Early surge powers South past North stars
SALISBURY — A six-run bottom of the second inning broke a 1-1 tie at the 36th annual Bayside Conference Senior Baseball All-Star game Sunday night, propelling the South Bayside to a 10-5 win over the North.
The game marked the end of the high school baseball careers for the Class of 2017, 46 of whom were selected for the annual showcase at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
“It’s always hard to say goodbye to the kids you’ve coached,” said St. Michaels head coach Brian Femi, who joined four other North coaches to lead their division’s squad. “But it’s also a great opportunity to be able to coach the kids you’ve seen for all these years.”
The South took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, when Washington’s Drew Leighton made it all the way to third on a dropped fly ball in right field, and scored a moment later on a passed ball.
The North responded in the top of the second inning, when St. Michaels’ C.J. Chansler singled and eventually scored on a base hit by Mark Conner (North Caroline).
But the pendulum swung in favor of South for good in the home half of the second inning, as the North committed three errors and allowed five unearned runs.
Gabe Simpson led off by chopping a ball to second base, which was mishandled. A walk, an RBI single by Luke Edson, and another walk, followed by an error at short got the big inning going. Jake Whittington (James M. Bennett) drove in a run with a single, and another scored when the relay from home to the plate, fired to second to stop him, sailed into center field.
An RBI ground out by Washington’s Jimmy Mansfield capped the rally, which put the South ahead 7-1.
The North’s Peyton Lieske (North Dorchester) drew a leadoff walk in the fourth and eventually scored on a fielder’s choice by Cambridge-South Dorchester’s Bradley Stanton to cut the deficit to 7-2.
But the South answered in the bottom of the fourth with two runs, Caleb Kline (Bennett) and Malike Johnson (Wicomico) driving in runs with hits.
The North put together its biggest rally of the night in the top half of the sixth. Allan Saathoff (North Caroline) singled, and Chansler, who went 2 for 2 and was named North Most Valuable Player, doubled to left-center field to score him. Back-to-back ground outs, the second off the bat of Noah Brack (St. Michaels), scored Chansler to make it 9-4.
Mason Blake (North Caroline) walked, and eventually scored on an infield hit by Conner to pull the North within 9-5.
That was as close as it got, though, the South adding a run in the bottom of the seventh to round out the scoring.
“I’m going to miss being with my teammates a lot,” said Chansler, who’s heading to the University of Maryland in the fall, studying to become a physical therapist. “There’s nothing as good as going out on top, winning the state championship like we did (May 27), but it’s also fun to get in one last game with guys you’ve played against for four years, too.”
Queen Anne’s County right-hander Chase Porter, who pitched a 1-2-3 bottom half of the third, was awarded the North Most Valuable Pitcher laurel. Parkside’s Sean Fisher, who did the same thing in the top of the first, was named the South’s Most Valuable Pitcher, while Kline (2 for 2, run) was named South Most Valuable Player.
The win was the South’s second straight in the series. It won 15-5 in 2015, and last year’s game was rained out. The North holds a 19-15 overall edge, with the 2007 being called after 10 innings when the two teams played to a 3-3 tie.
The North Bayside roster included St. Michaels’ Noah Brack, C.J. Chansler, Tucker Heinlein, and Seth Parks; Colonel Richardson’s Tyler Stanton and Nick Nagel; Kent Island’s Tyler Loh; Queen Anne’s Pat Freeman, Chase Klepper, Jeremy Marvel, and Chase Porter; Kent County’s Brandon Iacona, Josh Iseman, and Cade Terrill; North Dorchester’s A.J. Willey, Zach Revel, Peyton Lieske, and Jerome Thomas; Cambridge-SD’s Bradley Stanton, Brandon Tibbs, and Evan Fishpaw; and North Caroline’s Mason Blake, Mark Conner, and Allan Saathoff. Coaching the North were Semi, St. Michaels assistant Donnie Gowe, C-SD’s Chad Wolfe, Kent County’s Phil Cygan, and Queen Anne’s Chris Fitzgerald. Follow me on Twitter:
Queen Anne’s Chase Porter, left, and St. Michaels’ C.J. Chansler were honored as the North’s top pitcher and hitter, respectively, during Sunday night’s Bayside senior all-star game.