Skipjacks set new school record for wins
Chesapeake earns 27th victory, gaining Hopkins split on Lemmer shutout
BALTIMORE, April 24 The schedule said Chesapeake College´s baseball team was playing the Johns Hopkins University junior varsity but the schedule wasn´t completely accurate.
"Their (Hopkins´) varsity was rained out Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so a lot of their varsity players played today," said Chesapeake College head coach Frank Szymanski Sunday night. "That gave us a great opportunity to play against some very good competition."
And the Skipjacks more than held their own. Hopkins won the opener, 9-8, but the Skipjacks earned a split as Nick Lemmer pitched a five-hit shutout in a 5-0 Game 2 win.
Chesapeake (27-7) used the Game 2 win to set a new school record for victories in a season. The Skipjacks have now set team records for wins in a season in five of Szymanski´s six seasons as head coach.
"It says a lot about our players," said Szymanski. "They put in the time and effort, they make the commitment, they do the work."
While pleased with the split, Szymanski was unhappy with the four errors made by the Skipjacks in the opener.
"If we stop giving games away, we´re going to be successful," said Szymanski, noting Chesapeake only committed one error in Game 2. "The team that makes the fewest mistakes usually wins."
Lemmer struck out three and walked only one batter in the nightcap.
"Nick pitched very well. He was throwing strikes from the very beginning and had good velocity," said Szymanski.
The Skipjacks scored the only run they needed in the first inning as Justin Armiger walked, went to third on a Jimmy Carroll single, and scored on a wild pitch. Carroll (2-for-4) led off the third with a single, moved to third on a hit by Clarke Rollins (2-for-3), and scored on Will Delawter´s groundout to make it 2-0.
Chesapeake broke the game open with a three-run fourth. Ryan Bell (2-for-2, two doubles) doubled and scored on Brett Ireland´s hit. Matt Fitzgerald then homered to account for the game´s final two runs.
Hopkins won Game 1 on Matt Preproforte´s sixth-inning sacrifice fly, which scored Eric Solomon to break an 8-8 tie. Two walks by Rollins, who took the loss in relief of Ryan Morse, and an error set the stage for Preproforte´s sac fly.
Chesapeake had used a five-run fourth to wipe out a 5-1 deficit. Armiger´s two-run homer and a two-run throwing error by Hopkins pitcher Ryan Denning highlighted the Skipjack comeback.
Hopkins, however, came right back with three runs in the bottom half of the fourth, including a run-scoring double by Adam Emr, to take an 8-6 lead. The Skipjacks created an 8-8 tie with two runs in the top of the sixth, including a tying, run-scoring single by Robbie Miller.
Armiger and Bell each drove in two runs in the opener.
Sunday´s doubleheader finished Chesapeake´s non-conference schedule. The Skipjacks´ final 15 regular-season games including six this week will be against conference opponents, starting with Tuesday´s 3 p.m. home game against Cecil Community College.
Chesapeake defeated Cecil, 5-4, at Cecil earlier this season on the strength of a four-run ninth inning.
The Skipjacks play at Prince George´s Community College Thursday at 3 p.m. and host Montgomery College/Rockville Saturday in a noon doubleheader. Chesapeake plays a noon doubleheader Sunday at Baltimore City Community College.
"It´s an important week with six conference games, including four games against region opponents," said Szymanski, noting only the Rockville doubleheader won´t also count in the Region XX standings.
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