McDonough base­ball blanks Hunt­ing­town

But­ler throws com­plete-game, 4-hit shutout as Rams ex­tends win streak to four

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

Some 48 hours af­ter notch­ing 4-3 walk-off win on visiting La Plata, McDonough’s base­ball team en­tered Mon­day’s South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cross­over contest with an­other tough test in front of it.

That test was passed once again as the visiting Rams won in con­vinc­ing 4-0 fash­ion over de­fend­ing Class 3A state cham­pion Hunt­ing­town.

The win for McDonough (8-1 over­all), its fourth straight, came as three of the four runs were un­earned.

“We scored our runs by put­ting the ball in play and play­ing small ball,” McDonough head coach Mike Lydon said. “Hunt­ing­town made a cou­ple of cru­cial er­rors that helped us out tremen­dously. Our pitch­ing and de­fense held it down for us.”

The Rams took on North­ern in an­other cross­over game on Tues­day and is sched­uled to host Chop­ti­con at 4:30 p.m. Thurs­day.

McDonough was an­chored by the stel­lar pitch­ing of Brant But­ler, who threw a com­plete-game, four-hit shutout with three strike­outs. The se­nior ace im­proved to 3-0 on the hill this sea­son.

“It felt good to pitch a shutout. I knew Hunt­ing­town had a very good hit­ting team,” said But­ler, who walked just one bat­ter and had a base hit of­fen­sively in the game. “I just wanted to throw strikes and keep them off bal­ance. I kept the ball low and let my de­fense back me up and they did a very good job. We have mo­men­tum go­ing right now with the way that we are play­ing. We just have to keep on get­ting bet­ter.”

In the top of the first, a dou­ble by Ken­drick Musser and a sin­gle by Trevor Drum­mond was fol­lowed by But­ler driv­ing in Musser on a sac­ri­fice fly to right field for the game’s first run.

In the top of the third, junior Kyle Wed­ding col­lected a sin­gle to lead things off. Musser then hit a grounder and reached

sec­ond on a Hunt­ing­town field­ing er­ror as Wed­ding came to home plate for the sec­ond run. Mo­ments later with two outs, Musser scored on a passed ball to push the lead to 3-0.

Wed­ding also had sev­eral good de­fen­sive plays in right field, in­clud­ing a div­ing catch on fly ball that was hit by Hunt­ing­town’s Andrew Pawlowski in the fourth.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the fifth, Musser scored his third run of the game on a missed pick­off play at­tempt at sec­ond base.

“We have the po­ten­tial to go deep in the play­offs and make a run at states,” Lydon said. “We have to start hit­ting the ball and get­ting bet­ter with our in-game sit­u­a­tions and we will be fine. To­day was a very good win for us.”

Hunt­ing­town (5-3), which is sched­uled to host Leonard­town at 4:30 p.m. Wed­nes­day in a SMAC Ch­e­sa­peake Di­vi­sion game, col­lected just one ex­tra-base hit in the game, which was a dou­ble in the bot­tom of the fourth from sopho­more Ryan Ter­rents.

Ter­rents, also started on the mound for the Hur­ri­canes, throw­ing five in­nings with three strike­outs. He al­lowed four hits on just one earned run and walked three bat­ters. Spencer Cooper pitched the fi­nal two in­nings, al­low­ing just two hits, one walk and one strike­out.

“We had some er­rors that hurt us to­day, but McDonough did what they needed to and did a great job of get­ting run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion,” Hunt­ing­town head coach Guy Smith said. “We didn’t put any pres­sure on them of­fen­sively to change the pace of the game. We pitched well to­day. We need some se­nior lead­er­ship right now and try­ing to find guys that will step up and com­pete ev­ery­day and the will to win and we didn’t have that to­day.”

Drum­mond, who was 2 for 4 on the day, ap­peared to have suf­fered a right knee in­jury af­ter he grounded out in the top of the sev­enth. The ex­tent of the in­jury was not known as of press time.

Musser reached base three times in four plate ap­pear­ances and sopho­more Austin Simms had a base hit and a walk in the game.

In Saturday’s Po­tomac Di­vi­sion contest ver­sus La Plata, Pey­ton My­ers col­lected a bases loaded RBI walk to tie the game at 3. Then, Simms notched a game-win­ning bases loaded sin­gle to lift McDonough to vic­tory.

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

McDonough se­nior pitcher Brant But­ler threw a com­plete-game, four-hit shutout in a 4-0 win over host Hunt­ing­town on Mon­day in a SMAC cross­over base­ball game. But­ler struck out three bat­ters and walked just one bat­ter in the game.

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