La Plata downs St. Mary’s
Schmitz fans nine in five innings in Frank Riley League win
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.