Get­ting out of the big­gest jam

Logue leads La Plata base­ball to first state ti­tle since 2008; Childers wins 100th

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

ABERDEEN — All sea­son long, La Plata head base­ball coach John Childers had trusted his se­nior pitcher Scott Logue to fin­ish games.

So when Logue threw 10 balls in 11 pitches to load the bases with two outs in the bot­tom of the sev­enth in Mon­day’s Class 2A state cham­pi­onship game ver­sus Wil­liamsport, Childers didn’t flinch.

Need­ing just one out and the pres­sure on, Logue turned to his de­fense as Caden Keplinger grounded out to short­stop Tay­lor Cook for the 6-4 force play to end the game, lead­ing La Plata to a 4-1 vic­tory over the Wild­cats of Wash­ing­ton County at Rip­ken Sta­dium en route to the pro­gram’s first state cham­pi­onship since 2008.

When the fi­nal out was recorded, Logue’s team­mates rushed him, mak­ing a pile on the mound in cel­e­bra­tion. With hard-throw­ing, low fast­balls he was able to keep the Wild­cats from ad­vanc­ing run­ners.

“It was a lot of pres­sure with the state ti­tle on the line and I strug­gled to throw strikes, but I have a great de­fense be­hind me,” said Logue, who also got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth. “I just had to stay com­posed and trust my team­mates.”

La Plata (22-2 over­all), the

2A South Re­gion cham­pi­ons, pro­vided early of­fense, scor­ing one run in the first and three in the third as Logue and the de­fense helped se­cure the even­tual vic­tory.

“I can’t re­ally grab my mind around it yet. We were sweat­ing out that last in­ning and I didn’t know what was go­ing to hap­pen for us,” said Childers, who won his 100th game as La Plata head coach. “I’m just ex­cited for the kids and all their hard work. It just feels great to put them in the po­si­tion to be suc­cess­ful.”

“That game was much like the South­ern game when Scott had the ty­ing runs on base,” said Childers, re­fer­ring to the 4-2 vic­tory over the two-time de­fend­ing state cham­pi­ons in the re­gion fi­nal on May 20. “After he walked the first two bat­ters, I told him that he is not com­ing out no mat­ter what and that we are win­ning or los­ing with him on the mound. He’s been our guy all sea­son and came through again.”

Logue, who walked the first two bat­ters that he faced to start the sev­enth, forced the next two bat­ters to fly out to right fielder Nick Steury and cen­ter fielder Pey­tyn Gray, re­spec­tively, for the first two outs.

After walk­ing the next bat­ter load the bases, Logue forced a grounder for the fi­nal out to fi­nally re­lieve the pres­sure. He al­lowed one run on six hits with four walks, three com­ing in the sev­enth, to go along with three strike­outs.

“I was blow­ing it by them the whole game and my catcher [Tyler Stock­well] just told me to keep mix­ing up my pitches,” Logue said. “I just kept fight­ing and my de­fense did the rest.”

La Plata ju­nior left fielder Brett Pilk­er­ton scored the game’s first run in the bot­tom of the first on a Wil­liamsport er­ror at first base. Then in the third, the War­riors scored three more runs on three hits as Stock­well drove in Gray on a one-out RBI sin­gle. Jake Hanks fol­lowed up with a tworun sin­gle that brought home Cook and Ethan Becker to cap off the scor­ing.

“I told Scott that you are the best pitcher in the state,” said Stock­well, who had two hits on the day. “We had a three-run lead and I told him to go out there and win the game and that’s what he did. We all came to­gether as a team like we have all sea­son, and that is what won the ti­tle for us.”

La Plata, which outscored its post­sea­son op­po­nents 41-6, gave up the Wild­cats’ lone run in the top of the fifth as JP Melby scored on a fielder’s choice.

Wil­liamsport ju­nior starter Matt Harsh went five in­nings with six strike­outs, al­low­ing three earned runs on five hits with three walks. Wil­liamsport, the 2A West cham­pion, fin­ished 19-5.

PHOTO BY ROB WOR­MAN

La Plata coaches and play­ers run from the dugout after the fi­nal out of the 4-1 vic­tory over the Wil­liamsport Wild­cats in the Class 2A state base­ball cham­pi­onship game at Rip­ken Sta­dium in Aberdeen on Mon­day. It is the War­riors’ first state ti­tle since 2008.

La Plata pitcher Scott Logue al­lowed one run on six hits with four walks, three com­ing in the sev­enth, to go along with three strike­outs in Mon­day’s Class 2A state cham­pi­onship game at Rip­ken Sta­dium in Aberdeen. Logue got out of a sev­enth-in­ning jam, giv­ing the War­riors their first state ti­tle since 2008 with a 4-1 win.

PHO­TOS BY ROB WOR­MAN

La Plata’s Jake Hanks de­liv­ers the tag at sec­ond on Wil­liamsport’s Caden Keplinger in Mon­day’s 4-1 win in the Class 2A state base­ball cham­pi­onship game at Rip­ken Sta­dium.

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