Combined perfect game, 13-run attack lead Hughesville to District 7 crown
Stepping into the batter’s box with a runner on first and no outs in the second inning of the Maryland District 7 11- to 12-yearold baseball championship game at Oak Ridge Park in Hughesville on Thursday night, Hughesville’s Colby Murphy was looking to put a charge into the ball.
He did that and then some, launching a tworun home run over the left-field fence to increase his team’s lead to 4-0. It was but a snapshot in an overall dominant performance as Hughesville pounded out 11 hits and received a combined perfect game from Alex Borges and Chet Bowling in a 13-0, four-inning win over Calvert American.
Hughesville advanced to play in the state tournament, which is scheduled to begin July 23 at Robert D. Stethem Park in Waldorf.
“I thought everybody did really good,” Murphy said. “I’m proud of myself for my first all-star home run with my good friend Dylan Brown on first base. I’m very happy with my performance today and the whole team.”
Hughesville had taken a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Tyler Quade’s triple drove home Cole Harkness and Blake Pesante. Murphy’s round-tripper the following inning doubled the margin, while Hughesville erupted for nine runs in the third to bring the game to its mercy-rule conclusion.
A Bowling fly ball
turned into an inning-opening triple in the fateful third. Bowling scored on Pesante’s ground ball the following at-bat and the floodgates were opened. Murphy and Allen Miller each contributed two-run hits to highlight the inning, while Harkness had a double.
It was all more than enough support for Borges and Bowling on the mound. Borges worked the game’s first three innings, logging three strikeouts in his perfect outing. Bowling followed with a perfect inning of his own, capping the game with his lone strikeout to bring the fourth and final inning to a close.
“I was just trying to throw the ball in there, just throw strikes. I just let it go every time,” Borges said. “We’re pretty good this year. I think we’re going to make it pretty far.”
Bowling’s assessment echoed Borges’.
“I think we’re pretty good,” he said. “We have good pitching. We all throw strikes. As long as we throw strikes and make them hit the ball, we have defense.”
In three games in the tournament, Hughesville surrendered just one run. It was about as complete a performance as could have been expected, according to manager Chester Bowling.
“Great game, it’s a great group of kids,” he said. “We played three games and allowed one run. We had excellent pitching. The whole staff is phenomenal, couldn’t ask for more. Good kids, good hits, we played great baseball.”
Calvert American had opened the tournament with a 14-1 loss to Hughesville, but fought back to defeat Waldorf and St. Mary’s to earn another crack at Hughesville in the championship round.
“They played awesome,” Calvert American coach Jeremy Fowler said. “Coming out and facing a team the caliber of Hughesville the first game of the tournament and taking a loss like we did, it could demoralize a lot of teams. These guys showed a lot of heart and fortitude and came back and won two games in a row and played great. If you’re going to start a tournament, you might as well end it with the best team in the district. You can’t take anything away from Hughesville. They have a great team.”
With the strong district showing in the books, Chester Bowling was optimistic that his squad would produce a similar effort in the upcoming state tournament.
“I think we’ll do well,” he said. “It’s going to be great competition, always is, but I think they’ll do well. We have some kids who have played in state tournaments before and that helps with experience. I think we’ll do well. We have good pitching, the bats have been hot, so hopefully we’ll do well.”
Hughesville starting pitcher Alex Borges delivers a pitch during action in the District 7 11-12 championship game against Calvert American at Oak Ridge Park on Thursday night. Borges and Chet Bowling combined on a perfect game in the team’s 13-0 win.
The Hughesville 11-12 baseball team poses with its District 7 championship banner following a 13-0, four-inning win over Calvert American at Oak Ridge Park on Thursday night.