Black Sox split with St. Mary’s in CHASM
Black Sox gain split with one-run win in Game 2 over league leaders
The parking lot at the Green Door in St. Mary’s City was already filling up and baseball players were envisioning the sound of beer caps flying off before the final out of Sunday’s doubleheader between St. Mary’s Door and the Black Sox in the Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Baseball League, just a few miles away at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
With the grueling temperatures outside and the long third and fourth innings during Game 2 of the doubleheader that consisted of nine walks total by the Black Sox pitching staff, the two teams were ready to converse with a cool drink.
The Black Sox struggled on the mound no doubt, but they strung together 15 hits to come away with the 10-9 victory in Game 2 to gain a split after St. Mary’s captured the opener 8-2.
“Really we just hit and in the first game we didn’t hit too well,” Young said. “The first pitcher [for St. Mary’s] Ryan D’Antuono threw well. The guys saw the ball and hit well. We did struggle to throw strikes. It feels good. It’s a good win for us; we needed it.”
Black Sox right fielder Dustin Nutter, who was 3 for 4 at the plate and scored two runs, said it came down to timely hitting.
“Nobody was forcing it, so just doing everything naturally,” Nutter said. “Clutch hitting is exactly what we didn’t do in the first game, but we turned it around here in the second. They’re always great competition. They’re solid, they’re pitching is great and they always hit the ball, so it’s always tough to beat them. It’s never an easy game.”
The two teams met up on June 18 where St. Mary’s captured a 10-8, nine-inning victor y.
“We’re always in the
playing game to get to the playoffs, so it’s a one and done type deal,” Nutter said. “Our goal is to not do that this year and we’d like to go all the way. We’ve never done that, so that’s the end goal.”
Black Sox left fielder Tyler Simms was also 3 for 4 and he brought in the final run that would prove to be the saving grace for the day as his team vaulted into third place in the league standings at 7-6 against St. Mary’s, the league leader at 11-3 which had just five hits total in Game 2.
Simms said it was important to play as a team and come together. He also shares Nutter’s vision of a strong postseason.
“It’s important to have each other’s backs,” Simms said. “We had to just stay positive [through the pitching struggles] and keep everybody’s confidence up and fight through it. We’d like to get the first seed and eventually carry on and keep playing through the playoffs.”
The Black Sox got on the board early with three runs on three hits in the first inning. St. Mary’s answered back with one in the bottom half.
The Black Sox had a 5-1 lead going into the bottom of the third, but St. Mary’s tied the game at 5 with three runs scoring on walks. Black Sox jumped back into the lead at 8-5, beginning with hits from Simms and Erving Nazario. Nazario was also 3 for 4 on the day and scored two runs.
St. Mary’s tacked on two more unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth, but second baseman Chase Travers started off the Black Sox fifth with a single to left field and quickly stole second base. With one out, Simms hit an RBI triple to right-center and Nazario connected for a single to bring in Simms for the 10-7 lead and St. Mary’s couldn’t answer back in the bottom half but did put up a fight in the bottom of the sixth when head coach Drew Willard went to his bench.
Cortez Bush, catcher Jared Karbowski and Andrew Fenwick made something happen offensively in the inning. Bush reached on a walk. Karbowski connected for a double to center to score Bush. Fenwick walked, bringing up leadoff batter Lyle Kralle with one out.
Kralle beat the throw at first preventing a double play and giving enough time for Karbowski to score to once again bring Door to within one.
Ryan Fenwick took the mound in the top of the seventh and shut down the top of the lineup. League doubleheaders are two seven-inning contests.
St. Mary’s starting catcher Jared Eaker was hit with a pitch to start the bottom half and reached second on a sacrifice bunt by Jason Bean. Ryan D’Antuono hit a hard shot up the middle for a single but couldn’t advance Eaker, the potential tying run.
With one out, Black Sox closer Tyler Croson caught Karbowski looking at a third strike and Andrew Fenwick’s line drive was caught by Travers at second base for the final out.
“They hit the ball and we didn’t and in the first game it was the opposite way around,” Willard said. “It seemed like everybody [on the Black Sox] had multiple hits and we maybe had four or five. You can’t expect to win games that way. We kind of lucked out that they had so much trouble throwing strikes themselves, but it is what it is. Our pitching was just a little too hittable today.”
Black Sox center fielder Tyler Simms crosses the plate in the top of the fifth inning in Game 2 of Sunday’s Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Baseball League doubleheader at St. Mary’s College against St. Mary’s Door. Simms was 3 for 4 as the Black Sox hung on for a 10-9 win to gain a split in the doubleheader.