Daddy’s big day

Con­den tosses 2-hit shutout with 8-month-old daugh­ter on hand; St. Mary’s sweeps Bumpy Oak in CHASM

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com Twit­ter: tblack­somds1

Af­ter ral­ly­ing for a 4-3 vic­tory in the opener on Sun­day af­ter­noon, St. Mary’s main­tained the per­fect start to its sea­son in the Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Base­ball League thanks largely to a start­ing pitcher who was nearly dom­i­nant per­form­ing in front of a new fam­ily mem­ber.

St. Mary’s (7-0 over­all) blanked Bumpy Oak (2-5) in the sec­ond game of their twin bill, 5-0, at St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land on Sun­day as pitcher Greg Con­den tossed a two-hit shutout in front of his wife, Erin, and their 8-month old daugh­ter, Olivia.

Con­den was per­fect through four in­nings and did not al­low a hit un­til two outs in the sixth in­ning and fanned seven to earn a mem­o­rable vic­tory.

“This was the first game that my daugh­ter has had a chance to see me pitch,” Con­den said as Olivia watched most of the game cra­dled in her mother’s arms in the shaded area be­hind the St. Mary’s dugout. “I knew that I had a per­fect game through four in­nings, but I was more ner­vous about my wife and daugh­ter get­ting hit with a foul ball. I wanted to make it mem­o­rable for her.”

St. Mary’s had ral­lied from a 3-0 deficit early in the opener to forge a 4-3 lead to keep its un­blem­ished record in­tact, then Con­den vir­tu­ally elim­i­nated much of the drama in Game 2.

St. Mary’s scored two runs in the bot­tom of the first when Si­mon Klink sin­gled to score Lyle Kralle, who opened the game with a walk and Jared Eaker plated Josh Mor­ris, who also walked, on a ground­out to sec­ond.

In most in­stances a 2-0 lead is tepid at best, but Con­den re­tired the side in or­der through the first four in­nings, need­ing only 44 pitches to get through those frames. He is­sued a lead­off walk to start the fifth, end­ing his bid for per­fec­tion and yielded another two-out walk later in the frame, but a dou­ble play trig­gered by Mor­ris at short­stop pre­vented

Bumpy Oak from get­ting a run­ner in scor­ing po­si­tion.

“That’s what you ex­pect from Greg ev­ery time you hand him the ball,” St. Mary’s head coach Drew Wil­lard said. “He had ex­cel­lent com­mand of all of his pitches the whole game. We scored enough runs to make it seem com­fort­able. This team showed some re­siliency in the first game. We were down 3-0 early, but we kept chip­ping away un­til we could come all the way back.”

St. Mary’s gave Con­den a lit­tle more breath­ing room in the home half of the fifth. Brad Sul­li­van led off with a sin­gle, stole sec­ond and went to third on an in­field sin­gle by Nolan Wood. Kralle then plated Sul­li­van when he reached on a fielder’s choice and Kralle later scored on a two-out sin­gle by des­ig­nated hit­ter Chris D’An­tuono.

Al­though his per­fect game had been tar­nished in the fifth, Con­den re­tired the first two bat­ters in the sixth be­fore fi­nally yield­ing his first hit of the game on a sin­gle by Tyler Bond and Sam Wright fol­lowed with another sin­gle, then Jeremy Re­malia was hit by a 1-ball, 2-strike pitch. With the bases loaded and two outs, Con­den es­caped any trou­ble when he re­tired John Lee on a grounder to first base.

St. Mary’s added an in­sur­ance run in the home half of the sixth. Hay­den Fer­ing­ton led off with a sin­gle to right field and Jay Turen fol­lowed with a sin­gle to left and both run­ners ad­vanced on a ground­out by Sul­li­van that was sharply hit off pitcher John Nagy, who re­cov­ered to record the out, and Fer­ing­ton scored the game’s fi­nal run on a ground­out to first by Wood.

Bol­stered by yet another run, Con­den re­tired Bumpy Oak in or­der on just seven pitches in the sev­enth, record­ing his sev­enth strike­out of the out­ing. CHASM dou­ble­head­ers are two seven-in­ning reg­u­la­tion con­tests.

In all, Con­den lim­ited Bumpy Oak to just two hits, two walks and one hit bat­ter and threw strikes on 51 of 78 pitches to earn the shutout with his daugh­ter in at­ten­dance for the first time.

“It would have been nice to tell her some day that her first game she got the chance to see her dad throw a no-hit­ter,” Con­den said. “But I was glad that she and Erin could be here to watch me pitch. We have a re­ally, re­ally good team. I think the goals are the same as any year — win the cham­pi­onship at the end of the sea­son.”

STAFF PHOTO BY TED BLACK

Bumpy Oak pitcher John Nagy fires to the plate in the bot­tom of the first in­ning against St. Mary’s on Sun­day af­ter­noon in a CHASM con­test at St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land. Nagy took the loss as St. Mary’s pre­vailed 5-0 be­hind a two-hit shutout from Greg Con­den.

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