Walking off over Calvert
La Plata wins with run in 7th in Legion game
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.”
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.