Bumpy Oak, West­ern Charles split in CHASM

Wright broth­ers per­form well for Bumpy Oak, Rice shines for West­ern Charles

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

In their quest to sweep a dou­ble­header from de­fend­ing Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Base­ball League cham­pion West­ern Charles on Satur­day af­ter­noon at Rain­bow Con­struc­tion Field in La Plata, the Bumpy Oak squad was look­ing to rely on the youth­ful Wright broth­ers to land a rare sweep of the champs.

In the opener of a pair of games that ended in iden­ti­cal 4-1 fi­nals, Bumpy Oak’s Char­lie Wright went the dis­tance on the mound to earn the vic­tory, while younger brother Sam Wright played short­stop. Then in Game 2, the Wright broth­ers traded places, but the two teams traded scores as West­ern Charles pre­vailed be­hind pitcher Jim Rice.

West­ern Charles (6-2 over­all) had al­lowed the first game to slip away as pitcher Bill DeAt­ley was be­trayed by sev­eral er­rors that en­abled a pair of un­earned runs to score and give Char­lie Wright and Bumpy Oak some breath­ing room late. Through the early stages of Game 2, Rice held Bumpy Oak score­less and his team­mates gave him a 2-0 lead through five in­nings.

“I thought my change-up was re­ally good,” Rice said. “I was able to throw it for strikes and I was able to move it off the plate. It was hot to­day, so I was glad we ended when we did. We were miss­ing a cou­ple of good play­ers to­day. We had to move some guys around. But

we played re­ally good de­fense the sec­ond game when I was out there.”

West­ern Charles broke the score­less dead­lock in the bot­tom of the third when Ja­son Boyd led off the home half with a dou­ble, got moved to third base on a sac­ri­fice bunt by BJ Kit­tle, then scored on a ground­out to short by Chris Blondin. West­ern Charles added an­other run in the bot­tom of the fourth when Pat Ma­honey beat out an in­field

sin­gle, went to third on a sin­gle by Tony Ste­fko and scored on a sin­gle by Tyler Sum­mers.

“My curve­ball was pretty good to­day, but I had trou­ble lo­cat­ing my fast­ball,” Sam Wright said. “I lost a lot of com­mand in the late in­nings. I re­ally liked watch­ing Char­lie work the first game. That was a lot of fun play­ing short when he was on the mound. It was great hav­ing him at short when I was on the mound for the sec­ond game.”

Bumpy Oak fi­nally pushed a run across against Rice in the top

of the sixth. Sam Wright had a two-out sin­gle, then Danny Michael was hit by a pitch and Matt Tonkav­itch sin­gled past sec­ond to plate Wright. With two out and run­ners on first and third, Rice es­caped fur­ther dam­age when he in­duced Jamie Wright to ground out to third to end the in­ning.

Soon af­ter Bumpy Oak squan­dered a chance to tie the game, West­ern Charles gave Rice a lit­tle cush­ion when it added two in­sur­ance runs in the bot­tom of the sixth largely on Sam Wright’s sud­den wild­ness.

Ste­fko drew a lead­off walk, then Sum­mers dou­bled off the fence in right-cen­ter field. Af­ter Ja­son Mur­ray flew out to cen­ter, Wright ap­peared on the verge of es­cap­ing the in­ning un­harmed when Boyd grounded to short and Ste­fko was caught in a run­down at­tempt­ing to score.

But im­me­di­ately af­ter Ste­fko’s baserun­ning mis­take gave the younger Wright some breath­ing room, the youth­ful hurler walked Kit­tle to load the bases then is­sued walks to Blondin and Johnny Klopfer III to force in two

more runs. Wright lost Kit­tle on a 3-ball, 2-strike pitch then yielded free passes to both Blondin and Klopfer on four pitches each.

Rice walked Char­lie Wright to start the sev­enth, then fanned Bran­don Re­malia, re­tired Jeremy Re­malia on a ground­out and struck out Dar­ren San­ders look­ing to end the game. In the sec­ond, Rice es­caped a bases-loaded jam by get­ting Jamie Wright to ground into a dou­ble play, then, with two on in the third, he was spared when Ma­honey snared a grounder off the bat of San­ders.

In the opener, Bumpy Oak broke open a tight con­test with an un­earned run in the fourth against DeAt­ley, an­other un­earned run in the fifth when Michael plated Char­lie Wright on a sac­ri­fice fly to right. Bumpy Oak then added an in­sur­ance run in the sixth when Bran­don Re­malia was hit by a pitch, Jeremy Re­malia and San­ders sin­gled and Char­lie Wright helped his own cause with a sac­ri­fice fly to right.

STAFF PHOTO BY TED BLACK

West­ern Charles pitcher Jim Rice fires to the plate in the top of the first in­ning of the sec­ond game of Satur­day’s CHASM base­ball dou­ble­header at Rain­bow Con­struc­tion Field in La Plata. Rice and West­ern Charles won the sec­ond game, 4-1, af­ter Bumpy Oak pre­vailed by the same score in the opener.

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