Moving on up
Doubleheader sweep moves Western Charles to top of standings
Entering Sunday, Western Charles had already clinched a playoff spot and was just one game behind St. Mary’s Door in the Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Baseball League standings.
Western Charles concluded the day with a doubleheader sweep of the Bumpy Oak Bombers with a 7-6 win in the opener followed by an eight-inning, 11-9 triumph at Rainbow Construction Field in La Plata.
League doubleheaders are two seven-inning contests.
With three more regular season games remaining, Western Charles now is one game ahead of St. Mary’s for the top spot in the league standings. St. Mary’s, the 2015 regular season champions, was swept on Sunday by the Cubs in a doubleheader.
“Every win is big and both wins took a complete-team effort. If we didn’t have the depth and the players that we had today, the sweep wouldn’t have happened,” said Western Charles manager Tony Stefko. “We stayed with it and [Bill] DeAtley finished strong with us in the last inning.”
Under grueling hot temperatures, Western Charles (15-7 overall), which won its seventh straight game after Sunday’s sweep, trailed the Bombers 9-4 after three innings in the second game of the twinbill, but in the final five innings the team responded with seven unanswered runs that were capped by a two-run home run by Johnny Klopfer in the top of the eighth to help secure the comeback victory. Between the two teams there 31 hits combined in the game.
A Ricky Brady single set up the two-run shot by Klopfer.
Bill DeAtley picked up the win in relief, going 5 2/3 innings with one strikeout, no walks and no runs given up. Jim Rice started the first two innings on the hill for Western Charles, allowed six runs,
five earned in a no decision. Pat Mahoney came in and threw for one-third of an inning, giving up three runs.
Leading the offense for Western Charles was Jason Murray, who finished 4 for 4 with a double and three RBIs.
“It was a hot day, but the team cam together and scored 11 runs in game two,” said Murray. “We’ve been getting a lot of hits toward the end of the season. We were down in both games and didn’t give up. We always think we can win.”
Tyler Summers was 3 for 6 with a double and two runs scored in the win.
Bumpy Oak (9-11), which are tied with the Black Sox for third place in the standings, were led by Aaron Michael who was 3 for 4 day at the plate with four RBIs, with a double and a solo home run in the second game. Sam Wright was 3 for 4 with two runs scored in the losing effort.
The Bombers’ Charlie Wright started on the mound and pitched to a no-decision, gong the first four innings, allowing eight runs with four walks. Cam Remalia suffered the loss, going 3 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and no walks.
“We are fighting and it would have been nice to come away with some wins today. We just came up short,” said Michael, the assistant manager. “Western Charles has a very good team that can hit. We are in transition and are trying to mix in younger guys. So it is going to take some time to get back to the Bumpy Oak team we used to be.”
In the opener, Western Charles trailed 5-2 after four innings but came to within one run in the fifth and had a threerun sixth that was spurred by Wyatt Potter’s RBI double and a two-run single by Summers to give them a 7-5 lead.
Bumpy Oak came to within one run in the bottom of the seventh, but did not have enough in the end.
Josh Davis started the for Western Charles and took a no-decision. He went just 2 1/3 innings, due to an ailing chest cold, but finished with five strikeouts, two walks and one hit batter.
DeAtley pitched the final inning and picked up the save, striking out one batter.
Daniel Ladd picked up the win, going 3 2/3 innings and allowing just one walk.
“It is coming up at the end of the [regular] season and we want to keep winning, so we get some momentum going into the playoffs,” said Ladd after the opening-game win. “We are playing well right now and we have a lot of depth and everybody wants to win. We rely on each other a lot and have been working hard. This is a very tough league, but I think we can win the whole thing. As you can see every game is a battle.”
Western Charles was led by Jason Boyd in the first game. Boyd was 3 for 4 on the day with two runs scored, while Potter was 2 for 4 at the plate.
The Bombers were led by John Lee, who was 3 for 4 and scored twice. Sam Wright went 2 for 3 with double and one run scored in the loss.
Bumpy Oak starter David Sapp went five innings with two strikeouts, giving up four runs in a no-decision. Nick Huff suffered the loss, going one inning, allowing three runs in the sixth with one walk.
Western Charles pitcher Daniel Ladd picked up the win in 7-6 victory in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader versus Bumpy Oak at Rainbow Construction Field in La Plata. Ladd pitched 3 2/3 innings and walked just one batter in the contest.