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Baseball

BCCC solves Brainer, sweeps Skipjacks
Panthers break up no-hitter, then put together eight-run sixth in opener

BALTIMORE, May 1 – Anything can happen in baseball. More proof of that theory was provided Sunday afternoon by the Baltimore City Community College baseball team.

BCCC was six outs from becoming the victim of Bryan Brainer´s second no-hitter of the season. Instead, the Panthers put an eight-run sixth inning against Chesapeake College´s ace as they rallied for an 8-7 victory to key a doubleheader sweep with significant postseason implications.

Baltimore City handled the Skipjacks, 10-5, in a nightcap that had to be influenced by the Panthers´ almost inconceivable comeback in Game 1.

"It got out of hand in a hurry," said Chesapeake head coach Frank Szymanski, whose Skipjacks took a 5-0 lead and Brainer´s no-hitter into the sixth inning of Game 1.

Brainer, however, hit the first batter he faced in the sixth inning, walked the second, and then lost his no-hitter on Chase Barnes´ single. Three Panthers – Daniel Hoskins, Mark Digiullo, and Mike Dudok – touched Brainer for two-run doubles, with Digiullo´s hit putting Baltimore City ahead to stay and Dudok´s providing the ultimate margin of victory.

"They got some runners on – a bloop hit, a couple of walks – and it got contagious," said Szymanski. "We couldn´t stop their momentum."

Brainer took the loss while allowing four hits and six walks and yielding eight runs (seven earned) in 5 2/3 innings.

The sweep all but knocked Chesapeake (28-10 overall, 11-6 Maryland JuCo) out of the state title race. The Skipjacks, 10-5 in NJCAA Division II Region XX, will now concentrate on trying to lock up a high seed in the upcoming regional tournament.

"We still have five region games left," noted Szymanski. "We just have to weather this storm together. Hopefully we can do it."

Jimmy Carroll (3-for-4) scored during a two-run first and singled in both runs during a two-run fourth as Chesapeake built a 4-0 lead in the opener. Will Delawter homered in the fifth to make it 5-0.

Even after Baltimore´s eight-run sixth, the Skipjacks had their chances. Carroll led off the seventh with a single off Baltimore starter Kon Wade, who was lifted after Clarke Rollins followed by reaching on an error. Reliever Kevin Hillenburg then walked Delawter to load the bases.

Mike Kelch flew out for the first out, but Hillenburg then walked Robbie Miller to force home Carroll and hit Ryan Bell to plate Rollins and bring the Skipjacks within 8-7. Hillenburg, however, induced Brett Ireland into a game-ending, 6-6-3 double play.

Baltimore blew out to a 4-1 lead in Game 2, but the Skipjacks tied the game with a three-run fourth built around Kelch´s two-run double and Anthony Archie´s run-scoring hit.

The Panthers scored once in the bottom of the fourth to regain the lead for good, then blew the game open with a five-run fifth that included three walks and three Chesapeake errors. BCCC also had clutch, RBI doubles by Chris Wilkins and Dudok off Chesapeake reliever Taylor Leeson during the fifth-inning uprising.

Delawter took the loss, giving up six runs (five earned) on six walks and three hits in four innings. Leeson gave up four runs – two earned – while allowing two walks and the two run-scoring doubles.

The Skipjacks host Region XX rival Community College Baltimore County-Catonsville Tuesday in a 2 p.m. doubleheader made that much more important by Sunday´s losses. Chesapeake then travels to Montgomery County/Germantown Wednesday for a 2 p.m. twin bill that counts in the state, but not the region, standings.

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