End of the play­off road for Ea­gles

Fal­cons roll over NP base­ball in 4A East fi­nal

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @SOMDhab­s­fan

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.

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