Boyce, offense power Western Charles to 19-4 win
Pitcher helps CHASM baseball team down Junkyard Dogs
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.”
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.
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.