Skipjacks´ title defense ends in second round
Cecil blanks Chesapeake after ´Jacks eliminate Essex in opener
NORTH EAST The time will come when Frank Szymanski and his Skipjacks look back on this season with satisfaction. That kind of perspective simply wasn´t possible Tuesday afternoon.
"Obviously, we´re disappointed with today´s results," Szymanski said after an 8-0 loss to Cecil Community College ended Chesapeake College´s Region XX baseball title defense. "But when we look back at the whole season, we´ll be very proud of what we accomplished."
The Skipjacks should indeed be proud of their 30-win season, capped by a 6-2 victory over seventh-seeded Community College of Baltimore County-Essex earlier in the day in the first round of the regional tournament. That earned sixth-seeded Chesapeake (30-15-1) a crack at third-seeded Cecil, but the Skipjacks´ inability to cash in on several early offensive opportunities meant an abrupt end to their hopes of a second consecutive NJCAA World Series appearance.
"We had situations where a hit here and a hit there could have changed the game´s outcome," Szymanski said after his team left nine runners on base, including four in the first two innings of a scoreless game. "You´ve got to give him (Cecil pitcher Scott Belanger) credit he was able to get out of those jams."
The Seahawks, on the other hand, got the hits they needed at critical times. Hong Kim had a two-run single and Michael Tellit added a run-scoring single during a three-run fourth inning that broke the scoreless tie. That also chased Chesapeake starter Will Delawter, who yielded six hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings.
"Will gave a great effort, but he just fell behind too many hitters," said Szymanski.
Cecil then took advantage of a two-out, seventh-inning error to score five times off reliever Justin Sousa and end the game early on the eight-run mercy rule. Seahawk Brett Michaels had a two-run double and Jimmy Schweers delivered the knockout blow a two-run single that ended the game, and Chesapeake´s reign as champion.
Belanger pitched six shutout innings, yielding five hits and five walks to earn the win.
Chesapeake 6, CCBC-Essex 2 NORTH EAST Justin Armiger blanked Essex over 7 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and six walks, and Anthony Archie drove in three runs as the Skipjacks advanced to the second round.
"Justin did a great job working out of some early jams and he had good command of his pitches," said Szymanski.
Archie put the Skipjacks ahead to stay with a run-scoring groundout in the first and added a two-out, two-run double in the sixth that made it 6-0. Brad Brainer had an RBI groundout as part of a two-run second, and Mike Garrett scored on a fourth-inning wild pitch.
Armiger struck out four. Kellen Shepard (2-for-4) was the only Skipjack with two hits.
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