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Skipjacks hold off Southern Maryland, 6-5
Chesapeake College wins sixth straight to stay in first place

WALDORF – When you’re in first place, everybody brings their "A" game against you.

"They came out determined to beat us," said Chesapeake College head baseball coach Frank Szymanski Thursday night after his first-place Skipjacks held off host College of Southern Maryland, 6-5. "And they had some good opportunities against us. We have to elevate our level of play now."

Chesapeake (21-7 overall, 14-3 league) used a three-run third inning to take a 3-1 lead. Cory Kirby (2-for-5) drove in one run with a single, Mike Liddell drove in another with a grounder, and the third scored when CSM first baseman Adam Webster threw home wildly after fielding Liddell’s grounder.

CSM cut its deficit to 3-2 with a run in the home third, but the Skipjacks added two seventh-inning runs on Liddell’s RBI hit and a Ryan Harris wild pitch. Mike Turner’s ninth-inning sacrifice fly provided another insurance run that turned out to be the winning run when CSM scored three times in the bottom of the ninth off Skipjacks reliever Ryan Staton.

Staton, who relieved starting pitcher Danny Miller after Miller allowed just four hits over the first eight innings, gave up three walks, a run-scoring wild pitch, and a hit in just one-third of an inning. Staton’s wildness, combined with a two-run throwing error by Skipjack second baseman Mathieu Vallieres, pulled CSM within 6-5 and put the tying and winning runs on base.

"Ryan just didn’t have command of his fastball today," said Szymanski.

Szymanski brought in regular starter Jake Garvey in a rare relief role and Garvey responded by getting Dennis Morgan to ground out and striking out Webster to end the game.

"Jake’s a veteran who throws strikes," said Szymanski.

Harris took the loss, allowing five hits and seven walks while striking out eight over 7 2/3 innings. Morgan gave up a walk and a hit with two strikeouts over the last 1 1/3 innings.

The Skipjacks play Friday and Saturday league doubleheaders at Anne Arundel Community College and CCBC-Dundalk, respectively.

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