’Jacks, still in state race, also prepping for playoffs
Chesapeake, coming off split, hosts Dundalk today and region play-in Saturday
CATONSVILLE The Skipjacks had better be good multi-taskers.
Chesapeake College split a baseball doubleheader Tuesday at Community College Baltimore County-Catonsville, keeping the Skipjacks on the fringe of the state title race even as they prepare for Saturday’s NJCAA Division I Region XX tournament play-in. Catonsville nipped the Skipjacks, 3-2 in eight innings, in Tuesday’s opener, but Chesapeake rebounded behind Jake Garvey to whip the Cardinals, 6-1, in the nightcap.
"Jake just went out there and pitched a great game for us when we really needed it," said Chesapeake head coach Frank Szymanski after Garvey threw a complete-game three-hitter in the nightcap. "He just went out there and dominated."
Hagerstown Community College leads the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference race with a 16-4 conference record, but the Hawks still have a whopping 10 league games remaining. Second-place Cecil is 20-5-1 with just two league games left while third-place Chesapeake (29-15-1 overall, 19-7 league) has only Thursday’s 2 p.m. doubleheader against visiting CCBC-Dundalk (21-18, 11-7) remaining on its league schedule.
The Skipjacks, however, also have to consider Saturday’s regional play-in while sorting out their pitching rotation. Fourth-seeded host Chesapeake will play at 2:30 p.m. Saturday against the winner of the 11 a.m. game between fifth-seeded Anne Arundel Community College and sixth-seeded Garrett College.
It’s a lot for Szymanski to ponder, but he’s pleased the Skipjacks are still playing meaningful games.
"It’s fun to be part of all these different races," said Szymanski, who declined to name his starting rotation for the Dundalk doubleheader and regional play-in. "Our priority is obviously the region, but we want to continue playing well. We’ll be throwing guys we think give us a chance to win every game."
Garvey (2-0) gave the Skipjacks a needed boost in Tuesday’s nightcap, allowing no earned runs while walking just two and striking out three. Meanwhile, the Skipjacks’ bats finally woke up after scoring more than two runs in just one of their previous six league games (including 2-0 and 2-1 wins over Garrett).
Chesapeake broke a 1-1 tie in Game 2 with a three-run fourth inning in which all three runs were scored with two outs. Brian Brown’s two-run double off losing pitcher Jim Vagnier broke the tie and Tony Mitchell (2-for-4) added a run-scoring single to make it 4-1.
The Skipjacks broke the game open with a two-run fifth that included an RBI single by J.T. Gregory and a run-scoring sacrifice fly from Frank McRae.
Catonsville 3, Chesapeake 2 (8 innings)
CATONSVILLE Jared Cozart’s sacrifice fly drove in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning after the Skipjacks had forced the extra frame with a seventh-inning rally.
Skipjack Evan Ford, replacing starter Chris Custer to start the eighth, hit Roland Haskins, who moved to third base on a one-out error. Cozart following with his game-winning sac fly.
Tony Mitchell singled, stole second, went to third on an overthrow, and scored on Mike Liddell’s hit to give Chesapeake a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Catonsville scored a run in the second to tie the game and took a 2-1 lead on Cozart’s two-out, RBI single in the sixth.
Chesapeake came right back to tie the game in the seventh as Catonsville starting pitcher John Schmeer hit J.T. Gregory (2-for-4) with one out and then walked Derek Richards. After a walk to Brian Brown loaded the bases, Mitchell delivered a game-tying fielder’s choice.
Schmeer then hit J.J. Corriveau with a pitch to reload the bases, but Liddell flew out to end the inning.
Catonsville reliever Kevin Clark was the winning pitcher. Clark gave up a hit and two walks in the eighth, but was bailed out by a double play.
Custer, who is 5-1 this season, allowed only six hits and three walks with three strikeouts while pitching the first seven innings for Chesapeake and settling for a no-decision.
"Chris continues to do an excellent job for us," said Szymanski.
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