St. Charles baseball downs Lackey
Dodson throws complete-game, onehit gem for Spartans
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.”
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.
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.