Hawks edge Chesapeake for top seed in baseball
Skipjacks, facing long layoff, add Friday noon game against Del Tech
The Skipjacks know when and where they will open the NJCAA Division I Region XX baseball tournament it’s the "who" they are waiting to learn.
Second-seeded Chesapeake College (34-13 overall, 6-2 Region XX) will open region tournament play next Friday at 10 a.m. at Hagerstown Community College against a New York team yet to be determined. The Skipjacks were locked into the second seed when Hagerstown wrapped up the top seed by rallying in both ends of Monday’s doubleheader to sweep Anne Arundel Community College, 7-6 and 10-7.
Hagerstown (33-17, 6-2) needed to win both games to edge Chesapeake for the top seed by virtue of its regular-season sweep of the Skipjacks. Chesapeake head coach Frank Szymanski said his team’s near-miss at obtaining its first No. 1 seed Anne Arundel actually had late-inning leads in both games against Hagerstown didn’t dampen his team’s excitement about the upcoming playoffs.
"We’re looking forward to the tournament," said Szymanski, who guided Chesapeake to its eighth straight season with both a winning record and at least 25 victories. "We feel good about the way this team has come together it’s a special group and we’re excited about taking this team into the postseason."
While both Hagerstown and Chesapeake earned byes into the double-elimination tournament that begins next Friday, the other two slots won’t be determined until a pair of three-team play-ins this weekend.
The winner of a single-elimination play-in this Saturday between Anne Arundel, Garrett College, and defending region champion Potomac State College will play Hagerstown next Friday. Anne Arundel plays Garrett first, with the winner then taking on host Potomac State to earn the right to play next weekend.
This weekend’s Region XV tournament involving New York schools Globe Institute of Technology, Monroe College and ASA will produce Chesapeake’s first-round regional opponent. The Region XV winner is required to then participate in the Region XX tournament since there are only three teams competing for the Region XV crown.
While the Skipjacks are happy to skip the single-elimination play-in, Szymanski was concerned about a potential two-week layoff until the playoffs. He solved that problem by adding one more regular-season game which will take place this Friday at noon against visiting Delaware Technical & Community College/Georgetown.
The Roadrunners (24-18) dropped a 12-11 decision to visiting Chesapeake earlier this season as the Skipjacks roared back from a 9-3 deficit.
"It would have been hard to sit around for two weeks and make do with batting practice and intra-squad scrimmages," said Szymanski. "Del Tech was available to play us and they also didn’t want to sit around for two weeks waiting for their (Region XIX) tournament."
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