’Jacks sweep Garrett to cap best-ever regular season
Chesapeake College assures itself spot in region final four
WYE MILLS The Skipjacks wasted no time setting the tone for Saturday’s baseball doubleheader against visiting Garrett College.
The first five Chesapeake College batters of the day all got hits off Garrett starter Ryan Krumlauf. By the time the Lakers got the first out, Chesapeake had a 4-0 lead on the way to a 9-2 and 10-4 sweep.
"It took the pressure off," said Chesapeake head coach Frank Szymanski of the big first inning. "We were able to relax and play our game."
The sweep allowed the Skipjacks (34-13 overall, 19-9 Maryland JuCo) to set a school record for regular-season victories. Chesapeake also kept alive its hopes for the top seed in the upcoming NJCAA Division I Region XX tournament.
The Skipjacks who used Saturday’s sweep to finish 6-2 in Region XX games need Anne Arundel Community College to at least split Monday’s doubleheader with Hagerstown. Hagerstown would finish 6-2 in the region by sweeping Anne Arundel and earn the top seed by virtue of its regular-season sweep against Chesapeake.
Chesapeake will be seeded no worse than second in the region, meaning the Skipjacks will advance directly into the Region XX Final Four. This will be Chesapeake’s highest-ever regional seed. By comparison, the 2005 World Series team was seeded sixth in its region and had to win two sudden-death playoffs just to advance to the region’s final four.
"They’ve earned it," Szymanski said of the high regional seed. "It’s the players’ work ethic and their commitment to the program and the college that’s made it possible. They play hard and they have fun doing it."
Chesapeake’s four-run first was more than enough for Devin Gardner, who threw a complete-game four-hitter and didn’t allow an earned run. Gardner (6-1) struck out four and walked three.
"Devin’s been consistent all year," said Szymanski. "He throws strikes and keeps the defense alert. When he’s able to get his secondary pitches over for strikes he’s difficult to hit."
Anthony Ragos opened the home first with a single and advanced all the way to third when Brent Poullard (2-for-4, two runs, RBI) bunted for a base hit. Tucker Tobin followed with an infield hit that scored Ragos, and Nick Beall (4-for-4, double, two runs, two RBI) singled home Poullard for a 2-0 lead.
Mike Turner (2-for-3, three RBI) provided the fifth straight hit, an RBI single that plated Tobin (2-for-4, two runs, two RBI). Turner was out on the back end of a double steal, but Beall scored on the play for a 4-0 lead.
John Northam was the fifth Skipjack with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 while scoring a run.
The offense continued to produce in Game 2 as Adam Chambers (five RBI), Tommy Gilchrist (two runs, three RBI) and Zack Larson (three runs, RBI) each went 2-for-2. Chesapeake erased a 2-0 deficit with a five-run rally in the bottom of the second inning, highlighted by Chambers’ three-run double.
Chambers, Larson and Gilchrist each had run-scoring hits during a four-run third that stretched Chesapeake’s lead to 9-2. Richie McMahon added an RBI groundout.
Danny Abdalla was the winning pitcher, yielding four hits and six walks with a hit batsman. He struck out four in 4 2/3 innings.
Notes: The sweep gave Chesapeake 60 league victories over the last three seasons.
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