Tak­ing two

Sweep keeps team in hunt for CHASM play­off spot

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TAMMY SHOWALTER tshowal­ter@somd­news.com

“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.

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