Athletics News


Skipjacks get win, tie in playoff tune-up
Sixth-seeded Chesapeake draws Essex in region tournament opener

WYE MILLS – These games meant absolutely nothing –and everything.

Division II Chesapeake College and Division I Garrett College are headed to different regional tournaments, and Sunday’s baseball doubleheader had no impact on either team’s post-season position. Yet the atmosphere indicated otherwise as Chesapeake beat the Lakers, 7-4, in Game 1 before battling to a 6-6, eight-inning tie in the nightcap.

"It was a gutty performance by both teams," said Chesapeake head coach Frank Szymanski. "I was proud of our guys. We played two hard games on Saturday (splitting a doubleheader with Hagerstown) and had two tough ones today.

"These were the last two regular-season games for our sophomores and everybody played them like they were playoff games," added Szymanski. "That’s why I was so proud of them – they played it the right way."

Now Chesapeake heads into games that count for everything.

The sixth-seeded Skipjacks (29-14-1) begin defense of their NJCAA Division II Region XX title Tuesday with an 11 a.m. game against seventh-seeded Community College Baltimore County-Essex. If they win, they will play third-seeded host Cecil Community College Tuesday afternoon for the right to advance to the weekend’s double-elimination regional Final Four at Frederick Community College.

For those who believe in omens, the Skipjacks were seeded sixth last year and won their first regional title at Frederick Community College. Szymanski would have liked to have earned one of the two automatic berths in the double-elimination tournament – an honor reserved for the top two seeds – but the Skipjacks’ 12-11-1 record over their last 24 games precluded that possibility.

"Now we’ve got to fight our way into it," said Szymanski.

The Skipjacks won Game 1 with a three-run sixth inning that broke a 4-4 tie and was aided by Laker miscues.

Garrett pitcher Adam Zorzit issued consecutive walks to Mike Garrett and Justin Sousa to start the sixth and was replaced by Frank Vesci. Catcher Tyler Boshart then made a nice defensive play on Chris Cirillo, catching his pop foul at the third-base-side backstop. Boshart, however, threw wildly to third trying to nail Mike Garrett, who tagged at second and decided to advance to third since no one was covering the third-base bag. Garrett scored the go-ahead run and Sousa advanced to third on the play.

Sousa scored on a passed ball and Kellen Shepard homered to complete the scoring.

Mike Kelch had a two-run double and Anthony Archie smacked a two-run homer as part of Chesapeake’s four-run third. Garrett scored a run in the third and added three in the fourth, tying the game on Troy Stewart’s RBI single.

Chris Conner earned the victory with 2 2/3 innings of four-hit shutout relief.

Boshart went 2-for-3 with a triple and scored a run to lead Garrett.

The Skipjacks had a pair of late-inning chances to win Game 2. Mike Garrett reached second base on a two-base error with one in the seventh before being stranded, and the Skipjacks left the bases loaded in the eighth right before the game was called due to darkness.

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