Runs, runs and more runs

War­riors win in bat­tle of state base­ball cham­pi­ons

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­news.com

As his team came in to the dugout at the close of the first in­ning at Hunt­ing­town on Fri­day, trail­ing the Hur­ri­canes by a cou­ple of runs af­ter a seem­ingly harm­less fly ball found its way over the left-field fence for a three-run home run, La Plata head base­ball coach John Childers re­minded his play­ers that the short fence was in the same place for both teams.

Nick Steury took the mes­sage to heart.

Steury’s three-run homer over the same area of left-field fence — marked 302 feet away from the plate down the line — in the top of the sec­ond cat­a­pulted the War­riors back in front and trig­gered what be­came an eight-run in­ning that left them with a 10-4 lead.

Many runs were still to be scored, but La Plata never trailed again in what ended an 18-10 South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence non­di­vi­sion win for the de­fend­ing Class 2A state cham­pi­ons over the de­fend­ing 3A state cham­pion Hur­ri­canes.

“I kind of got lucky. The wind was blow­ing out, it hit the sweet spot and went out,” said Steury, who also had a dou­ble in the game and fin­ished with six RBIs. “We had a lot of good at-bats. We played to our po­ten­tial of­fen­sively to­day. We could get bet­ter, though. I could get bet­ter, too.”

La Plata (2-1 over­all af­ter a 7-0 win over Leonard­town on Mon­day) had put two runs on the score­board in the top of the first on Jake Hanks’ tworun bomb, but Hunt­ing­town (1-2) an­swered with four runs in the in­ning’s bot­tom half. Davaughn Reid dou­bled, stole third and scored on Spencer

Cooper’s ground­out for the Hur­ri­canes’ first run, while Joe Mozingo hit a three-run homer to give the Hur­ri­canes a 4-2 lead af­ter one.

The lead was short­lived, though, as Steury’s three-run shot with one out in the top of the sec­ond put the vis­i­tors back in front to stay. Ryan Calvert slammed a ground-rule dou­ble for two runs later in the in­ning, while Dean Kirby de­liv­ered a two-run sin­gle to close the in­ning’s scor­ing.

Reid and Ryan Ter­rents had RBI sin­gles to high­light Hunt­ing­town’s three-run out­burst in the bot­tom of the sec­ond, clos­ing the deficit to 10-7. But Hanks’ RBI sin­gle in the top of the third drove home Brett Pilk­er­ton to push the lead back out to 11-7 through 2 1/2.

That re­mained the score un­til the bot­tom of the fifth, when Hunt­ing­town loaded the bases with one out. Ian Mor­gan then brought home a run on a fielder’s choice, while Reid fol­lowed with a two-run sin­gle to whittle La Plata’s lead down to a mere run, 11-10.

But La Plata tacked on a run in the sixth and then ex­ploded for six more in the sev­enth to put an end to the drama. In all, the War­riors banged out 18 hits and ev­ery player in the team’s start­ing lineup scored at least once. La Plata had a sim­i­lar of­fen­sive show­ing in its opener, scor­ing nine runs through five in­nings in a 10-9 loss to North­ern. That game was short­ened to five in­nings due to dark­ness.

“We’ve been hav­ing re­ally good at-bats,” Childers said. The War­riors are sched­uled to be at North Point at 4:30 p.m. to­day. “We’ve scored 27 runs in two games, that’s 12 in­nings. The at-bats have been great, over and over and over again. The de­fense in the first game was kind of a show, but to­day I thought they played good de­fense. Hunt­ing­town al­ways hits the ball hard and they did again to­day. We made some nice plays. I was re­ally pleased with the de­fense, es­pe­cially.”

Hunt­ing­town’s con­test with North Point on Mon­day was called be­cause of dark­ness with the Hur­ri­canes lead­ing 13-12 in the sev­enth in­ning. A con­tin­u­a­tion date and time was not known at press time. Hunt­ing­town is slated to host St. Charles at 4:30 p.m. to­day.

Through their first three games, the Hur­ri­canes had de­liv­ered rather mixed re­sults, giv­ing up dou­ble-digit run to­tals twice to sand­wich an 18-1 win over Lackey. Ul­ti­mately, the ef­forts have not been close to what the team needs.

“You give up 18 runs and 18 hits . ... It’s the first time in my coach­ing ca­reer that we’ve ever given up that much on both ends,” Hunt­ing­town head coach Guy Smith said. “It’s pretty dis­ap­point­ing. We’ve made a lot of mis­takes. We’ve given up a lot of ex­tra-base hits. We’re giv­ing five or six outs an in­ning, pitch­ers can’t get ahead. It’s nor­mal base­ball stuff that we’re not do­ing right right now.

“It’s a dis­ap­point­ing start. We’re look­ing for an­swers, and a lot of guys aren’t step­ping up. We’re go­ing to keep work­ing in prac­tice and see if we can find nine guys who can com­pete and get af­ter it. Right now we don’t have nine. That’s what we’re look­ing for.”

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDY STATES

La Plata’s Jake Hanks is con­grat­u­lated by head coach John Childers af­ter hit­ting a two-run home run in the first in­ning of the War­riors’ game at Hunt­ing­town on Fri­day af­ter­noon. La Plata de­feated Hunt­ing­town 18-10.

La Plata head coach John Childers talks with some of his play­ers dur­ing a pitch­ing change in the sec­ond in­ning of the War­riors game at Hunt­ing­town on Fri­day af­ter­noon. La Plata de­feated Hunt­ing­town 18-10. STAFF PHOTO BY ANDY STATES

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