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

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

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.

PHOTO BY ROB WORMAN

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.

PHOTO BY ROB WORMAN

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.

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