Focus on Sports
Hawks sweep Chesapeake from state baseball race

Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007

HAGERSTOWN – Chesapeake College´s baseball state title hopes ended here Wednesday as the host Hawks twice erased three-run, sixth-inning deficits to post a pair of one-run wins.

Hagerstown Community College tied Game 1 with a three-run sixth inning, then pulled out a 6-5 victory on Tyler Beard´s one-out, game-winning single in the bottom of the seventh. The Hawks then wiped out a 7-4 Chesapeake lead in Game 2 with a four-run sixth inning, capped by Matt Murray´s two-run single that scored the tying and go-ahead runs.

"Today was kind of a funny day for us," said Hagerstown head coach Scott Jennings. "The only time we led in Game 1 was the last batter of the game, and we didn´t get the lead in the second game until the sixth inning. We really only led for two innings today."

Hagerstown´s late-inning heroics knocked Chesapeake (30-19 overall, 14-9 league) out of what had been a wild, seven-team race for the state title. Meanwhile, the Hawks (28-20, 15-7) continued a recent surge that has kept them in the race.

"We´ve been on a good roll lately," said Jennings, whose team has now won 11 of its last 13 games and finishes the conference season with a doubleheader against last-place Prince George´s Community College. Chesapeake can still play the spoiler in the race, thanks to Thursday´s 3 p.m. home game against first-place Community College Baltimore County-Catonsville.

"We have to come out against Catonsville playing hard, like I know we will," said Chesapeake head coach Frank Szymanski, whose team went 1-3 on a two-day road trip that included a split with Garrett College. "It´s our last home game and we want to send the sophomores off on a good note."

The Skipjacks will also be looking to build some momentum for next week´s wide-open NJCAA Region XX Division I tournament. Chesapeake has played four one-run games against teams that will be in next week´s regional tournament, including a 2-1 loss to reigning regional champion Potomac State, an 8-7 victory over Garrett College as the teams split Tuesday´s doubleheader, and Wednesday´s twin losses to Hagerstown.

"We were very competitive and we had plenty of opportunities to win these games," Szymanski said of the Hagerstown contests. "We just weren´t able to capitalize on those opportunities."

The Skipjacks seemingly took control of Game 1 thanks to Brad Brainer´s three-run, sixth-inning triple, which broke a 2-2 tie. Hagerstown, however, countered with three runs in its half of the inning as David Zaminski delivered a two-run single and stayed alive long enough in a rundown to allow Mike Knight to score the tying run from third.

Hagerstown opened the home seventh with three straight hits, including Beard´s game-winning single off Justin Sousa.

Sousa pitched a complete game for the Skipjacks, allowing 11 hits and two walks while striking out two. Brainer and Cody Holliday each went 2-for-4 to lead Chesapeake offensively.

Jake Darr, Zaminski, and Chad Schlegel each had two hits for Hagerstown.

Chesapeake appeared to shake off the Game 1 loss as the Skipjacks built a 7-4 lead in the nightcap with starting pitcher Kurt Bruce spacing seven hits over five innings.

The Skipjacks scored twice in the first on Jeremy Grove´s two-run single, added a second-inning run, and moved out to a 6-2 lead with a three-run fourth inning that included two runs scoring on a dropped fly ball. Hagerstown pulled within 6-4 before Bryan Woolford (3-for-4) made it 7-4 with an RBI single in the sixth.

Hagerstown mounted its comeback against Woolford, who gave up four hits and two walks after relieving Bruce to start the sixth. Run-scoring singles by Beard and Jake Darr set the stage for Murray´s two-run, game-winning single.

Reliever Adam Thomke was the winning pitcher.

TUESDAY´S GAMES Chesapeake College 8, Garrett College 6

McHENRY – Bryan Woolford hit a two-out, three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning to power the Skipjacks past Garrett in the first game of a doubleheader.

J.T. Gregory and Cody Holliday each had two hits for the Skipjacks, including consecutive, first-inning home runs.

Woolford was also the winning pitcher, going the final two innings in relief of starter Eddie West.

Garrett College 11, Chesapeake College 5

McHENRY – Kris Torrance had a two-run triple in a four-run first inning and John Howard slammed a two-run homer as part of a five-run second inning as the Lakers put Game 2 away early.


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