LE­GION

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Twit­ter: @cfh­philly

you get mo­men­tum and it car­ries.”

La Plata had started the con­test in fine fash­ion with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Brant But­ler’s RBI sin­gle drove home Pey­ton My­ers for the game’s first run while Nick Steury fol­lowed with a bases-loaded walk to push Trevor Drum­mond across with the sec­ond run.

Albe­marle scored one in the in­ning’s bot­tom half, but La Plata scored four runs in each of the third and fourth in­nings to take com­mand. In the third, Ryan Calvert drilled a two-run homer — his first of two on the game — to high­light the four-run out­burst. In the fourth, La Plata tacked on four more de­spite only pro­duc­ing one base hit in the in­ning.

With the score 12-2 in La Plata’s fa­vor to start the bot­tom of the fifth, Albe­marle started to show some life, scor­ing five times to cut the deficit to 12-7. A run in the sixth sliced fur­ther into La Plata’s edge be­fore La Plata an­swered with two runs in the sev­enth and four more in the top of the eighth to seem­ingly elim­i­nate any drama.

Albe­marle had other ideas, putting up the seven-spot in the eighth to pull within three runs. In the ninth, the home team mixed one sin­gle with three walks, a hit bat­ter and one La Plata er­ror to score three runs to knot the score. Timmy Stephan’s bases-loaded walk tied the game, bring­ing Ja­cob Haney across with the game’s 36th run.

Af­ter the teams com­bined to pro­duce just one com­pletely score­less in­ning — the sec­ond — the en­tire game through nine in­nings, nei­ther team was able to score again un­til Albe­marle fi­nally brought the marathon game to its con­clu­sion in the bot­tom of the 13th. Ja­cob Grabeel did the hon­ors, knock­ing a sin­gle down the left-field line to drive Ethan Mur­ray home with the game’s win­ning run.

The stat sheet was un­der­stand­ably full for La Plata, with six play­ers con­tribut­ing more than one hit in the game. But­ler was 5 for 8 with four runs scored, while Zach Har­ris was 4 for 7 with five RBIs. Drum­mond and Steury each had three hits, while Calvert was 2 for 8 with the two round-trip­pers and three runs driven in.

In all, the teams went down in or­der just once each in the game. La Plata left 21 on the bases, while Albe­marle stranded 17.

It all stood in stark con­trast to La Plata’s pre­vi­ous game on Fri­day morn­ing, when Drum­mond locked in a pitch­ers’ duel with Ephrata’s Dil­lon Good. Drum­mond went eight in­nings, al­low­ing just two runs on four hits. But Ephrata got just enough to pull out the 3-2 win. La Plata had the bases full with one away in the bot­tom of the ninth, but were never able to plate the ty­ing run.

“The first game was an out­stand­ing base­ball game,” Dave Har­ris said. “You can’t ask for any more than the two pitch­ers. Trevor Drum­mond was out­stand­ing on the mound, and like­wise their pitcher. Both teams played clean base­ball and we had every op­por­tu­nity to fin­ish. We just didn’t get it done at the end, which hap­pens. Some­body has to win and some­body has to lose.”

De­spite the heart­break­ing end, La Plata’s man­ager was ex­cited about what his group ac­com­plished. With much of the team play­ing to­gether for the first time, the squad claimed the first state cham­pi­onship ever for the Post and went on to play against a col­lec­tion of teams in the re­gional tour­na­ment that were pri­mar­ily com­prised of ros­ters that in­cluded a num­ber of col­lege play­ers. La Plata, which capped its sea­son with a 22-8-2 mark, did not have any.

“For us it was an out­stand­ing ex­pe­ri­ence both on and off the field,” Har­ris said. “I know the guys had a lot of fun. Even af­ter our two one-run losses, all the guys were ex­cited about get­ting a sec­ond chance next year. Get­ting to come back to try to de­fend our state cham­pi­onship and try­ing to make it even fur­ther than what we did this year...of course, we’ll al­ways be try­ing to add a pitcher or two.”

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDY STATES

Ryan Calvert is met at the plate by his La Plata Post 82 team­mates af­ter his two-run home run in the third in­ning of the team’s game against Al­ber­marle (Va.) Post 74 on Fri­day at the Amer­i­can Le­gion Mid-At­lantic Re­gional tour­na­ment in Pur­cel­lville, Vir­ginia. Calvert hit two home runs in the game, but La Plata even­tu­ally lost 19-18 in 13 in­nings.

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