La Plata downs Calvert in American Legion baseball
La Plata run-rules Calvert in American Legion contest
Officially, La Plata Post 82 was the visiting team on its home field at La Plata High School in its American Legion baseball game against Calvert on Tuesday night.
Visitors or not, the La Plata club felt right at home, rolling up 12 runs to top Calvert 12-2 in six innings.
Despite the 12-run output, La Plata did not exactly knock the cover off the ball, producing just seven base hits in game. But combined with 10 walks and a few Calvert miscues in the field, it turned into a busy night on the bases for the “visiting” La Plata team.
“My guys stayed in the game,” La Plata head coach David Harris said. “They got off to a slow start. We put up two runs up in the first inning but didn’t put any more up the next inning. But they were patient at the plate and took what the pitcher gave them. They took their walks, got on base and then we continued to put the ball in play. When you put the ball in play, combined with the walks, you’ll score some runs.”
La Plata put two runs on the board on Nick Steury’s two-run, twoout single in the top of the first. Calvert (1-10) cut the deficit in half in the inning’s bottom half when Davaughn Reid led off with a double and eventually scored on a groundout.
After leaving the bases full in the second, the visitors extended their lead to 7-1 with a five-run third inning that featured only one base hit. Calvert got one back in the bottom of the fourth, but La Plata plated five more runs in the top of the sixth to ultimately bring the game to its mercy-rule end at the conclusion of the sixth. Zachary Harris delivered an RBI double for La Plata in the sixth, while Dylan Bell contributed a tworun single to account for the game’s final two runs.
“I was just trying to drive the ball,” Harris said of his double, a screaming shot down the left-field line. “I haven’t hit the ball in a while, so I was just trying to get a decent hit on the ball.”
Harris also started on
the mound for La Plata, working five efficient innings of two-run ball. He surrendered four hits, walked one and struck out four.
“I was just trying to throw strikes and let them hit the ball,” he said. “My defense did pretty well behind me, made the plays.”
La Plata has earned a spot in the state tournament by virtue of winning the Frank Riley League title, something the club knew was a possibility from the season’s inception.
“When we started the season we thought we’d do good because we had enough pitching,” La Plata catcher Matt Schnoor said. “The pitching the whole season has been in command. They hit their spots and keep it down. We’ve done good.” This year’s state tournament is scheduled for July 25 to 29 in Cumberland, and unlike most years this year’s edition will be a single-elimination affair. Still, the team’s frontman thought the club’s pitching depth should give it a quality chance to make a deep run.
“Next week we’re playing in the states and I think we have a good shot to go a long way,” David Harris said. “It’s single elimination, but we have a good group of pitchers that can keep us in ballgames at the higher levels. It’s going to be higher-level baseball. We’ve played a lot of top-notch, 19-U teams this summer. We’re used to playing low-scoring, very competitive baseball and that’s what we’ll see in the tournament. I think we can be ver y successful.”
In the other dugout on Tuesday, Calvert was simply overmatched. The youthful squad had innings where everything went well and innings when nothing did. But the hope is that the group will stay together and enjoy more success in the future.
“We’re a very young team,” Calvert coach Bobby Jurney said. “Our starting pitcher today is 15. We only lose one kid [to age] next year. We’re young and hopefully we’re building with this to hopefully be at that level the next couple of years. [La Plata is] a solid team and St. Mary’s is a solid team. They’re older. They’re more experienced and their pitchers throw harder. It’s the little things.”
Calvert’s Eddie Harris slides safely back to first under the tag from La Plata Post 82’s Ryan Calvert during the teams’ American Legion game at La Plata High School on Tuesday night. La Plata defeated Calvert 12-2 in six innings.
La Plata Post 82 pitcher Zach Harris checks on Calvert’s Eddie Harris at first base during early action in the teams’ American Legion contest at La Plata High School on Tuesday night. Harris pitched five innings to pick up the win in La Plata’s 12-2, six-inning victory.