One final ride for SMAC baseball, softball seniors
Chesapeake wins third straight over Potomac in all-star game
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.
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.
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.