'Jacks outlast PG to again hit 25-win plateau
Chesapeake travels to Dundalk Thursday for key region contest
LARGO A 25-win season is to college baseball what a 20-win season is to college basketball a standard of excellence against which teams measure their performance.
Chesapeake College reached that gold standard for the third consecutive season Tuesday afternoon, handing host Prince George’s Community College a 9-7 loss. Brad Brainer, Will Delawter, and Kellen Sheperd each went 2-for-5 and drove in a run as the Skipjacks (25-9 overall, 13-7 Maryland JuCo) won their third straight game.
"It’s a tribute to the players," said Chesapeake head coach Frank Szymanski of the 2006 team’s 25-win season. "They’ve been able to grasp the concept of Chesapeake College baseball incorporating the academics and the baseball and putting it all together."
The Skipjacks battling CCBC-Dundalk, Cecil, and Frederick for the next four regional seeds after runaway state and regional leader Allegany now play three straight games with huge Region XX Division II playoff implications against Dundalk (24-14, 19-5) and Frederick (25-14, 13-8).
Fourth-place Chesapeake (9-6 in games that count in the Region XX Division II standings) travels to second-place CCBC-Dundalk (17-4) Thursday for a 3 p.m. game. The Skipjacks then travel to Frederick Saturday for a noon doubleheader against the fifth-place Cougars (9-7).
Maryland JuCo leader Allegany (31-6, 22-2) is in first place in Region XX Division II with a 14-1 record while Cecil Community College holds third place at 13-5.
"It’s a very big week for the ball club," said Szymanski after Tuesday’s win. "This was a positive way to get started."
Chesapeake took the lead for good with a six-run third inning that broke a scoreless tie. Chris Cirillo had a two-run single, Delawter (double) and Brainer had RBI hits, and Justin Sousa plated a run with a bases-loaded walk off losing pitcher Todd Harrington during the third-inning explosion.
The Skipjacks still led by six runs (8-2) after the top of the fifth, but PG made things interesting with a three-run sixth and a ninth-inning run that got the Owls within 9-7. Justin Felgenhouer, the third of four Skipjack pitchers, improved to 5-0 by yielding one hit in 2 1/3 innings while Justin Martin earned his third save by yielding one hit over the final inning and two-thirds.
Delawter started but pitched only three innings both to keep him fresh for this weekend and get some other pitchers some mound time.
"We don’t want to look too far ahead, but we’re trying to get our rotation set up for the next three games," explained Szymanski. "We also haven’t played in almost a week, so we wanted to get some guys in the game."
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