Boyce, of­fense power Western Charles to 19-4 win

Pitcher helps CHASM base­ball team down Junk­yard Dogs

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

Mike Boyce’s come­back at­tempt is go­ing just fine thank you very much.

Boyce threw seven strong in­nings and the of­fense did the rest as Western Charles blew open a close game with a 19-4 throt­tling over the host Junk­yard Dogs in a Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Base­ball League matchup Tues­day at Chan­cel­lor’s Run Re­gional Park in Great Mills.

Western Charles (10-4 over­all) trailed 4-1 after five in­nings but scored 18 runs over the fi­nal four frames to record their fourth win over their last five games.

“They held us back pretty good. Their pitch­ing was good and we couldn’t get any­thing go­ing [early], but we bounced back nicely when they took their three-run lead,” Western Charles head coach Tony Ste­fko said. “Then it was just a mat­ter of wait­ing out their pitch­ing a bit and we got into some guys who I think don’t pitch too much.”

Boyce was mak­ing just his sec­ond start after a five-year hia­tus. The last time he pitched was in the 2012 cham­pi­onship game when he threw 8 2/3 in­nings to lead Western Charles to the ti­tle. He took a few years off to start a fam­ily and looked to be in con­trol Tues­day as he al­lowed four runs on 12 hits and struck out three in seven in­nings.

“I felt pretty good, but it was hot so I was just try­ing to get through [the in­nings] as fast as I could,” said Boyce, who is a mort­gage bro­ker. “I’m 35 now, so the game’s def­i­nitely faster and I don’t know any of the bat­ters so I just go right at them and try to get ahead of [the hit­ters]. My curve­ball started bit­ing real good so I started us­ing that more and my sidearm fast­ball they had trou­ble pick­ing that up.”

“He stepped up big-time and he threw strikes,” Ste­fko said.

The Western Charles of­fense took care of the rest as it banged out 18 hits, walked 19 and scored a sea­son-high 19 runs, in­clud­ing nine in the top of the ninth. Its pre­vi­ous high was 18 runs in a win over Me­chan­icsville on June 21.

“Every­body was hav­ing good at­bats and I think that’s how we got into their pitch­ing,” Ste­fko said. “We were wait­ing them out and tak­ing a lot of pitches and when you get ahead in the count it’s eas­ier to hit that way.”

“It took a while [to get go­ing],” Boyce said, “but we started to hit the ball and the de­fense was solid.”

The two teams com­bined for 23 runs, 31 hits (7 for ex­tra bases), 21 walks and 30 run­ners left on base.

“We’re not play­ing as good as we could be play­ing, but we’re get-

ting bet­ter as the sea­son goes along,” Ste­fko said. “We have some in­juries we’re try­ing to make it through, but hope­fully over the next month-anda-half we’ll get stronger for the play­offs.”

The Junk­yard Dogs (6-7), for­merly the Bay­hawks, sent six pitch­ers to the mound and were start­ing their fifth-string catcher.

“I think that’s what it was, we didn’t have enough tools in the shed to­day to play this ball­game,” Junk­yard Dogs head coach Thad Hand said. “And we had guys out of po­si­tion. That’s what hap­pen when you have a league de­signed for week­end games. We all agreed as coaches to get some week­night games in, but by do­ing that you some­times lose some peo­ple.”

Western Charles opened the scor­ing in the first when Ja­son Mur­ray drew a one-out walk and scored on Ricky Brady’s sin­gle.

The Junk­yard Dogs took the lead in the fourth when Marty Boni­fant and Cal Rye led off with back-to-back sin­gles and later scored on an er­ror and an RBI dou­ble by Doug Bau­mann, re­spec­tively. They added two more runs in the fifth when An­thony Martinez lashed a lead­off triple and scored on Con­nor Cox’s base hit. Cox later slid into home on Boni­fant’s sac­ri­fice fly to put the Junk­yard Dogs ahead 4-1.

But an in­ning later, Western Charles tied it at 4 thanks to a pair of wild pitches and an RBI sin­gle by Tyler Sum­mers.

Western Charles took the lead for good when it pushed across two runs in the sev­enth on Pat Ma­honey’s two-run sin­gle to make it 6-4.

In the eighth, Western Charles scored four runs, in­clud­ing two on a bizarre play. With one out and two run­ners on, Wy­att Pot­ter popped up to the right side, but the ball hit the head of one of two de­fend­ers set­tling un­der the ball and rolled be­yond first base. Thanks to two er­rors on the play, Pot­ter raced all the way home.

Ricky Brady had a tworun dou­ble to key the nine-run ninth. Brady had four hits, in­clud­ing three dou­bles, drove in four runs and scored three times.

Ma­honey added three RBIs and six other team­mates each had at least one.

Boni­fant, Bau­mann, Martinez, Jake Miller and Dakota Mer­ritt each had two hits for the Junk­yard Dogs.

KJ Nor­ris started for the Junk­yard Dogs and sur­ren­dered a run on two hits and five walks through four in­nings. Five other pitch­ers also threw for the Junk­yard Dogs.

“We were OK be­cause we were clearly com­pet­i­tive through five [in­nings],” Hand said. “And I think what hap­pened is when pitch­ing lost steam — I only had two re­liev­ers and three pitch­ers who are part of the ro­ta­tion — it changed the game.”

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

Western Charles’ Mike Boyce al­lowed four runs on 12 hits and struck out three in seven in­nings as the team de­feated the Junk­yard Dogs on Tues­day night at Chan­cel­lor’s Run Re­gional Park in Great Mills, 19-4.

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

Western Charles’ Tyler Sum­mers slides in safely ahead of the tag of Junk­yard Dogs in­fielder Hunter Rooney to steal third base in the sec­ond in­ning of Tues­day’s 19-4 win at Chan­cel­lor’s Run Re­gional Park in Great Mills.

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