Cal Ripken league sea­son con­tin­ues for lo­cal grad­u­ates

Calvert, Re­malia on teams near top of di­vi­sions

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­ Twit­ter: tblack­somds1

A hand­ful of South­ern Mary­land res­i­dents are cur­rently com­pet­ing in the Cal Ripken Col­le­giate Base­ball League and a trio of them are on the ros­ter for the same team.

Leonard­town High School grad­u­ate Bowen Plagge, a ris­ing sopho­more at Tow­son Univer­sity, Hunt­ing­town High School grad­u­ate and Tow­son ris­ing sopho­more Bray­dyn Vogts­berger and Me­chan­icsville na­tive Kyle Ben­jamin, a grad­u­ate of Bishop McNa­mara in Prince Ge­orge’s County and a ris­ing sopho­more at the Univer­sity of Mary­land Bal­ti­more County, are on the ros­ter for the Hern­don Braves (12-14), cur­rently nine games back of the front-run­ning Alexan­dria Aces in the league’s South Di­vi­sion.

On Mon­day evening in the Braves’ 11-1 loss to host Sil­ver Spring/ Takoma Thun­der­bolts at Mont­gomery Blair High School in Wheaton, Plagge, who had pitched three in­nings one night ear­lier in a re­lief role against the Aces, went 1 for 3 as the des­ig­nated hit­ter. Vogts­berger pitched two-thirds of an in­ning, but was touched for four earned runs on five hits, while Ben­jamin han­dled the du­ties as the first base coach on Mon­day.

“Nor­mally I play right field, but I pitched last night so they just had me DH,” said Plagge, who is now bat­ting .241 (13 for 54) with one dou­ble and one run bat­ted in. Plagge was one of only four Braves to get a hit on Mon­day in the lop­sided set­back. “I’ve been work­ing on a new swing that’s more along the same lines of how Josh John­son swings now. I used to be a lot more about the hands, but now I’ve been more into com­ing through with my hips and go­ing the op­po­site way.”

Plagge’s re­cent new bat­ting ap­proach paid off in a small way on Mon­day. Af­ter he struck out look­ing at a 3-ball, 2-strike pitch in his first at-bat and then flew out to right in his sec­ond, Plagge had the Braves’ lone hit in the top of the sev­enth when he de­liv­ered an op­po­site field sin­gle to right. Plagge ad­vanced to sec­ond on a grounder but was stranded there when Con­ner Hall flew out to cen­ter.

“I’ve been tak­ing a lot more re­laxed ap­proach up there,” said Plagge, who has also ap­peared in four games on the mound, al­low­ing one earned run in six in­nings of work (1.50 ERA) while walk­ing eight bat­ters and fan­ning three oth­ers. “My coaches at Tow­son want me to be able to drive the ball to the op­po­site field, so that’s what I’ve been work­ing on. I’m not up there just try­ing to pull ev­ery­thing any­more. I’m wait­ing for a pitch away that I can drive to right field. It’s been work­ing out for me this sum­mer.”

While Plagge had some suc­cess at the plate on Mon­day, Vogts­berger strug­gled in his first ap­pear­ance in two weeks.

Vogst­berger (1-0) came into the game with one out in the bot­tom of the sixth and run­ners on first and third and the Braves al­ready trail­ing, 3-1, and re­tired Brodie Leftridge — who belted a ti­tanic home run into the ad­ja­cent fire de­part­ment park­ing lot be­yond left field in the third in­ning — on a fly ball to left for the sec­ond out.

But Vogst­berger could not es­cape trou­ble. He promptly hit Tommy Gardner with a pitch that loaded the bases then sur­ren­dered a two-run dou­ble to right-cen­ter by Jimmy Cain that made it 5-1. Vogts­berger got ahead of Gar­rett Stone­house quickly, but af­ter he fouled off two straight pitches with two strikes, Stone­house de­liv­ered a two-run sin­gle to left that ex­tended the T-Bolts lead to 7-1. Vogts­berger then al­lowed con­sec­u­tive sin­gles to Carl Cobert, Cooper Wil­liams and Car­son Klepzig, the late two of which each pro­duced a run, be­fore the for­mer Hunt­ing­town ace fanned pinch-hit­ter Michael Fitzsim­mons look­ing to end the in­ning.

Vogts­berger al­lowed both inherited run­ners to score and then al­lowed four more runs of his own. He had picked up his lone win on June 14 in a re­lief ap­pear­ance when the Braves de­feated the Bal­ti­more Dodgers 6-5.

Ben­jamin is hit­ting .302 (13 for 43) with one home run, eight runs scored and six RBIs.

Alex Calvert, a La Plata High School grad­u­ate who at­tends Ersk­ine Col­lege (S.C.), has made one ap­pear­ance for the Bethesda Big Train (216), cur­rently in sec­ond place be­hind the Aces in the South Di­vi­sion. Calvert al­lowed two runs on two walks in one-third of an in­ning for a 54.00 ERA.

Cam Re­malia, a ris­ing sopho­more at Coastal Carolina Univer­sity af­ter grad­u­at­ing from St. John’s Col­lege High School in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., who also plays for Bumpy Oak in the Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Base­ball League dur­ing the sum­mer, has ap­peared in 12 games with the Gaithers­burg Gi­ants (14-12), who are one game out of first place in the North Di­vi­sion be­hind the Bal­ti­more Red­birds (15-11).

Re­malia is bat­ting .229 (8 for 35) with two dou­bles, two homers, six RBIs and nine runs scored. He has also ap­peared in two games for the Gi­ants on the mound, walk­ing four bat­ters and fan­ning three while yet to al­low a run in three in­nings of work.

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