Dye­ing to move on

Raiders pound Ea­gles to ad­vance to 4A East fi­nal

The Enterprise - - Sports - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

Hockey play­ers have had a long­stand­ing su­per­sti­tion to grow their beards as long as their team is still play­ing in the post­sea­son. The Leonard­town base­ball team has adopted a vari­a­tion of that su­per­sti­tion, but with the hair on top of their heads.

The Raiders, bleach-dyed hair and all, jumped out early and rolled to a 10-2 win over vis­it­ing North Point in the Class 4A East Re­gion Sec­tion II cham­pi­onship game on Tues­day.

“We talked about how we needed to be the team that gets be­hind our pitch- er on de­fense and then put some runs on the board to put them on their heels,” said Leonard­town head coach Chris Schoen­bauer, who has not adopted the bleached hair pol­icy. “They put what they do in prac­tice in the game.”

Matt Bo­browski and Nick Burch have adopted the pol­icy, and it paid off big as Burch hit a two-run home run in the first in­ning and Bo­browski added a three-run shot in the fourth. Tyler Huss hot a solo homer in the sixth.

“It’s my lucky hair dye,” said Bo­browski, who got his bleach job just be­fore the game from a fam­ily friend. “I got it done right be­fore this game. I told the lady who did it I’d hit a homer for her and I got a pitch right down the mid­dle.”

“I did it for the play­offs,” said Burch, who went the ex­tra mile with a bleached mo­hawk com­plete with his No. 22 shaved into the side of his head. “I knew we had a good team and knew we could do some­thing.”

The Raiders (18-5 over­all) will host Sev­erna Park of Anne Arun­del County in the 4A East Re­gion fi­nal at 4 p.m. to­day. Leonard­town

won a coin flip Wed­nes­day morn­ing for the right to host the game.

“Who­ever’s on the mound is go­ing to have to lo­cate their pitches well be­cause Sev­erna Park can hit,” Schoen­bauer said of the Fal­cons, who ad­vanced fol­low­ing a 4-1 win over Arun­del in the Sec­tion I fi­nal. “We can’t give them too much to hit, get be­hind our pitcher and make the plays and get the outs. And [of­fen­sively] we have to have a good ap­proach at the plate and when we have run­ners in scor­ing position we have to get them across.”

North Point had (137) won its pre­vi­ous two games and 8 of 9 go­ing into Tues­day.

Leonard­town, which de­feated the Ea­gles 10-0 on March 28, got out of a mini-jam in the first when it turned a 6-4-3 in­ning-end­ing dou­ble play, which cul­mi­nated with first base­man Nolan Wood pick­ing the ball out of the dirt.

“That was huge,” Leonard­town start­ing pitcher Ethan Ledig said. “I re­ally strug­gled in the be­gin­ning, but these guys came back and picked me up.”

“Nolan made the big play at first base with the pick,” Schoen­bauer said, “and that kind of set the tone.”

Leonard­town wasted no time jump­ing out to the lead in the bot­tom of the in­ning when Tyler Tai­tano walked and Burch lifted a fly ball over the fence.

“Al­most ev­ery time we have a good game we’ll get three up, three down [de­fen­sively],” Burch said, “and then jump on them early. It gets our en­ergy high.”

The Raiders went on to score runs in five of their six in­nings at the plate and pounded out 10 hits. Tai­tano and Burch, the team’s lead­off and No. 2 hit­ters, re­spec­tively, reached base all eight times they were up, and com­bined to go 5 for 5, drove in five runs and scored six runs.

“I love hit­ting be­hind Tyler be­cause with him in the lead­off spot he’ll hit the crap out of the ball, he’ll take pitches, he’ll get hit by pitches, he’ll do any­thing to get on base,” Burch said.

“That’s why we have them at the top of the lineup,” Schoen­bauer said, “be­cause we know they can make things hap­pen for us and get us started quick.”

Bo­browski also had a sin­gle and pinch-hit­ter Owen Ziemba walked and sin­gled and scored a run.

North Point’s Ethan Martinez had an RBI sin­gle in the fourth and Dyl­lan Shel­don plated a run in the sev­enth on a sac­ri­fice fly.

The Ea­gles left 10 run­ners on base, in­clud­ing six in scor­ing position.

Ledig al­lowed a run on two hits, struck out two and walked two in 4 2/3 in­nings. Re­liever Al Stumm al­lowed two hits and fanned two.

“I wanted to keep the ball low with a lot of off­speed stuff be­cause these guys can hit,” Ledig said. “[Tai­tano] called a great game be­hind the plate and the de­fense re­ally stood be­hind me the whole en­tire time.”

“He lo­cated his pitches very well,” Schoen­bauer said. “He was able to keep their top four hit­ters kind of off-bal­ance and he was able to keep it around the plate but not over the plate and didn’t give them too much to hit.”

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

Leonard­town’s Logan Brock, left, slides in safely un­der the tag of North Point pitcher to score a run in the sec­ond in­ning of the Raiders’ 10-2 win in the Class 4A East Re­gion Sec­tion II fi­nal on Tues­day.

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