Black Sox jump on Bayhawks early
Nutter belts two home runs in CHASM victory
In a Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Baseball League makeup game played two days before the July 4th Independence Day celebration, Black Sox first baseman Chris Nutter supplied most of the fireworks as his team upended the Bayhawks, 9-2, on Sunday afternoon at Rainbow Construction Field in La Plata.
The Black Sox (5-10 overall) scored two runs in each of the first three innings and added three more runs in the fifth courtesy of Nutter’s second blast of the day and starting pitcher Ryan Kessecker limited the Bayhawks (6-6) to one unearned run in five innings on the hill to get the win. Reliever Charlie Richardson allowed one run in two innings of relief in a nonsave situation.
“That first one their pitcher [Austin Mitchell] went away on a 1-2 pitch, so I thought he was going to go out there again on 2-2,” said Nutter, a 2008 Lackey High School graduate who is currently in his eighth season in CHASM. “I wasn’t sure I got all of it, but it kept carrying and finally went out. That second one, I knew he threw a pitch right down the middle and I got all of it.”
Kessecker, a 2007 Thomas Stone High School graduate who later played for Montgomery Community College, limited the Bayhawks to one unearned run on three hits and two walks while fanning five batters in five complete innings of
work to get the win. Kessecker credited the offensive and defensive support he received as the key components in the victory.
“It definitely makes it a lot easier when you got out there with a 4-0 and 6-1 lead,” Kessecker said. “Then you can just go out there and relax and pitch. My third baseman, Brett Irwin, and my shortstop, Tyler Croson, both made some great defensive plays today. It’s a lot easier to pitch when you know the defense behind you is that good.”
The Black Sox scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning on a two-out rally aided by the Bayhawks’ first error of the day. Tyler Simms worked Mitchell for a walk, then Irwin singled to center. Catcher Billy Hennessey then followed with a single down the right-field line that scored Simms easily and Irwin scored when right fielder Marty Bonifant misplayed the ball.
The Black Sox added two more runs in the bottom of the second when Nutter led off with a single past short, then Croson had a two-out single. With runners on first and third, Kessecker helped his own cause with an opposite field
triple into the right field corner that plated Nutter and Croson for a 4-0 lead.
The Bayhawks got an unearned run in the top of the third when a throwing error by Hennessey allowed Connor Cox to score, but the Black Sox immediately countered with two runs on Nutter’s first homer of the day. Nutter sent a 2-ball, 2-strike Mitchell pitch toward right-center and initially appeared to be a routine fly ball, but the ball carried and reached the woods in right center.
Staked to a comfortable 6-1 lead, Kessecker limited the Bayhawks to just one hit during his last two innings of work and Nutter provided considerable
insurance in the bottom of the fifth. With Simms and Hennessey aboard after each were issued a walk, Nutter sent the pitch he saw from reliever Trevor Burch over the fence in straightaway center for a threerun blast.
The Bayhawks managed one run against Black Sox reliever Richardson in the top of the sixth. Cox — who recorded five put-outs while playing center field on Sunday and made three superb diving catches to rob Black Sox players of certain base hits — walked, took second on a grounder and third on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch.
Richardson fanned the next Bayhawks batter to end the sixth and struck out the first two batters he faced in the seventh before retiring Cox on a grounder to end the game.
Four nights earlier, the Black Sox led unbeaten St. Mary’s 6-2 until one of their players suffered an injury that prompted the Black Sox to forfeit the contest due to not being able to field the minimum number of players.
“We have a few new players and a new attitude,” said Black Sox manager Garnell Young. “We struggled through the first half of the season, but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
Black Sox first baseman Chris Nutter, left, is greeted by teammates Tyler Simms, Mike Bowie and Austin Wizenburg at home plate in the bottom of the fifth inning after Nutter belted his second home run of the contest, a three-run shot that catapulted the Black Sox to a 9-2 victory over the Bayhawks in a Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Baseball League makeup game on Sunday afternoon at Rainbow Construction Field in La Plata.