Focus on Sports
Chesapeake rallies to win baseball home opener

Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007

WYE MILLS – It was only a matter of time the way the Skipjacks were hitting the ball.

Chesapeake College faced a 5-1 deficit in Tuesday´s baseball home opener against undefeated Harford Community College despite collecting six hits over the first three innings. The Skipjacks finally capitalized on all their offensive opportunities by scoring 11 runs over the next five innings – including a tie-breaking, seven-run rally in the bottom of the eighth – to post a 12-5 victory.

"We hit some balls very hard today and they made some great plays defensively," said Chesapeake head coach Frank Szymanski. "We thought if we kept hitting the ball hard it would eventually work out for us."

Chesapeake (6-1 overall, 2-1 Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference) finished with 14 hits, including five doubles. Cody Holliday (two runs, RBI) had three doubles, including a run-scoring double in the eighth-inning explosion.

"It was good to see the way the team responded to being down against a good, well-coached team," said Szymanski. "I was happy with their effort and the results."

Harford (6-1) helped the Skipjacks put together their big eighth inning as two Owl pitchers combined for three hit batsmen and the Harford defense committed two errors – including one on a potential double-play ball that could have allowed the Owls to get out of the inning unscathed.

After Kellen Shepard led off the home eighth with a walk, Brad Brainer hit into a fielder´s choice that erased Shepard. Brainer then stole second and went to third on a Jeremy Grove single.

Bryan Woolford followed with a hard grounder to shortstop Pete Harlouch, who flipped the ball to second baseman Gene Waller. Waller, however, dropped the flip as Brainer scored the go-ahead run and Grove reached second safely.

"It was tailor-made (for a double play)," Szymanski said of the play.

Holliday followed with his double, scoring Grover. J.V. Herbert and J.T. Gregory were then each hit by pitches, forcing in Woolford to make it 8-5. Brian Brown and Shepard each had RBI singles, Brainer drove in a run when he was hit by a pitch, and Brown eventually scored on a wild pitch to cap the inning.

Evan Ford was the winning pitcher in relief of starter Eddie West, shutting out the Owls on one hit over his 5 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and three walks.

"Evan came in and did a great job," said Szymanski. "His pitching was one of the keys to the game."

Herbert went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI and Brown was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

D.J. Gargano, the second of three Harford pitchers, took the loss.

Chesapeake plays at CCBC-Essex Thursday at 3 p.m. and hosts Montgomery College Rockville Friday in a noon doubleheader.

Chesapeake College 7, MC Germantown 3

GERMANTOWN – Chris Cirillo, who went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI, singled home Cody Holliday with the go-ahead run during a three-run fourth inning that broke a 2-2 tie in Saturday´s opener.

Cirillo scored on Ryan Lambert´s two-out triple. Brad Brainer (3-for-3, two stolen bases) singled home Lambert to cap the fourth-inning explosion.

Justin Sousa (2-0) allowed five hits over five innings to earn the win. Bryan Woolford pitched two innings of one-hit baseball to get the save, and went 2-for-3 with a home run, triple, two runs, and an RBI.

MC Germantown 12, Chesapeake College 8

GERMANTOWN – Germantown used a six-run sixth inning in the nightcap to wipe out an 8-6 deficit in a game that was called due to darkness two batters after Aaron Sofield´s tie-breaking triple.

Chesapeake overcame 2-0 and 4-3 deficits in the nightcap, using a five-run fifth inning to build an 8-6 lead. Reliever Justin Martin, who pitched a scoreless fifth, gave up five hits and a walk while hitting a batter and issuing a balk during Germantown´s game-winning rally.

Danny Bengtson opened the home sixth with a single, went to second on an error and scored on a Chris McIntosh double. Martin then balked McIntosh to third, hit Kevin Keith, and gave up a game-tying single to Andy Ehret.

Sofield followed with what proved to be the game-winning hit, a two-run triple that gave Germantown a 10-8 lead. Two batters later, Chris Crosby delivered a two-run single right before the game was called due to darkness.

Jeremy Grove was the only Skipjack with multiple hits in the nightcap, going 2-for-3 with two RBI.

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