SMCM base­ball comes up short ver­sus Ran­dolph-Ma­con

McDonough grad Stratchko off to 5-6 start as new head coach of Sea­hawks

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com Twitter: @SOMDhab­s­fan

Tues­day was sunny and warm which meant the Yel­low­jack­ets were out in full force, and that re­sulted in a rough af­ter­noon for the St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land’s base­ball team as vis­it­ing Ran­dolph-Ma­con rolled to a 13-1 win at the Hawk’s Nest.

The Yel­low­jack­ets (9-4 over­all) pounded out 17 hits and scored at least two or more runs in three of the first four in­nings and added a four-run sev­enth.

Of­fen­sively, the Sea­hawks were held hit­less through five in­nings and man­aged one hit, a lead­off dou­ble in the sixth by Isa­iah Brax­ton.

“I’m never one to make ex­cuses but we just didn’t come to play to­day,” St. Mary’s first-year head coach Bernie Stratchko said. “The one thing that we’ve been work­ing on all year is how we pre­pare and how we go about our busi­ness and with a team that’s re­build­ing we’re go­ing to have set­backs like this. We didn’t match their in­ten­sity to­day.”

The Yel­low­jack­ets, ranked No. 11 in the lat­est D3base­ball. com poll, won their first six games of the sea­son — the first two com­ing ver­sus St. Mary’s to start the Sea­hawks’ sea­son Feb. 11 — but just two of their last six head­ing into Tues­day.

“We’ve been talk­ing about build­ing mo­men­tum to­ward con­fer­ence [games] and had a re­ally good prac­tice yes­ter­day and we stepped up to­day,” Ran­dolph-Ma­con head coach Ray Hedrick said. “I’d like to think this could be a spring­board for us to­ward our con­fer­ence. I don’t nec­es­sar­ily think it was a fair fight [be­cause St. Mary’s sat sev­eral play­ers], but I’m proud of my guys for com­ing out and be­ing as fo­cused as we’ve been against St. Mary’s.”

St. Mary’s (5-6, 0-1 CAC) be­gan the Cap­i­tal Ath­letic Con- fer­ence por­tion of its sched­ule Wed­nes­day with an 8-7, 11-in- ning loss to Mary Wash­ing­ton (Va.) and will travel to Sal­is­bury for a twin­bill on Satur­day.

“[Tues­day] wasn’t one of our best ef­forts but I think we learned a lot from play­ing a re­ally good team and mov­ing for­ward we’ll def­i­nitely take the lessons we learned to­day,” said St. Mary’s se­nior in­fielder Zach Rowe, who did not play Tues­day. “We have a core group of guys who want this pro­gram to suc- ceed, and I think the pieces are in place to con­tinue with that.”

Ran­dolph-Ma­con jumped ahead in the top of the first when the first five bat­ters reached base and scored two runs.

The Yel­low­jack­ets added two more in the third when Stu­art Brown dou­bled with one out and scored on Blake Saathof’s RBI sin­gle to right. Saathof lat- er scored on Ian Pape’s fielder’s choice.

Ran­dolph-Ma­con put the game away with five runs in the fourth, the big blows be­ing a two-run sin­gle by Zach Evans and a solo home run by Rick Spiers.

The Sea­hawks (5-6, 0-1 CAC) scratched out their only run when Brax­ton pounded a twobase hit to left and scored when Matt Bieler reached on an er­ror. The vis­i­tors tacked on four more runs in the top of the sev­enth.

Mean­while, St. Mary’s hit­ters were be­ing kept at bay by start- er Colin Selby (2-0), who al- lowed a run on one hit, walked five and struck out six in six in­nings of work.

“I was just try­ing to stay down in the zone,” said Selby, who threw half of his 72 pitches for strikes. “I kept the ball up in the be­gin­ning and it didn’t re­ally help but I knew if I kept the ball down and put the ball in play, my de­fense would help me.”

“He had a prob­lem with the strike zone and we didn’t cap­i­tal- ize,” Stratchko said. “I didn’t feel like our ap­proach to the plate was good to­day. I don’t think when we got up 3-0 in the count that we were as ag­gres­sive as we could have been on fast­balls. That was all he could throw at that point and then later he fig­ured out his break­ing ball and then it got a lit­tle tougher.”

Five St. Mary’s pitch­ers al­lowed eight walks and struck out three. All 13 runs were earned.

“That’s what’s most im­por­tant to me. Tak­ing care of the base­ball and throw­ing strikes and we didn’t do enough of that,” Stratchko said.

Stratchko, 32, takes over for quasi-le­gend Lew Jenk­ins who stepped down af­ter a win­ning 358 games in an il­lus­tri­ous 22year ca­reer at St. Mary’s.

Stratchko at­tended McDonough High School where he played four years of base­ball, in­clud­ing two sea­sons with the var­sity team. He at­tended Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land for two years where he played sec­ond base and short­stop and then went to the Univer­sity of Mary­land Eastern Shore where he played two more sea­sons.

He at­tended Frost­burg State Univer­sity where he did his un­der­grad­u­ate work be­fore earn­ing a mas­ters in busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion. Stratchko grew up in La Plata but re­cently moved to St. Mary’s City.

Stratchko picked up his first col­le­giate win Feb. 18 in a 10-2 win over Mt. St. Mary’s (N.Y.) that was the be­gin­ning of a three-game, two-day sweep for the Sea­hawks.

“Lew was here un­til he was 82 and I hope it doesn’t take me that long to fig­ure it out, but in my mind that’s what’s most im­por­tant, fix­ing the dayto-day op­er­a­tions and how we go about our busi­ness and the wins will take care of it­self,” Stratchko said. “As much as the wins and losses mat­ter it’s the process. I have to make sure that when they come in the cul­ture is ready for them and that’s my big­gest chal­lenge. I know this is a long process.”

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

St. Mary’s first base­man An­thony Can­gelosi tries to tag out Ran­dolph-Ma­con baserun­ner Ryan Duphorn on a pick­off play in Tues­day’s con­test. The Sea­hawks fell 13-1.

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