Chesapeake wins 20th, then turns to bigger goals
First-place Skipjacks prepare for busy week in league play
WYE MILLS, April 11 Winning 20 games used to be the benchmark for success for Chesapeake College´s baseball team.
Now, it´s just another milestone on the way to reaching the team´s ultimate goals.
Chesapeake (20-3) blasted non-conference opponent Montgomery (Pa.) College, 20-5, Sunday afternoon as the Skipjacks reached 20 wins for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Clarke Rollins and Mike Kelch each hit a homer and drove in four runs, and Jimmy Carroll went 3-for-5 while scoring four runs, as the host Skipjacks won their sixth straight game.
"It was a great opportunity for us to get a lot of our players a lot of playing time," said Chesapeake head coach Frank Szymanski, whose team finds itself two games ahead of everyone in the loss column in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference standings. "We need to have these type of experiences for all of our players to stay sharp and stay focused."
Right now, nearly everything is going the Skipjacks´ way.
Chesapeake and Community College Baltimore County-Dundalk each started last weekend with just one league loss, but the Skipjacks swept Frederick while Dundalk was splitting doubleheaders with CCBC-Catonsville and Allegany College of Maryland. All of the Skipjacks´ main league rivals Catonsville, Dundalk, Allegany, Germantown, Cecil and Hagerstown are beating each other while Chesapeake keeps rolling.
Szymanski, however, understands the schedule to this point has worked in his team´s favor.
"We have the toughest part of our schedule ahead of us," said Szymanski. "There´s a lot of great teams in this league, and we´re going to be seeing them on a regular basis the rest of the way. We just have to keep taking it one game at a time."
That strategy worked well enough Sunday against Montgomery College. Rollins (2-for-2, two runs) slammed a two-run, first-inning homer to stake the Skipjacks to an early 2-0 lead. Anthony Archie (2-for-2, run) had a two-run single in a seven-second second, and Rollins doubled home two runs in a five-run third that made it 14-2.
Kelch´s three-run homer highlighted a five-run eighth inning that stretched the lead to 20-3. Robbie Miller (two runs, RBI) and Michael Garrett (run, two RBI) added two hits each for the Skipjacks, who finished with 17 hits.
Szymanski managed to trot six pitchers out to the mound in the nine-inning game. Starter Ryan Morse threw two perfect innings with a strikeout, lowering his earned-run average to 1.27, while improving to 3-0.
The only cloud in the Skipjacks´ sky right now is the right elbow of pitcher Chad Wolfe. Wolfe, who is 4-1, hurt his elbow throwing a curveball in Saturday´s 6-1 win over Frederick in Game 1 of a doubleheader sweep. Wolfe was scheduled to see a specialist Monday afternoon to determine the extent of the injury.
"Losing Chad would be a huge blow," said Szymanski Monday afternoon. "We´re just going to hope for the best until we hear from the doctor."
Chesapeake´s league-leading status could get tested this week particularly as the week progresses.
After hosting the College of Southern Maryland (1-9 overall, 1-8 league) Tuesday at 3 p.m. and traveling to CCBC-Essex (5-11, 5-5), Thursday, the Skipjacks host Johns Hopkins´ junior varsity Friday in a non-league encounter. Chesapeake then plays a huge noon Saturday doubleheader against Hagerstown Community College (14-10, 5-5), which has already played many of the league´s top contenders.
Chesapeake closes the weekend by hosting non-conference opponent Williams Trade School Sunday at noon in a single, nine-inning game.
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