La Plata leads Calvert in Legion action
Game suspended for lightning with La Plata on top; baseball game to resume July 7
Echoes of thunder made themselves audibly known long before flashes of lightning splattered the cloudy skies behind La Plata High School on Tuesday evening, necessitating the suspension of the American Legion contest in which host La Plata Post 82 led Calvert Council 6-4.
Calvert (5-1 overall) scored three runs in the top of the first inning, but La Plata (0-7) countered with six runs in the bottom of a prolonged inning that eventually prevented the game from getting to official status in the fifth. Players, coaches, umpires and onlookers were weary of the pending storm, but the game proceeded until lightning
strikes were actually visible.
“We finally had a full complement of players today,” said La Plata head coach John Childers, who guided the La Plata High School baseball team to the Class 2A state title. “We’ve had a lot of guys that have been unable to make games, but today I think we had most of the guys here. It was too bad that we could not finish. That first inning lasted 45 minutes.”
La Plata is scheduled to play at Calvert on July 7 when the teams expect to resume Tuesday’s contest and conclude that one before playing the regularly scheduled game. Childers and Calvert head coach Chris Gaines expect to start the doubleheader an hour early, but both are awaiting approval from the league.
In the top of the first inning, Calvert looked poised to bring the game to an early end, but officially. A.J. Demino led off with a single against La Plata starter Nick Bonnacorsy, then Brandyn Vogtsberger and Tyler Livingston walked to load the bases with no outs.
Danny Goucher then hit a deep sacrifice fly to right that scored Demino and advanced Vogtsberger to third. Nick Gardner fanned, but Livingston stole second during the at-bat. Dylon Marshall followed with a double just inside the third-base bag that enabled Vogtsberger and Livingston to score for a quick 3-0 lead.
La Plata immediately answered against Calvert starter Alec Holtkamp, who allowed six runs, three earned, on three hits and four walks, an error and needed 45 pitches to get through his lone inning on the mound. Neither starter lasted long enough to be in line for the win on Tuesday, but Holtkamp is still on the hook for the loss when the game resumes.
Catcher J.T. Bruce led off with an infield single and stole second, then Bonnacorsy reached on an error that allowed Bruce to score. Jake Hanks walked, then Ryan Calvert doubled down the right-field line to score Bonnacorsy and Hanks to tie the game. But La Plata was hardly finished.
After Holtkamp retired Gage Dietrich on a pop-up to shortstop, Joey Binns delivered a ground-rule double that plated Calvert to give the hosts a 4-3 lead. Holtkamp fanned Dean Kirby but issued consecutive walks to Michael Gill, Christian Elder and Bruce and uncorked a wild pitch along the way, enabling two more runs to score.
The next two innings combined took considerably less time to complete than the first, but by the time Calvert reliever Goucher completed his second scoreless inning of work, lightning flashes gave way to sharper, more prominent streaks of lightning. Calvert scored a run in the top of the third when Livingston walked, stole second and scored on a single by Gardner.
“We had a good start in the top of the first inning,” said Chris Gaines, an assistant baseball coach at Huntingtown High School, “but then they came right back in the bottom of the first with those six runs. There’s still four innings of baseball left in this game, so hopefully we’ll be able to come back and win this one and then keep going in the second game.”