La Plata leads Calvert in Le­gion ac­tion

Game sus­pended for light­ning with La Plata on top; base­ball game to re­sume July 7

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­

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.”

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