Tal­bot-Caro­line beats Kent/QA, off to win-bracket fi­nal

Record Observer - - Sports - By DAVID INSLEY dins­ley@star­dem.com

Tal/Car 17 — Kent/QA 6 Worces­ter 13 — Dorch­ester 3

HURLOCK — All this week, the Amer­i­can Le­gion base­ball’s East­ern Shore Dis­trict holds its play­offs, and so far, the seed­ing seems to have held up fairly well.

Top seed Wi­comico, with only one loss to a di­vi­sional op­po­nent, 3-1 to Tal­bot-Caro­line three weeks ago, has ad­vanced to Wed­nes­day’s win bracket fi­nal. Tal­bot-Caro­line has as well, thanks to a 17-7 win over Ken­tQueen Anne’s on Mon­day night.

Tuesday evening, Worces­ter, tak­ing on Dorch­ester in an elim­i­na­tion game, stayed alive with a 13-3, seven-in­ning rout.

In Mon­day’s con­test, Kent-Queen Anne’s brought plenty of pop to the con­test, but two big in­nings put things out of reach.

Kole Klabe of Kent-Queen Anne’s led off the game with a solo homer to left, one of four round-trip­pers by his team on the night.

But Tal­bot-Caro­line an­swered with two in the bot­tom of the in­ning on a dou­ble by Jaret Bennett, who fin­ished with three hits, driv­ing in five on the night.

An­other solo blast, this time by Alex Usil­ton, made it 2-2 in the top of the sec­ond, but Tal­bot-Caro­line an­swered with a huge spurt.

A Brenan Cas­sell triple with the bases-loaded high­lighted the sixrun Tal­bot-Caro­line sec­ond, which made it 8-2.

But again, Kent-Queen Anne’s struck with the long ball. Bradley Thax­ton’s solo homer — one of two he’d have on the night — be­gan a three-run third in­ning that made it a game again at 8-5. Kyle Son­n­eveldt scored on a sin­gle by Aaron Rovenolt, and Ben Man­ley walked, even­tu­ally com­ing across the plate on a wild pitch.

Tal­bot-Caro­line scored a pair in the fourth, one on a wild pitch, the other on a Gar­rett Nepert sac­ri­fice fly.

Af­ter Kent-Queen Anne’s scored a sin­gle tally in the top of the fifth, a six-run rally in the bot­tom by Tal­bot-Caro­line made it what would have been a rout-rule vic­tory, at 16-6, dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, when games were seven in­nings.

But un­like then, the play­offs are all nine-in­ning games, and the 10-run mar­gin needed for such a win must be in place af­ter seven in­nings, not five, so play con­tin­ued.

Thax­ton hit his sec­ond homer of the night in the top of the sixth to make it 16-7; it re­mained that way un­til the bot­tom of the eighth. Jami­son Covey led off that half of the in­ning by loft­ing a fly ball high to left field which was dropped. Covey made sec­ond on the play, and scored the game-end­ing run one out later on a sin­gle by Ryleek Acree.

Zach Hall, in relief of starter Matt Burns, picked up the win for Tal­bot-Caro­line; Usil­ton took the loss.

Tuesday, Dorch­ester, which lost its open­ing play­off game over the week­end in the dou­ble-elim­i­na­tion event, had to try to stay alive against Worces­ter, which fell in its last post­sea­son con­test as well but which had swept Dorch­ester in three reg­u­larsea­son games.

Worces­ter, the home team, scored four runs in the sec­ond and third in­nings to pull out to an in­sur­mount­able 8-0 lead; Ch­ester Smith notched an RBI dou­ble in the sec­ond, and a run-scor­ing sin­gle in the third, scor­ing a run in

each as well, as did team­mates Derek Smith and Hunter Mol­nor.

Mean­while, Worces­ter lefty start­ing pitcher Bran­don McKen­zie cruised, strik­ing out five straight hit­ters, and six out of seven, at one stretch. He lost his shutout bid in the top of the fourth, when J. T. Robin­son dou­bled with two out and scored on a Trevor Good­win sin­gle.

Worces­ter replied with two of its own, one scor­ing by way of er­ror, the other on a Chau­drey John­son base hit.

Worces­ter pulled out 12-1 in the fifth, as Ma­son Elzey walked and later scored, and Ben Hud­son hit a dou­ble, even­tu­ally com­ing in on a de­layed steal of home.

Robin­son reached on an er­ror in the top of the sixth, and scored on Daniel Gar­cia’s ground out to short two bat­ters later, to make it 12-2.

Worces­ter added a run in the bot­tom of the sixth when Derek Smith drew a lead­off walk, and even­tu­ally came home on a wild pitch.

Down 13-2 in the top of the sev­enth, Dorch­ester needed to score twice to keep the game alive at least into the bot­tom of the in­ning.

Dorch­ester got one run, as Max Press­ley walked to lead the in­ning off and came home on Tyler Pin­der’s dou­ble. But that was it.

Worces­ter takes on Ken­tQueen Anne’s in an elim­i­na­tion game in Hurlock at 6:30 p.m. tonight. Top-seeded Wi­comico and Tal­bot-Caro­line, the No. 2-seeded team, play in the win bracket fi­nal Thurs­day in Hurlock at the same time. Fol­low me on Twit­ter:

@Davetalkss­ports.

PHO­TOS BY DAVID INSLEY

Tal­bot-Caro­line’s Dy­lan Nepert squares one up dur­ing the sec­ond game of a June 4 dou­ble­header against Worces­ter. Tal­bot-Caro­line takes on Wi­comico on July 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the win-bracket fi­nal of the dou­ble-elim­i­na­tion East­ern Shore Dis­trict play­offs.

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