End of the playoff road for Eagles
Falcons roll over NP baseball in 4A East final
North Point’s longest run in school history came to a shuddering end Saturday following a 10-0, five-inning loss to Severna Park of Anne Arundel County in the Class 4A East Region final.
The Eagles (14-6 overall) surrendered seven runs in the second inning and allowed one run each in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Offensively, North Point was held to one hit, a second-inning single by EJ Hampton.
North Point had won five of its last six games and 13 of 16 entering the title game.
“I think it was a great season and we made a great run,” North Point head coach Wade Nadolsky said. “I don’t think a lot of people expected that from North Point this year, [but] we went out there and continued to battle for each other all season and had team atbats and worked on our defense, which I think is top-notch.”
The game began at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Joe Cannon Stadium in Hanover, but inclement weather forced a 33-minute lightning delay an hour into the game with Severna Park’s Ryan Key at the plate in the bottom of the second inning.
Play was called again at 6:29 p.m. with two outs in the top of the fifth inning and North Point’s Patrick Estevez at the plate and officially suspended at 7 p.m.
The teams completed the contest Saturday afternoon at Glen Burnie High School.
The Falcons (23-2) played Howard in the 4A state semifinals.
“They’re the man right now,” Nadolsky said of the Falcons. “They’re loaded top to bottom and can hit the ball really well. Almost every one of their hits is gap to gap and they’re a well-coached, well-disciplined team that knows how to run the bases. They’re fundamentally sound from top to bottom.”
North Point starting pitcher James Turner hit the first batter he faced in the first inning, but the Eagles’ Hampton, Estevez and Lance Lynch turned a 6-4-3 double play and Turner later got Cody Milton to ground out to end the inning.
The next inning was a different story as Severna Park’s Jake Hallet doubled to lead off the fateful second inning, during which the Falcons sent 13 batters to the plate. Key drew a bases-loaded walk to open the scoring and Drew Jeffries, Scott Huntley and Ben Hollingsworth each added RBI singles.
Severna Park added three more runs on a balk, a sacrifice fly and a hit by pitch with the bases loaded.
“He was 0-2 on the batter and left a curveball up and [Hallet] hit a double and then the wheels came off,” Nadolsky said of Turner, a sophomore. “He’s a young guy, so I expect some nerves and I think he got a little rattled there. He went out there and continued to battle and that’s all I can ask for. A lot of guys would be like, ‘Hey, take me out of this situation,’ but he didn’t want to come out. He wanted to battle and prove he could do it. We had confidence in him, but when the game started getting away from us we had to make a change.”
The Falcons added to their lead in the third when Jeffries singled, went to second on Huntley’s base hit and later scored on a wild pitch.
Sam Barranco plated Severna Park’s ninth run with a run-scoring single in the fourth and an error scored the fateful and game-ending run in the fifth.
The Eagles had a good chance to open the scoring in the top of the first when Estevez led off with a walk and Zach Doss walked with one out, but Falcons starting pitcher Matt Glady struck out Matt Zabiegalski and Cody Bottorf to end the threat.
“He’s the emotional leader of our team,” Nadolsky said of Doss, a junior catcher. “No. 1 he’s one of our best players and, No. 2 he’s been the voice of our dugout all season. One of the things I’ll take away from the game is that after I took James out I overheard [Doss] say, ‘Hey, man we wouldn’t have been here without you.’ James was probably blaming himself at that point, but the leadership of Zach saying that to him I thought that was a big-time move.”
North Point catcher Zach Doss, far right, tries to rally the Eagles in the early innings of the Class 4A East Region championship game. The Eagles fell 10-0 in five innings.