Focus on Sports
Skipjacks' title defense ends in second round

Thursday, May 11, 2006

NORTH EAST – The time will come when Frank Szymanski and his Skipjacks look back on this season with satisfaction. That kind of perspective simply wasn´t possible Tuesday afternoon.

"Obviously, we´re disappointed with today´s results," Szymanski said after an 8-0 loss to Cecil Community College ended Chesapeake College´s Region XX baseball title defense. "But when we look back at the whole season, we´ll be very proud of what we accomplished."

The Skipjacks should indeed be proud of their 30-win season, capped by a 6-2 victory over seventh-seeded Community College of Baltimore County-Essex earlier in the day in the first round of the regional tournament. That earned sixth-seeded Chesapeake (30-15-1) a crack at third-seeded Cecil, but the Skipjacks´ inability to cash in on several early offensive opportunities meant an abrupt end to their hopes of a second consecutive NJCAA World Series appearance.

"We had situations where a hit here and a hit there could have changed the game´s outcome," Szymanski said after his team left nine runners on base, including four in the first two innings of a scoreless game. "You´ve got to give him (Cecil pitcher Scott Belanger) credit – he was able to get out of those jams."

The Seahawks, on the other hand, got the hits they needed at critical times. Hong Kim had a two-run single and Michael Tellit added a run-scoring single during a three-run fourth inning that broke the scoreless tie. That also chased Chesapeake starter Will Delawter, who yielded six hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings.

"Will gave a great effort, but he just fell behind too many hitters," said Szymanski.

Cecil then took advantage of a two-out, seventh-inning error to score five times off reliever Justin Sousa and end the game early on the eight-run mercy rule. Seahawk Brett Michaels had a two-run double and Jimmy Schweers delivered the knockout blow – a two-run single that ended the game, and Chesapeake´s reign as champion.

Belanger pitched six shutout innings, yielding five hits and five walks to earn the win.

Chesapeake 6, CCBC-Essex 2 NORTH EAST – Justin Armiger blanked Essex over 7 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and six walks, and Anthony Archie drove in three runs as the Skipjacks advanced to the second round.

"Justin did a great job working out of some early jams and he had good command of his pitches," said Szymanski.

Archie put the Skipjacks ahead to stay with a run-scoring groundout in the first and added a two-out, two-run double in the sixth that made it 6-0. Brad Brainer had an RBI groundout as part of a two-run second, and Mike Garrett scored on a fourth-inning wild pitch.

Armiger struck out four. Kellen Shepard (2-for-4) was the only Skipjack with two hits.

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