La Plata wins first game of re­gion tour­na­ment

La Plata Le­gion team earns vic­tory to start Mid-At­lantic tour­ney

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­news.com

PURCELLVILLE, VA. — Set for a mid­day start to open up the Amer­i­can Le­gion Mid-At­lantic Re­gional Tour­na­ment on Wed­nes­day at Fire­man’s Field, La Plata Post 82’s Pey­ton My­ers felt just a lit­tle dif­fer­ent than usual go­ing through his pregame rou­tine.

“I just felt re­laxed,” he said. “Be­fore the game in BP I kind of took it a lit­tle more se­ri­ous than usual. I wanted to fo­cus on my hit­ting. It paid off, I guess.”

My­ers was 2 for 3 and drove in four runs in the La Plata’s 12-2, seven-in­ning win over Wes­leyville (Pa.) Post 571, with a two-run home run to his credit. But by the time My­ers swat­ted his four-bag­ger over the fence just in­side the left-field foul pole in the top of the fifth in­ning, La Plata, the Mary­land state cham­pion, was al­ready firmly in com­mand.

Tied at 1 through two in­nings, La Plata erupted for nine runs in the top of the third. Dean Kirby was hit by a pitch to lead things off, while Pa­trick Estevez, Brett Pilk­er­ton and My­ers fol­lowed with sin­gles,

with My­ers plat­ing Kirby with the go-ahead run.

Trevor Drum­mond walked with the bases loaded to push an­other run across the plate be­fore Wes­leyville recorded its first out on a fielder’s choice at the plate. But Brant But­ler got things rolling again with an RBI sin­gle, while Nick Steury reached on an er­ror the fol­low­ing at-bat to push an­other run across the plate and in­crease the lead to 5-1. The bases still loaded, Zach Har­ris then ripped a dou­ble to right-center to clear the bases and run the score to 8-1. La Plata scored twice more in the in­ning, with bases-loaded walks by My­ers and Drum­mond driv­ing the runs home.

While there was plenty of time left in the sched­uled nine-in­ning game, the nine-run edge left La Plata feel­ing more than a lit­tle con­fi­dent.

“It helped be­cause it put the other team down,” Estevez said of the third-in­ning out­burst. “I’ve been in both sit­u­a­tions and I know when we jump on other teams early it shuts them down. It’s hard to come back from that.”

Ryan Calvert started and worked five in­nings for La Plata. He sur­ren­dered just a first-in­ning run, al­lowed four hits and struck out two.

Wes­leyville, the Penn­syl­va­nia ‘B’ cham­pion, fi­nally

scratched out an­other run off of re­liever Seth Mor­ri­son in the sixth, but it was far too lit­tle and far too late as La Plata pro­ceeded to se­cure the seven-in­ning, mercy-rule con­clu­sion.

In what was a pro­fi­cient of­fen­sive day over­all, the top of La Plata’s order was es­pe­cially pro­duc­tive, as Estevez, Pilk­er­ton and My­ers each had two hits and reached base at least three times. In all, La Plata had eight hits and drew nine walks in the game, while eight of the start­ing nine scored at least one run.

“I was real con­fi­dent coming in. I felt re­laxed at the plate,” said Estevez, who was 2 for 2 with two runs scored, while also walk­ing twice and reach­ing once via er­ror. “I was pick­ing up

the ball well and just thought ‘I’m go­ing to get a hit no mat­ter what he throws.’ We kind of all did that.”

La Plata was set to face Ephrata (Pa.) Post 429 on Thurs­day night. A win would put La Plata up against Hopewell (N.J.) Post 339 or Delaware Post 1 at 7 tonight. A loss would put La Plata up against Rock­land (N.Y.) Post 130 or Albe­marle (Va.) Post 74 at 3:30 p.m. to­day. The tour­na­ment is sched­uled to run through Sun­day, with the cham­pi­onship game sched­uled for 1 p.m.

My­ers, for one, was op­ti­mistic that La Plata would be able to keep its mo­men­tum rolling into the next round and hope­fully be­yond.

“Our team is pretty good,” he said. “We have a lot of pitch­ing and a lot of hit­ting.”

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDY STATES

La Plata Post 82’s Pey­ton My­ers rounds the bases af­ter home­r­ing over the left-field fence in the fifth in­ning of the team’s 12-2 vic­tory over Wes­leyville (Pa.) Post 571 in the open­ing round of the Amer­i­can Le­gion Mid-At­lantic Re­gional Tour­na­ment in Purcellville, Va., on Wed­nes­day.

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDY STATES

Ryan Calvert started and earned the win on the mound for La Plata Post 82 in its 12-2 vic­tory over Wes­leyville (Pa.) Post 571 in open­ing round of the Amer­i­can Le­gion Mid-At­lantic Re­gional Tour­na­ment in Purcellville, Va.

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