One fi­nal ride for SMAC base­ball, soft­ball se­niors

Ch­e­sa­peake wins third straight over Po­tomac in all-star game

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

Time was dwin­dling on an­other suc­cess­ful cam­paign for South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence base­ball. But be­fore the cur­tains came down for good for 2017, se­niors took the field for one last hur­rah.

Tues­day evening, Wal­dorf’s Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium — home to the South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs — opened up its gates for th­ese se­niors to play one last game as the Ch­e­sa­peake Di­vi­sion all-stars, com­prised of the high schools from Calvert and St. Mary’s coun­ties, bat­tled their coun­ter­parts from the Po­tomac Di­vi­sion, which is home to the Charles County schools.

It was all Ch­e­sa­peake as it scored four runs in the first and fourth in­nings to take com­mand en route to an 8-0 vic­tory in just four com­pleted in­nings. The game was called in the top of the fifth with Po­tomac up to bat and one out due to in­clement weather.

Ch­e­sa­peake has won all three meet­ings since the in­au­gu­ral SMAC se­nior all-star game in 2015.

“It was a lot of fun and this was for the kids. They put in their time dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son and this was about them to­day,” said Chop­ti­con head coach Ray Sapp, who coached Ch­e­sa­peake.

Ch­e­sa­peake com­bined to pitch a two-hit shutout as it used three dif­fer­ent arms in Chop­ti­con’s Ja­cob Wood, Alec Holtkamp of Hunt­ing­town and Leonard­town’s Kenny Rick­ett.

North­ern’s Justin Hitt started the top of the fifth on the hill and struck out La Plata’s Quinn Krahling be­fore the game was called.

Wood pitched the top of the first and re­tired all three bat­ters that he faced with one strike­out. Hotlkamp threw in the sec­ond and also re­tired the side with one strike­out.

Rick­ett gave up Po­tomac’s only two hits of the game with one strike­out, fac­ing just eight bat­ters com­bined in the third and fourth frames.

Wood of­fered a quick sum­ma­tion of what the ex­pe­ri­ence pro­vided him.

“It’s been fun in my high school ca­reer,” said Wood, who was re­cently named SMAC’s Most Out­stand­ing Player. “I had a lot of es­pe­cially my sopho­more year when we won the [Class 3A] state cham­pi­onship, that was one of the high­lights of my ca­reer. I had a very good se­nior sea­son also and to play with and against all the other se­nior all-stars in the con­fer­ence was spe­cial.”

Wood set the tone in the bot­tom of the first with the game’s first hit with one out, fol­lowed by a walk to North­ern’s Kyle Kings­bury. Two bat­ters later, Chop­ti­con’s Sean Lem­mon, who led the way with two hits, drove in Wood with a sin­gle to right for the first run of the game.

Kings­bury and Lem­mon then scored on back-to­back Po­tomac field­ing er­rors to push the lead to 3-0.

Calvert’s Levi Brick­ner capped the in­ning off with a RBI sin­gle, bring­ing Hunt­ing­town’s An­drew Pawlowski to home plate.

“This was a great ex­pe­ri­ence. There was a lot of tal­ent on both teams,” Brick­ner said. “It felt good to get the win and have fun with play­ers around the con­fer­ence.”

North Point start­ing pitcher Matt Za­b­ie­gal­ski lasted just one in­ning and struck out one bat­ter, giv­ing up two earned runs on three hits dur­ing that span.

Ch­e­sa­peake had an­other huge in­ning in the fourth as Lem­mon and Pawlowski started things off with back-to-back sin­gles and Great Mills’ Hunter Rooney walked to load the bases.

Chop­ti­con’s Brent Sher­man walked, scor­ing Lem­mon. Two bat­ters later North­ern’s Nick Gar­zone col­lected an RBI walk to make the lead 6-0.

Jeff Nel­son of Great Mills and Chop­ti­con’s Derek Welch drove in Ch­e­sa­peake’s fi­nal two runs on RBI sin­gles.

“The se­niors got to play on this field and get to­gether with play­ers in the con­fer­ence and that is what it is all about,” said McDonough head coach Mike Ly­don, the coach of Po­tomac.

Wes­take’s Jalen Claud had the big­gest high­light of the game when he made a div­ing catch in cen­ter field on a ball that was hit by Kings­bury in the bot­tom of the third.

“I made about five div­ing catches this sea­son,” said Claud, who had never played at Re­gency be­fore Tues­day. “At first I kind of read it wrong. I thought the ball was go­ing over me and then the wind blew. At the last sec­ond I just stuck my glove out and I got it. This was a nice get to­gether in the con­fer­ence and I en­joyed bond­ing with the other play­ers in the con­fer­ence.”

Po­tomac’s lone hits came from La Plata’s Brett Pilk­er­ton and Ryan Bar­nett of McDonough.

PHOTO BY ROB WORMAN

West­lake’s Jalen Claud makes a div­ing grab in cen­ter field in the bot­tom of the third in­ning in Tues­day’s SMAC se­nior all-star base­ball game at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium in Wal­dorf.

PHOTO BY ROB WORMAN

La Plata’s Brett Pilk­er­ton is con­grat­u­lated by McDonough as­sis­tant coach Steven Fitzger­ald at first base af­ter a sin­gle in the top of the fourth in­ning in Tues­day’s SMAC se­nior all-star base­ball game at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium. Ch­e­sa­peake won the game 8-0 in four in­nings.

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