second on a balk call. Connor Shockley followed with a comebacker to the mound, but Rovenolt threw high to third base putting two runners in scoring position. It was the Lions’ only error of the game. Rovenolt then induced a ground out and Johnson was tagged out after a rundown. A ground out ended the inning with Queen Anne’s still leading 1-0.
The Lions added two runs in the second. With out one, Darin Rosebrock and Chase Porter walked. Rosebrock crossed home after a pair of wild pitches and Luke Weddell delivered a two-out RBI single to left to make it 3-0.
Parkside closed within 3-1 in the home second. With two outs, Brant Smith, Jakob Brooks, and Colin Green singled to load the bases. Johnson then walked to force in a run before Rovenolt induced a fly out to leave three stranded.
The top-seeded Rams placed Tolan Harrison on the mound in the third, but he too struggled with control. Third-seed Queen Anne’s scored three runs without a hit to go up 6-1. Freeman and Rosebrock scored on a two-out, two-base error on a pop up to shallow right. Rovenolt, who walked his first three at-bats, walked with the bases loaded to pick up an RBI.
“When you come down here against a good team like this you’ve got to take what you can get,” Lions head coach Chris Fitzgerald said. “With five seniors on the team you’re always worried that it’s going to be their last game, but for them to step up, that’s the kind of team they’ve been all year. They’re real resilient. With their backs against the wall, they always seem to come through. They don’t seem to allow the big innings and when it starts to happen they finish it.”
Rovenolt retired the Rams in order in the third, fourth, and fifth innings. He was helped by a 9-3 double play to end the fifth after a line drive to right off the bat of Shockley.
“He’s a tough kid,” Fitzgerald said of Rovenolt. “He plays hockey, football player, a multi-sport athlete that never complains. Probably, honestly, he didn’t have his best stuff today. And he’d probably tell you he didn’t. … Some of the toughest games you’ve got to pitch in as a pitcher, you’ve just got to battle through it. I think he threw 97 pitches today. And he had a good defense behind him.”
Pinder tripled to right and scored on a throwing error by Parkside’s catcher to complete the Lions’ scoring in the top of the fifth.
The Rams battled back for two runs in the sixth. Andrew Smith walked and Burleson singled. They moved into scoring position on a passed ball. Smith came home on a wild pitch and Dylan White followed with a sacrifice fly to end the game’s scoring.
Jeremy Marvel pitched the final inning for the Lions, allowing only a double by Johnson.
“I’m happy for them,” Fitzgerald said. “We get to play another day, and I’m always sad for the teams that gotta go home, but that’s kind of the way it is at playoff time. … You’ve got to make the plays, especially now. Through the course of the season, we’ve had games where we’ve struggled defensively … but we seem to be putting everything together, all three assets of the game, hitting, fielding, and pitching, so if we can keep it rolling and catch a couple breaks. You always need some breaks.”
Queen Anne’s, the defending region champion, will face Fallston, which defeated North East 8-3 in the Section I final. Fallston was also a third seed so the location of the game, scheduled for Friday, was still to be decided.
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Queen Anne’s Jeremy Marvel tags out Parkside’s Cade Johnson to end a rundown for the second out in the bottom of the first inning during the Lions’ 7-3 victory over Parkside in the 2A East Section II final Tuesday afternoon in Salisbury.
Winning pitcher Queen Anne’s Aaron Rovenolt delivers a pitch during the Lions’ 7-3 victory over Parkside in the 2A East Section II final Tuesday afternoon in Salisbury.