La Plata cruises past St. Mary’s in Le­gion base­ball

Win keyed by 8-run 2nd in­ning

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

On a day when both teams were asked to bat­tle the el­e­ments, La Plata Post 82 squad had less trou­ble with its op­po­si­tion than the op­pres­sive heat and hu­mid­ity as it rolled to a 13-1, five-in­ning vic­tory over vis­it­ing St. Mary’s Ridge Post 255 on Wed­nes­day evening in an Amer­i­can Le­gion base­ball con­test at La Plata High School.

La Plata (12-4-2 over­all, 8-0 Frank Ri­ley League) scored eight runs in the sec­ond and added five more in the third and pitch­ers Dy­lan Bell and Zach Har­ris limited St. Mary’s to one run over five in­nings. Bell made it through the first two in­nings un­scathed, but after walk­ing the first St. Mary’s bat­ter in the third he de­parted on his own be­quest after feel­ing dizzy from the heat.

“When we started this team, we wanted to build it around pitch­ing,” said La Plata head coach Dave Har­ris, whose son, Zach gar­nered the win after toss­ing three in­nings of score­less re­lief. “We prob­a­bly have seven guys that can pitch and two of them weren’t even here tonight. Dy­lan has pitched very well for us this sum­mer. He did not win a game [at St. Charles] last spring, but he’s 3-0 for me.”

St. Mary’s long­time head coach Don DeGraves used three pitch­ers to get through the con­test and two of them ac­tu­ally threw well. But start­ing pitcher Hunter Rooney could not get through the sec­ond, al­low­ing eight runs in that frame and he was chased when Ryan Calvert crushed Rooney first­pitch fast­ball over the fence in right field for a three-run homer that staked La Plata to an 8-0 lead.

La Plata’s Trevor Drum­mond led off the sec­ond with a sin­gle, then Ni­cholas Steury was hit by a pitch. La Plata short­stop Brett Pilk­er­ton then laid down a sac­ri­fice bunt that Rooney fielded cleanly but sailed past first base, en­abling Drum­mond and Steury to come around and score and Pilk­er­ton to reach sec­ond eas­ily.

After Pilk­er­ton was erased at­tempt­ing to ad­vance on a wild pitch, Seth Mor­ri­son and Bell both sin­gled, then Pa­trick Estevez de­liv­ered a tworun triple to right-cen­ter field.

After Dean Kirby reached on an er­ror that al­lowed Estevez to score, Pey­ton My­ers worked Rooney for a walk, then Calvert greeted him by belt­ing a three-run shot over the right-field fence.

“I was just look­ing for some­thing good to hit,” Calvert said. “He tried to come in­side on me with a fast­ball and left it up and out over the plate. Be­ing part of this team has been fun. They’re some guys who I face in the spring, but it’s great hav­ing them as team­mates in the sum­mer.”

Staked to an 8-0 lead head­ing to the third, Bell could not get past the first bat­ter. He walked Zach Stan­ford on four pitches and was hooked in fa­vor of Har­ris, who walked the first St. Mary’s bat­ter he faced and two oth­ers in three com­plete in­nings of work. Stan­ford scored St. Mary’s lone run on a throw­ing er­ror and Gunther and An­drew Dameron had the only two hits for St. Mary’s in a los­ing cause.

La Plata added five un­earned runs in the third, the first four charged to Gunther and the last one to Con­nor Cox, who started the game at short­stop. Har­ris led off the in­ning with a sin­gle, took sec­ond on a wild pitch and scored on an er­ror by Cox at short.

After Calvert was hit by a pitch and Drum­mond reached on an­other er­ror, Steury de­liv­ered a tworun sin­gle off Cox then later scored on an­other St. Mary’s mis­cue.

“I guess the heat just got to me,” said Bell, a ris­ing se­nior at St. Charles High School who plans to at­tend the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land. “I got through the first two in­nings OK, but then I re­ally started to feel dizzy out there. Zach came in and did a great job. We scored a lot of runs and played good de­fense.”

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