Walk­ing off over Calvert

La Plata wins with run in 7th in Le­gion game

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @cfh­philly

As he rounded sec­ond base in the bot­tom of the sev­enth in­ning on Thurs­day night, La Plata Post 82’s Brett Pilk­er­ton was quite cer­tain a rest awaited 90 feet away at third.

Turned out there was no rest forth­com­ing. When the throws in from Pilk­er­ton’s triple to the right-field fence were not on the mark, he was waved home for what was the game-win­ning run in La Plata’s 7-6 vic­tory over vis­it­ing Calvert in an Amer­i­can Le­gion base­ball matchup at La Plata High School.

“Off the bat, I thought it was go­ing to tail foul, but I was still run­ning hard,” Pilk­er­ton said of the game-end­ing se­quence, which led off the bot­tom of the sev­enth. “I thought I’d be able to catch my breath at third, but then the coach told me to go home so I had to dig it out for an­other 90 feet.”

The run de­nied Calvert (1-11 Frank Ri­ley League) af­ter it had ral­lied from a five-run deficit to knot the score. Through four in­nings, La Plata (12-0 Frank Ri­ley League af­ter de­feat­ing St. Mary’s on Fri­day night, 7-6) led 5-0 while its start­ing pitcher Ryan Calvert mowed through the vis­it­ing lineup. Calvert sur­ren­dered just one hit and one walk while log­ging 11 strike­outs in four in­nings of work.

Mean­while, La Plata scratched out a run in the bot­tom of the first and then scored four more in the fourth high­lighted by a Seth Mor­ri­son RBI sin­gle and Trevor Drum­mond’s two-run sin­gle. But with Pilk­er­ton as­sum­ing pitch­ing du­ties for the hosts in the fifth, the vis­it­ing Calvert squad ral­lied for five runs to knot the score. Davaughn Reid drove home the first two runs with a bases-loaded sin­gle, while Cam­den Beck­ert de­liv­ered a three­run home run with two outs to pull Calvert even.

La Plata was able to push back ahead with a run in the in­nings’ bot­tom half, but in the top of the sixth Daw­son Drewyer’s flare to shal­low right field dropped in for a sin­gle to score Duke Mar­lowe to again tie the score at 6. The score stood un­til Pilk­er­ton led off the bot­tom of the sev­enth with what was ul­ti­mately the fi­nal at­bat of the game.

“I think we played pretty good,” said Mor­ri­son, who con­trib­uted a pair of hits to the win. “We could have hit a lit­tle bet­ter, but we pulled it to­gether in the end.”

While it went down as a loss for Calvert, the team fought back from a fiverun deficit to make things in­ter­est­ing.

“The guys came out a lit­tle flat, but then they picked it up a lit­tle bit and got a lit­tle mo­men­tum,” Calvert head coach Mike Niel­son said. “I thought over­all we played pretty well. We made a cou­ple mis­takes, but that’s base­ball. We have a young club, that’s a vet­eran club, well-coached. It was a fun game.”

Calvert, which con­cluded its sea­son with Thurs­day night’s game, only en­joyed one win on the cam­paign, but Niel­son looked for­ward to what lies ahead for the group.

“We have all of these kids back ex­cept for one. We’re re­ally young,” he said. “We’ll have most of these kids back for sev­eral years. I think the fu­ture is re­ally bright for us.”

Hav­ing clinched the league ti­tle well in ad­vance of Thurs­day night’s en­counter with Calvert, La Plata had Pilk­er­ton, who had not pitched this sum­mer, work the fi­nal three in­nings. Calvert scored all of its runs in the fifth and sixth in­nings, but Pilk­er­ton set them down in or­der in the sev­enth be­fore bring­ing the game to its end in the bot­tom half.

“It was my first time pitch­ing in about a year or so,” he said. “I just had to keep my com­po­sure when things went bad, try to get out of it.”

La Plata, the Frank Ri­ley League cham­pion, was set to com­pete in the Amer­i­can Le­gion state tour­na­ment this week in Cum­ber­land.

“I think if we play to our po­ten­tial, we can win,” Pilk­er­ton said. “They’re nine-in­ning games up there, so the pitch­ing might get a lit­tle tight. But if we hit like we can we can hang with any­body, so we should be com­pet­i­tive.”

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDY STATES

La Plata Post 82 pitcher Ryan Calvert pitched four shutout in­nings against Calvert in Amer­i­can Le­gion ac­tion on Thurs­day night at La Plata. Calvert al­lowed just one hit and struck out 11 in his out­ing as La Plata even­tu­ally won the game 7-6.

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