Sweep keeps team in hunt for CHASM playoff spot
“Yes sir.” There was no arguing with the umpires on Sunday during Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Baseball League action between St. Mary’s Door and the Cubs, not in the 95-degree weather at Laurel Springs Regional Park in La Plata.
The Cubs, coached by Tony Sweeney, who’s been the team’s head coach since 2001, tried to make the situation light and fun while dealing with the intense heat.
St. Mary’s Door on the other hand were trying to stay above water after losing three straight games recently and the 8-2 loss in game 2 of the doubleheader did not soften the blow.
“We fell in the first game 8-6 due to errors late in the game,” St. Mary’s head coach Drew Willard said.
St. Mary’s (14-8) had already locked in a spot in the playoffs, but with Western Charles defeating Bumpy Oak twice on Sunday, 7-6 and 119, the Charles County team has also locked in a playoff spot and knocked St. Mary’s out of first place with three games left to play in the regular season.
“We’ve been playing as a group for a long time now,” Sweeney said. “We started off slow and there’s no guarantee we’re going to make the playoffs but we played a good team today. I like our chances. We’re still fighting for that last spot right now. Other guys, like the
Bayhawks and Black Sox are right there with us so we’re doing what we can do and take it out of ever ybody else’s hands.”
Sweeney said he was impressed with his team’s pitching and offense.
“The defense is going to make mistakes,” he said. “We’re all humans but the pitching and the hitting really did well today.”
The Cubs shortstop Justin Armiger shut down the final inning, handling all three putouts to end the game.
“I thought we hit the ball well today with timely hitting,” Armiger said. “The pitchers both did well and went the distance for us both games. We played OK defense. I think we played better defense in the second game.
“St. Mary’s has clinched so they can do whatever. I think it shows here though, they moved some guys around that don’t normally play in those positions. Either way they’re a tough team to beat. One through nine they can hit and they have some good pitchers so they’re not an easy team to beat twice.”
Designated hitter Clarke Rollins connected on a two-seam fastball for a two-run homer over the left-field fence for the 6-2 lead over the visitors.
“We should make the playoff game if we win out,” Rollins said. “It’s been a normal season for us. We usually start off slow. We don’t always have everybody here at every game with kids and work and everything, but towards the end we always seem to get everyone here and start playing better. We get a couple good games in a row and we normally start playing pretty well. Once we get there we can play with anybody in the league. A lot of us have been playing together since we were teenagers.”
The Cubs got on the board in the bottom of the first inning on a twoout rally when catcher Danny Lydon smacked a three-run homer over the left-center fence.
Armiger, who was 3 for 4 on the day, hit an RBI double to left-center in the bottom of the second to put the hosts up 4-0, bringing in Anthony Waterloo, who reached on a single.
St. Mary’s scored its first run in the top of the third inning on a two-out rally. Catcher Jared Eaker hit a double to right field to score shortstop Lyle Kralle who reached on a single to center field.
St. Mary’s tacked on its second run in the top of the fifth on an RBI double by first baseman Jay Turen, scoring Eaker.
Rollins connected for his home run in the bottom half to answer back. St. Mary’s made a move in the top of the sixth with runners in scoring position, but a double play took them out of the inning and the Cubs added two more runs on three hits in the bottom of the sixth.
The Cubs host the Bayhawks Sunday at Laurel Springs for t 1 p.m. doubleheader and St. Mary’s will take on Bumpy Oak in a single game at Rainbow Construction Field in La Plata with a start time of 12 p.m.
STAFF PHOTO BY TAMMY SHOWALTER Cubs designated hitter Clarke Rollins connected for a two-run home run over the left-field fence Sunday in Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Baseball League action at Laurel Springs Regional Park in La Plata. The Cubs swept St. Mary’s 8-6 and 8-2.