son threw a com­plete-game, one-hit, six-strike­out per­for­mance in Mon­day’s 4-2 win over the Lackey Charg­ers in a SMAC Po­tomac Divi­sion base­ball con­test.

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

Lackey’s Carl Jones, left gets a fist bump from se­nior Jabrell Bivins af­ter a two-out sin­gle in the sixth, the team’s only hit in Mon­day’s 4-2 loss to St. Charles in a SMAC Po­tomac Divi­sion base­ball con­test.

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