Freshman leads La Plata baseball to 2A South Region title
Calvert fans 11 batters as La Plata baseball wins second-straight 2A South Region crown
Throughout the season the demeanor of La Plata pitcher Ryan Calvert has not changed one bit, staying composed at all times.
With supreme command, the freshman tossed six innings and allowed just one run on three hits while striking out 11 as the Warriors rolled to a 10-2 victory over the visiting Southern Bulldogs of Anne Arundel County to claim the Class 2A South Region championship.
Calvert, who walked just two batters, gave up his lone run on a home run in the top of the fourth by Kyle Waters.
“It feels good to win the region title. We started off slow at the beginning of the year, but we’ve been playing strong since then,” said Calvert, who also had a double in the game and carries a 1.37 ERA on the season. “Today, I just threw a fastball and the cutter sometimes to keep them off balance.”
La Plata (15-5 overall), the defending 2A state champions, claimed its seventh regional title since 2008, sixth in the last seven seasons and second straight in the 2A South. The Warriors won five 3A South titles during that span.
Riding a 12-game win streak, the Warriors now advance back to the state tournament where they will take on 2A West champion Middletown of Frederick County in the 2A state semifinals at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Harford Community College in Bel Air.
“For a freshman Ryan is really composed and he was just nails with guys on base and that was the difference,” La Plata head coach John Childers said. “Southern had some good at-bats and they weren’t any easy outs, so it was nice to see him tighten up with runners on.”
The winner advances to Saturday’s championship game at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, pitting the winner of Harford County’s Fallston and Baltimore County’s Eastern Tech in Tuesday’s other state semifinal.
“Middletown handled Williamsport 12-5 [in section final] and beat a very good Marriotts Ridge team in the region final [7-5], so we are going to have our hands full,” said Childers. “We are going to have to play our best game.”
La Plata, which finished with 11 hits in the game, scored two runs each in the bottom of the third, fourth and fifth innings and put it away in the sixth with four more runs.
Leading the Warriors offensively was senior shortstop Jake Hanks, who finished 3 for 4 at the plate with three RBIs, a double and a run scored. He drove in junior Jarrod Schmitz (2 hits) in the
third and added a two-run single in the sixth to push the lead to 8-1 during that time.
“This is the best feeling in the world to win the region again and go to states,” Hanks said. “Southern is a great team and today we were able to put hits together and score some runs.”
La Plata senior designated hitter Quinn Krahling went 2 for 3 with a pair of RBI doubles coming in the fifth and sixth innings.
Nick Stuery and Peytyn Gray each had RBI singles and Brett Pilkerton drove in the Warriors’ first run of the game on a sacrifice fly.
In the top of the second, Southern had Calvert in a bit of a jam with runners on second and third and two outs, but the Warriors ace bared down and struck out Jackson Shiffer to end the inning. The Bulldogs’ second and final run of the game came in the seventh when Kyle Germann singled in Casey Marshall off of pitcher Dean Kirby.
Kirby relieved Calvert in the seventh, striking out two batters, including Noah McCowan to end the game. He walked one batter and gave up three hits.
“Their pitcher Calvert threw six strong innings, dominated with the fastball and kept us off balance,” Southern head coach Kyle Lynch said. “We still were a couple hits away, but La Plata is a well-coached team and I think they will repeat as the state champion. They can hit from one to nine.”
Southern had to use four pitchers in the game as its starter Brendan Bonito lasted just 3 2/3 innings, surrendering four runs on six hits with one walk and a hit-by-pitch.
Brady Waters finished with two hits for the Bulldogs in the game.
The Bulldogs, who won backto-back 2A state crowns in 2014 and 2015, finished with a 13-11 overall record to end the season.
La Plata freshman pitcher Ryan Calvert threw six innings and struck out 11, allowing just one run on three hits in a 10-2 victory over visiting Southern on Saturday in the Class 2A South Region championship game.
The La Plata Warriors baseball team captured its second straight Class 2A South Region championship after a 10-2 victory over visiting Southern of Anne Arundel County on Saturday. It was the seventh regional title since 2008 for the baseball program, also winning five in the 3A South Region.