Focus on Sports
Cecil edges Skipjacks twice to earn baseball sweep

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

WYE MILLS – A tight Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference baseball race got that much tighter Saturday.

The league´s two early front-runners – Anne Arundel Community College and Chesapeake College – each dropped Saturday afternoon doubleheaders. Cecil Community College swept Chesapeake, 4-2 and 9-5 in nine innings, while CCBC-Catonsville took a pair from Anne Arundel, 5-2 and 6-3.

Those results left Catonsville (20-10 overall, 13-3 league), Anne Arundel (17-15, 11-3), and Chesapeake (22-10, 9-3) each with three league losses, and Hagerstown Community College (17-13, 8-4) just one game back in the loss column.

Montgomery College/Germantown (14-6, 11-3) was scheduled to play CCBC-Essex Saturday. If Germantown swept, it would be the fourth team with three league losses.

"Every game is going to be tight this year," said Chesapeake head coach Frank Szymanski, whose team started play Saturday with a three-game winning streak.

Szymanski praised sixth-place Cecil (16-12, 8-6), which is trying to play its way back into the race after a slow start.

"They played very well – they´re a very good team and very well coached," said Szymanski. "They made all the plays Saturday."

Cecil, which held the Skipjacks scoreless in the last four innings of the opener, rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the nightcap thanks to a three-run fifth aided by two Skipjack errors. Casey Holland doubled in the go-ahead run as the Seahawks took a 5-4 lead.

Chesapeake tied the game in the sixth. Cody Holliday walked with one out, but was forced at second on Eddie West´s grounder. Bryan Woolford then singled and Justin Powell followed with a run-scoring double that plated West to tie the game. Brian Brown grounded out with two runners in scoring position to end the inning.

It stayed 5-5 until the top of the ninth inning. Skipjack starting pitcher Kurt Bruce sandwiched two outs around three walks to start the ninth inning before Frankie Lee´s two-run single put the Seahawks ahead to stay. Reliever Bryan Woolford then uncorked a two-run wild pitch to cap Cecil´s four-run outburst.

Bruce pitched 8 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and four walks while yielding all nine runs (six earned) on nine hits.

The winning pitcher was Michael Smith, who pitched the final two innings for Cecil.

The Skipjacks host Delaware Tech Tuesday and play the College of Southern Maryland´s club team in La Plata Thursday in 3 p.m. contests. Chesapeake then hosts Anne Arundel Community College Saturday at noon in a doubleheader that will have a huge impact on the conference standings.

Cecil CC 4, Chesapeake College 2

WYE MILLS – Rich Schuler delivered a tie-breaking sacrifice fly that scored Brad Craig as part of a two-run fifth inning as Cecil won Saturday´s opener.

With the teams locked in a 2-2 tie, Craig led off the fifth with a double off Chesapeake starter Justin Sousa, who was then replaced by reliever Bryan Woolford. Derrick Johnson greeted Woolford with a single, and Woolford walked Danny Michaels to load the bases and set up Schuler´s sac fly.

Justin Mayse then singled home Johnson to give Cecil a 4-2 lead.

Cecil took a 1-0 lead in the second as Ryan Ferguson singled, took second on a passed pass, went to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a wild pitch. The Skipjacks came back with a run in the home second as Brad Brainer doubled and scored on J.T. Gregory´s single.

Schuler singled and scored on Frankie Lee´s two-out double in the third to put Cecil back on top, but the Skipjacks once again answered in the bottom half of the inning. Kellen Shepard walked and scored on J.V. Herbert´s one-out double.

Sousa yielded just four hits in four innings while Woolford allowed two hits and a walk while striking out two in three innings.

Reliever David Noecker, the second of four Cecil pitchers, earned the victory. Ryan Lynch earned a save.

Chesapeake 7, MC/Rockville 4

ROCKVILLE – Eddie West (triple, two RBI) and Cody Holliday (RBI) each went 3-for-4 Friday morning to back a complete-game seven-hitter by winning pitcher Evan Ford.

Brad Brainer (1-for-3) scored twice for the Skipjacks, who used a five-run third inning to take a 6-0 lead. Holliday sparked the third-inning outburst with a leadoff homer.

Ford struck out 10 and walked one.

Chesapeake 6, MC/Rockville 2

ROCKVILLE – Bryan Woolford went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs as the Skipjacks completed a sweep of Rockville Friday afternoon.

Winning pitcher Justin Martin struck out five and walked four while spacing five hits over 5 1/3 innings.

J.T. Gregory (two runs) and Eddie West (run) joined Woolford with two hits each for the Skipjacks.

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