Mat­tingly pitches Hor­nets into sec­tion fi­nal

Tosses shutout ver­sus Braves in 3A South Re­gion play­offs

The Enterprise - - Sports - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­

Keyshawn Brown was speech­less when asked to as­sess the per­for­mance of team­mate and start­ing pitcher Terry Mat­tingly, who turned in a stel­lar out­ing to help the Hor­nets de­feat host Chop­ti­con 1-0 in a Class 3A South Sec­tion II semi­fi­nal matchup on Satur­day.

Mat­tingly, who trans­ferred from Leonard­town, sur­ren­dered two hits and struck out seven in six shutout in­nings to hold the Braves to their sea­son-low of­fen­sive out­put.

All of which had Brown at a loss for words.

“He did … oh my god … there’s no words for it,” said Brown, who drove in the even­tual win­ning run on a slow rolling in­field hit in the sixth. “He did awe­some.”

The fifth-seeded Hor­nets (6-14 over­all), which de­feated fourth-seeded St. Charles in the sec­tion quar­ter­fi­nals on Thurs­day to ad­vance to play Chop­ti­con on Satur­day, played Hunt­ing­town in the Sec­tion II fi­nal on Tues­day. The sec­ond-seeded Hur­ri­canes earned their berth fol­low­ing a 9-4 win over third-seeded North­ern. Tues­day’s win­ner ad­vances to the re­gion fi­nal on Fri­day.

“I told them, ‘Now is the time to get hot,’” Great Mills head coach Kevin Rodgers said. “They’re just play­ing hard and Chop­ti­con’s a re­ally good team. I ex­pected us to have to score 15, 16 runs [to have a chance] be­cause they score a ton of runs. I love watch­ing these guys play and they’re hav­ing fun and that’s all you can ask for at this time.”

“I’ve known this team has had it in them the whole year, we just haven’t put it to­gether and to­day we did,” Great Mills first base­man Robby Hamil­ton said. “We have a lot of ta­lent, we just have to get com­mu­ni­ca­tion through­out the team and to­day we did.”

The top-seeded Braves ended the sea­son at 12-7.

“I think reg­u­lar sea-

son-wise we had a good year,” Chop­ti­con as­sis­tant coach David Sapp said. “Ob­vi­ously this isn’t the way you want to end it, but all the credit to Great Mills. They did a great job and they came out here and beat us in a base­ball game and that hap­pens. I be­lieve once the kids see the big picture af­ter this set­tles in and they take what we taught them, not only as play­ers but as young men, and carry this on and that’s all you can hope for.”

“I’m proud of this whole team for ev­ery­thing we ac­com­plished and fight­ing hard ev­ery game,” Chop­ti­con se­nior sec­ond base-

man Kyle McAl­lis­ter said. “We did the best we could.”

But there was only so much the Braves could do against Mat­tingly, who re­tired 7 of 8 bat­ters early and held the Braves to 0 for 9 with run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion.

“I wanted to pound the strike zone,” said Mat­tingly, who was lifted fol­low­ing the sixth in­ning af­ter reach­ing his 107-pitch limit. “[The de­fense] played a heck of a game. All I wanted was outs and ground­balls, and they did what they had to do.”

“He was on fire to­day,” Rodgers said. “He threw pitches for strikes and they just weren’t putting good wood on the ball. He had it to­day. He came out and walked the first bat­ter, but he got out of that in­ning and that was huge. Af­ter

that he was just pick­ing it up and he was throw­ing just as hard at 100 pitches as he was in the be­gin­ning of the game.”

Sapp added: “I think we just got away from our ap­proach a lit­tle bit. Some guys were over­anx­ious, some guys were ten­ta­tive at the plate, but he did a great job of mix­ing up his pitches and he got some good de­fen­sive plays from his de­fense and that turns into a very good game by him.”

Chop­ti­con left six run­ners on base, all of them in scor­ing po­si­tion and had its best chance to score in the fourth but Gar­rett Pul­lium was thrown out at the plate by cen­ter fielder Brown.

“He wants you to run,” Rodgers said of Brown, who has 12 as­sists this sea­son.

In the fifth, Scott Cameron lashed a two-out triple over the head of Brown, but Charles Bur­roughs grounded out to short.

“That’s the best we’ve played de­fen­sively all sea­son,” Rodgers said.

“We were hit­ting the ball, we just couldn’t come [through] in the clutch when we needed to when we had run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion,” McAl­lis­ter said. “We got some hits off of [Mat­tingly], just not when we needed to. We could have hit bet­ter.”

Great Mills scored the only run of the game when Chase O’Dell reached on a one-out er­ror, stole sec­ond, went to third when the throw sailed into cen­ter field and scored on Brown’s slow roller to the hole at short­stop.

“I didn’t try to do too

much with the ball, I just wanted to put it in play,” Brown said. “When I hit it I didn’t hit it hard, so I was hop­ing it would get through and it did and got the run home. There was one out at the time so I just wanted to make sure they couldn’t turn the dou­ble play.”

The Hor­nets had a chance to open the scor­ing in the sec­ond when Brown scored on a sacrifice fly to cen­ter field, but it was ruled he left the bag early and the Braves es­caped af­ter the 8-2-5 in­ning-end­ing dou­ble play.

“I kind of saw he left a bit early,” said Hamil­ton, who was thrown out at the plate in the next in­ning. “[But] I wasn’t scared be­cause I knew we had it in us. I was con­fi­dent all the way through.”

Hunter Davis came on to throw the seventh and re­tired the Braves in or­der.

“He did a great job,” Rodgers said. “He’s a lit­tle guy, he’s left-handed and he throws strikes. He keeps the ball down and he looked like he was throw­ing 20 [miles per hour] af­ter see­ing Mat­tingly.”

Eli­jah Ty­d­ings al­lowed six hits and struck out four in 5 2/3 in­nings for the Braves. Jor­dan Faunce came on in re­lief and struck out three and walked one.

“De­fense and pitch­ing you can’t ask for much more out of your team,” Sapp said. “We gave up one run and [Ty­d­ings] was up­set with the re­sult, but I thought he did a great job and Jor­dan did a great job as well [in re­lief]. Our de­fense played fine.”


Great Mills’ Terry Mat­tingly al­lowed two hits and struck out seven in six in­nings dur­ing the Hor­nets’ Class 3A South Re­gion Sec­tion II semi­fi­nal game on Satur­day.

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