La Plata downs St. Mary’s

Sch­mitz fans nine in five in­nings in Frank Ri­ley League win

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­

In many re­spects, Wed­nes­day’s Frank Ri­ley League base­ball con­test won by La Plata, 9-4, over vis­it­ing St. Mary’s at La Plata High School had all the mak­ings of an early sea­son out­ing. But the out­come hinged on the per­for­mance of one hurler who ap­peared in mid­sea­son form.

La Plata start­ing pitcher Jared Sch­mitz col­lected the win after lim­it­ing St. Mary’s to three runs, two earned, on five hits and one walk while fan­ning nine bat­ters in five com­plete frames. Then in the home half of the fourth in­ning Sch­mitz capped a five-run rally with a run-scor­ing sin­gle and La Plata (1-0 over­all) coasted home from there as re­liever Austin Brown al­lowed one run in two in­nings of work.

“Most of these guys are go­ing to be re­turn­ing to their high school teams next year,” La Plata coach Dave Har­ris said. “Jared was def­i­nitely sharp to­day. His fast­ball had a lot of zip and a lot of move­ment and his curve­ball was re­ally mov­ing. There were a cou­ple of pitches that broke two feet late and [catcher] Zach [Har­ris] had no chance of block­ing.”

While Har­ris com­mended his hurler for five solid in­nings on the hill, St. Mar y’s (0-2) needed three pitch­ers to get through the con­test. Starter Nate Kim­mey took the loss, al­low­ing three runs, two earned, in one-plus in­nings of work, then south­paw Zach Bock was also touched for three runs, two earned, in two-plus in­nings be­fore Ricky Rick­ett al­lowed three runs in three in­nings of relief.

“We played OK de­fen­sively,” St. Mary’s coach

Don DeGraves said, “but we had a lot of walks and sev­eral hit bat­ters and al­most all of the guys who walked scored. I think we still have to find the right bat­ting or­der that can gen­er­ate some runs. We had some hits to­day, but we still didn’t get a lot of pro­duc­tion from the lineup. It’s only the sec­ond game, but we can’t use that as an ex­cuse.”

After Sch­mitz struck out the side in or­der in the top of the first, La Plata gained the up­per hand in the bot­tom of the frame. Ryan Calvert, a ris­ing sopho­more at La Plata High School, worked Kim­mey for a two-out walk, then Trevor Drum­mond sin­gled. Nick Steury walked to load the bases then Kim­mey un­corked a wild pitch that en­abled Calvert

to score, Drum­mond to ad­vance and then score on a throw­ing er­ror by catcher Brad Beck­mon.

After Kim­mey walked Har­ris to start the sec­ond, he was im­me­di­ately hooked in fa­vor of Bock, who started the game at first base. Bock ac­tu­ally fanned the first two bat­ters he faced, but he al­lowed a bunt sin­gle to Patrick Estevez then hit Dean Kirby with a pitch to load the bases and then hit Calvert to force in a run. Bock es­caped fur­ther dam­age when Drum­mond popped up to first base in foul ter­ri­tory.

After La Plata added an un­earned run in the third against Bock, St. Mary’s fi­nally dis­played some signs of life of­fen­sively against Sch­mitz. Rick­ett had a one-out sin­gle then Beck­mon walked and Nolan Wood sin­gled to load the bases. Bock fol­lowed with a two-run dou­ble to left-cen­ter field and later Wood scored on a wild pitch. But Sch­mitz would go un­dam­aged in the fifth, his last in­ning of work.

In the bot­tom of the fourth, La Plata broke open a close game by plat­ing runs against two St. Mary’s re­liev­ers. After Bock walked Estevez and Kirby, he was hooked in fa­vor of Rick­ett, who played the first three in­nings at third base. Calvert greeted Kirby with an RBI sin­gle and Drum­mond im­me­di­ately fol­lowed with a two-run dou­ble.

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