’Jacks sweep Cecil, guarantee winning season
Gillis hurls Game 2 shutout; Joseph hits 3-run homer in opener
NORTH EAST It’s been a decade of consistency for the Chesapeake College baseball program.
The Skipjacks (24-16 overall, 16-9 league) guaranteed themselves their ninth winning season in the last 10 years Saturday afternoon while sweeping host Cecil College, 6-5 and 5-0. Casey Joseph homered and drove in three runs in the opener while Spencer Gillis threw a five-hit shutout in the nightcap.
In many ways, Saturday’s sweep may have been the Skipjacks’ most impressive performance of the season. Cecil (33-18, 18-8) started the day with a slim chance to finish in second place in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference, but Chesapeake instead became the first team to sweep the Seahawks in a league doubleheader this season.
"We played with a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of confidence," observed Chesapeake head coach Frank Szymanski, who said his team was the beneficiary of "good pitching, excellent defense and timely hitting" in both ends of the doubleheader.
Chesapeake’s Lane Farmer (double, two RBI) hit a tie-breaking sacrifice fly and Kevin Loftis (2-for-4, double) cracked a two-out, run-scoring single as part of a two-run third that gave the Skipjacks a 3-1 lead in the opener. Joseph’s three-run, fifth-inning homer stretched the lead to 6-1.
Joel Buchko’s two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the fifth pulled Cecil within 6-3. Josh Hampton and Buchko (3-for-4, three RBI) hit back-to-back, two-out homers in the bottom of the seventh, but that’s where the rally ended. Chesapeake pitcher R.J. Angermier got the final out to finish off a complete game in which he struck out four and scattered nine hits and two walks with one hit batter.
"R.J. was just outstanding," said Szymanski. "He was able to spot his fastball and he changed speeds very well. We also played excellent defense behind him."
Joel Rowe joined Loftis with two hits in the opener.
Rich O’Donald took the Game 1 loss for Cecil, giving up all six runs (five earned) on eight hits. O’Donald struck out five, but walked two and hit three batters in five innings.
The Skipjacks scored all the runs they needed in the second inning of Game 2 as Ryan Apodaca delivered a two-out, RBI double and eventually scored on a balk by losing pitcher Chris Moran. Joseph (2-for-3, double, triple) drove in a run with a triple and then scored himself on a Moran wild pitch during a two-run fourth that made it 4-0.
Kam Stewart’s homer off Moran leading off the fifth completed the scoring.
Gillis struck out three and walked one while earning the win.
"Spencer had excellent command," said Szymanski. "He got his off-speed pitches over in any count and we made all the plays behind him."
Ricky Brady joined Joseph with two hits in Game 2.
Matt Leary went 2-for-3 for Cecil in the nightcap.
Chesapeake College 10, Potomac State 2
WYE MILLS Brendon Burch (4-for-5) hit two home runs and a double while driving in six runs Sunday afternoon to lead the Skipjacks (25-16) past Potomac State.
Ryan Apodaca (2-for-4) was the only other Skipjack with a multi-hit game.
Winning pitcher Ryan Nichols threw a complete game, scattering seven hits while striking out four with no walks. Nichols allowed just one earned run.
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