La Plata gets revenge
Warriors down McDonough for seventh straight win
Since suffering a 4-3 loss on April 8 on a walk-off at McDonough the La Plata baseball team has been a hot streak.
In Monday’s Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Potomac Division rematch La Plata had the upper hand this time, earning an 8-5 victory over the Rams on senior day.
After Monday’s win, La Plata (10-5, 6-2 SMAC Potomac) was tied with McDonough (12-3, 6-2) for the top spot in the division. The Warriors have two scheduled games remaining in the regular season, at 4:30 p.m. today at Westlake at 4:30 p.m. Friday versus St. Charles at Laurel Springs Regional Park in La Plata.
McDonough, which most likely wraps up its second straight division title based on tiebreaker criteria unless they suffer another division loss, took on St. Charles on Tuesday and will play Lackey in a scheduled division contest at 4:30 p.m. today then play the Chargers again on Friday in a nondivision matchup to cap off the regular season.
La Plata, which outhit McDonough 12-8 on Monday, broke a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the fifth as James Bruce scored on groundout by Brett Pilkerton. McDonough reliever Kyle Wedding got the loss after giving up that run when the game was tied with one out.
La Plata put two more runs on the board in the sixth off of new Rams reliever Sean Joseph on a two-out RBI triple to deep center by junior Nick Steury and Jarrod Schmitz followed with an RBI single.
In the top of the seventh, McDonough loaded the bases with one out, but sophomore pitcher Dean Kirby struck out Tommy Willey for the second out and then got Wedding to pop out to third baseman Schmitz to end the game and pick up the save.
“It is nice to see the everyone contribute on senior day against a good team and it is a positive thing for the program,” La Plata head coach John Childers said. “This is a character building win for us and we found a way to get it done today. It wasn’t pretty, but we did it. We been rolling and playing as a team since the last time we lost to [McDonough].”
Freshman starting pitcher Ryan Calvert got the win as he threw five innings, allowing just three earned runs on six hits with seven strikeouts, He also walked three batters.
“This gives us some momentum to finish up the week and get ready for the [Class 2A South Region] playoffs,” said Calvert, who also had two hits and two RBIs on the day. “McDonough has good hitters up and down and were working the counts. I just wanted to attack the zone and let my defense made a play on it.”
La Plata took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-out RBI single by Ryan Barnett and Wedding came around to score the second run on an error.
In the bottom of the first, McDonough starter Brant Butler got into early trouble, walking Pilkerton to lead off the inning and giving up back-to-back singles to Jake Hanks and Quinn Krahling (3 hits in the contest) to load the bases.
Butler, who lasted just one inning, then walked Calvert as Kirby, the courtesy runner for Pilkerton, came around to score.
With two outs in the inning, Bruce singled in Hanks to tie the game at 2.
La Plata scored two runs to in the second to go up 4-2 on back-to-back one-out RBI singles by Krahling and Calvert. In the fourth, Hanks belted a one-out solo home run over the left-field wall to push the Warriors lead to 5-2.
“The home run today was exhilarating, but I loved how our team strung together hits and with the defense behind Ryan and Dean you can’t ask for more,” said Hanks, who led the Warriors with a 3 for 3 day at the plate. “McDonough is a solid team and we played our hearts out. The last time we played them it was a tough outing. It was awesome feeling to get the win this time.”
McDonough, which used five different pitchers in the game, did not go away as Joseph scored on an error to cut the lead to 5-3. Then with two outs and the bases loaded, Kendrick Musser drove in two runs on a single to right to tie the game.
“We wanted to win the game, but our key hitters just didn’t come through today,” McDonough head coach Mike Lydon said. “We were just going through the motions and we had opportunities to score a lot of runs, but we left runners on base. Our goal was to win our division and we want to win [1A North] the region and states.”
Barnett led the Rams with three hits and two RBIs.
Members of the La Plata Warriors baseball team surround home plate after Jake Hanks’ solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning of Monday’s 8-5 win over visiting McDonough.
La Plata freshman starter Ryan Calvert threw five innings, allowing just three earned runs on six hits with seven strikeouts in a 8-5 win over the visiting McDonough Rams on Monday.