AACC sweeps ’Jacks with double comeback
Szymanski takes hat off to Pioneers: ’They made all the plays’
ARNOLD They played two separate games, but with one common storyline. Anne Arundel Community College’s baseball team staged late-inning rallies in both ends of Friday’s doubleheader, with Brandon Brown driving in the tying and go-ahead runs in both games, as the Pioneers swept Chesapeake College, 3-1 and 5-4.
"Both games were well-played by both teams to the point where one mistake or one hit could be the difference," said Chesapeake College head coach Frank Szymanski. "Unfortunately for us, they made all the plays and got the timely hits in both games."
The twin losses didn’t knock the Skipjacks out of first place, but they surely complicated the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference standings.
After Friday’s games, the Skipjacks (22-7 overall, 14-5 league) held a half-game lead over second-place Allegany College of Maryland (26-7, 13-5). Frederick Community College (20-10, 10-4), Anne Arundel (22-11, 11-5), CCBC-Dundalk (18-12, 11-5), Harford Community College (20-12, 10-6), and Hagerstown Community College (25-9, 8-6) remain in the thick of the title chase.
The Skipjacks were scheduled to play another doubleheader with huge title implications Saturday, but the twin bill with CCBC-Dundalk was wiped out by rain.
Mike Liddell’s third-inning, RBI single and five shutout innings by Game 1 starter Jake Garvey allowed the Skipjacks to take a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning. The Pioneers, however, finally got to Garvey in the home sixth with a three-run rally.
Mike Scicutella opened the home sixth with a hard-hit grounder to short that was bobbled by shortstop Mike Turner, allowing Scicutella to beat the throw to first. One out later, Mike Perez looped a lazy single to center and Brown followed with a two-run triple down the right-field line that proved to be the winning hit.
Tico Mendoza’s double to the center-field fence scored Brown and knocked out Garvey. Garvey, who allowed just three hits over the first five innings, gave up six hits in 5 1/3 innings with one walk, one strikeout and two hit batsmen.
"We had numerous opportunities in the first game and we hit into three double plays," noted Szymanski. "Those double plays canceled out some potentially big innings."
Winning pitcher Shane Schultz pitched a complete-game five-hitter with three walks and two strikeouts.
Chesapeake once again took a one-run lead into the late innings in Game 2. Down 1-0, Jesse Savage (3-for-3) hit a solo homer in the second inning to tie the game and then doubled and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the third as the Skipjacks took a 2-1 lead.
The Pioneers reclaimed the lead with a four-run fifth inning. Brown’s two-run single gave Anne Arundel a 3-2 lead and Britton Quayle brought home a run with a squeeze bunt. The other fifth-inning run scored on a Turner error at short.
Chesapeake pulled within 5-4 on a two-run single by Derek Richards (3-for-3) in the sixth, but Justin Roby’s diving, two-out catch of a Mathieu Vallieres liner with two runners on base kept the Skipjacks from at least tying the game. The Skipjacks tried to rally again in the seventh, putting the tying run on base, but Quayle who had just replaced Roby in center field caught a Cory Kirby liner at the fence to end the game.
Quayle was the winning pitcher, allowing eight hits and two walks with five strikeouts in six innings. David Summerall pitched the seventh to earn the save.
Devin Gardner took the loss, allowing three runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
The Skipjacks host Delaware Tech Monday at 3:30 p.m. in a non-league game.
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