One more game to go
La Plata baseball run-rules Eastern Tech in 2A state semifinal game
SILVER SPRING — From start to finish the La Plata baseball team flexed its muscle in Tuesday evening’s Class 2A state semifinals.
The Warriors unleashed that muscle to the tune of 13 hits, overwhelming the Eastern Technical Mavericks of Baltimore County en route to a 161, five-inning victory at Montgomery Blair High School.
La Plata (21-2 overall), which captured the 2A South Region
crown on Friday with a 4-2 win over two-time defending state champion Southern of Anne Arundel County, now advances to Monday’s 2A state championship game on Monday, where it will take on Washington County’s Williamsport at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen at 3 p.m.
It will be the third state final appearance in six seasons for La Plata, which last won its lone state crown in the 3A classification in 2008. Williamsport (19-4), the 2A West champions, shutout Queen Anne’s 9-0 in Tuesday’s other state semifinal contest.
“We talked about not giving up any at-bats and trying to hit the ball in line and we did that for five innings,” La Plata head coach John Childers said. “When we do that we are a pretty tough team to beat. When I watched Williamsport their pitcher had good command, they play good defense and put the ball in play, so they are going to be a good challenge for us.”
The first four batters of the game all had hits for La Plata, which took an early 1-0 lead on senior Tyler Stockwell’s RBI double. Senior first baseman Scott Logue then sparked the Warriors with a huge threerun home run over the leftfield wall off of Mavericks senior starter Hunter Coppell to give them a 4-0 lead.
“It was a fastball that I was looking for and I took it deep,” said Logue, who went 2 for 3 at the plate. “It felt great off the bat and really got us going.”
Childers added, “That home run took a lot of pressure off of our pitcher and defense, giving us that four-run cushion early and changed the tone of the game.”
Eastern Tech scored its
lone run in the bottom of the second as Ian Tokofsky crossed home plate on an overthrown ball at first base.
La Plata responded with four more runs in the top of the third on an RBI single from Peytyn Gray, a tworun triple by Brett Plikerton and an RBI triple by Taylor Cook to make the game 8-1.
The Warriors scored a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Nick Steury and added seven more runs in the fifth, capped by Pilkerton’s RBI triple. Pilkerton finished 3 for 4 at the plate with five RBIs and two runs scored.
“We know when we play our game that we can beat anybody in the state,” Pilkerton said. “We have to come with that same approach in the championship game that we did today.”
La Plata starter Jake Hanks picked up the win on the mound, pitching all five innings with five strikeouts, surrendering just five hits and no earned runs with three walks.
“We have one more game left and we want to go out with a bang,” Hanks said. “Today we had guys crushing the ball and the guys really backed me up on the field and made things easy. It is a good feeling to be in the state championship. We’ve been working very hard this season.”
Cook went 3 for 3 at the plate, while Stockwell was 2 for 3 on the day.
Coppell pitched just 2 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs on 10 hits with just one strikeout for Eastern Tech (13-9), which advanced to the 2A state final a season ago.
“La Plata hit the ball like I haven’t seen in a while. That is a real good team,” Eastern Tech head coach Spike McElfish said. “I wish them the best of luck on Monday. But we have a young team and this a learning experience for us.”
La Plata senior Scott Logue hits a three-run home run in the top of the first inning of Tuesday’s Class 2A state semifinals versus Baltimore County’s Eastern Technical to give his team the 4-0 lead. Logue finished 2 for 3 at the plate as the Warriors went on to win the game 16-1 in five innings.
La Plata senior shortstop Taylor Cook turns a double play on the throw on first base as freshman teammate Dean Kirby looks on in Tuesday evening’s Class 2A state semifinal contest versus Eastern Tech at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring. The Warriors won the contest in five innings, 16-1, to advance to the state final on Monday.