College of Southern Maryland baseball sees nine-game win streak end
- By TED BLACK firstname.lastname@example.org
During their nine-game win streak that came to an end Thursday afternoon at the hands of visiting Allegany College of Maryland, the College of Southern Maryland baseball team had benefited from stellar pitching, sound defense and timely hitting.
CSM suffered its first setback in three weeks as it dropped both games of a doubleheader, 10-4 and 10-9, on a day when starters Jaime Gomez and Trevor Burch (a St. Mary's Ryken High School graduate from Charlotte Hall) suffered through rough outings and each was handed a loss in their respective contest. They got plenty of run support, but not the defensive help second-year coach Aaron Michael expected.
"Honestly, Jaime wasn't as sharp today," Michael said. "When your pitcher is battling, the defense needs to pick him up and we didn't do that in the first game. I thought their pitcher did a good job keeping our guys off balance. We needed to put the ball in play more. But with him being able to go the distance that really saved their bullpen for the second game."
Consequently, Allegany got a superb outing from Josh Stegmaier in the opener, who limited the Hawks to four unearned runs on five hits and one walk while fanning five in a complete-game victory. In the second game, Allegany starter Nick Keaton allowed four runs in four innings of work but did not factor in the decision. Reliever Matt Huston picked up the win by holding the Hawks to two runs, one earned, in 2 1/3 innings of work.
After seeing their nine-game win streak come to a screeching halt in the opener, the Hawks found themselves trailing 6-0 after two innings when Allegany center fielder Dan Fry crushed a grand slam to left-center field. Fry had gone 3 for 4 with a triple and a double in the opener and he continued to plaque the Hawks with his bat at the outset of the second game.
CSM drew close with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and then completed an improbable rally by plating five runs in the home half of the fifth to forge a 7-6 lead.
Ajay Demino (a Huntingtown High School graduate from Huntingtown) delivered a two-run single, then Justin Hitt (a Northern High School graduate from Carol Stream, Ill.) followed with a two-run triple to give the Hawks their first lead of the twin-bill. Unfortunately, it would only last until Fry made his next plate appearance.
Burch had kept the visitors silent through three innings after Fry's grand slam in the second, but he allowed consecutive hits from Ryan Wentzel and Branden Jones and was hooked in favor of Brandyn Vogtsberger, a Huntingtown High School graduate from Huntingtown.
Vogtsberger fanned Ryan Miller, but walked Jesse Hodge to load the bases and Fry promptly greeted him by sending his first pitch over the fence in right-center for his second grand slam of the contest.
CSM responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to get back within a run, but after drilling a two-run triple in his previous at-bat Hitt grounded back to the pitcher with the bases loaded for the final out. Matt Fitch (a Westlake High School graduate from Waldorf) reached on a one-out error by Huston in the seventh, but Dale Arbaugh III fanned and C.J. Hill (a Chopticon High School graduate from Leonardtown) flew out to Fry in center to end it.
"It was nice having a nine-game win streak, but there are a lot more games left to be played," Michael said. "We have a big week coming up with more Maryland JUCO games and more divisional games. I'm proud of the guys for the fact that they battled back that second game. When it was 6-0 early they could have given up at that point especially after losing the first game, 10-4, but they kept their heads in it and they kept fighting."
Saturday afternoon, the Hawks rebounded to take two games from Paul D. Camp (Va.), 7-4 and 5-4.
In the opener, Cody Bottorf (a North Point High School graduate from Waldorf) made the most of his lone at-bat by delivering a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth and reliever Hitt fanned the only batter he faced to pick up the win. In the second game, Will Vickers went 1 for 3 with three RBIs for the Hawks.
Then on Sunday afternoon, CSM dropped two games at Hagerstown, 7-4 and 12-11.
The Hawks jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the opener thanks to two RBIs each from Arbaugh and Hitt, but they could not hold onto the advantage. Then in the wild second game, CSM trailed 8-2 early, rallied to take the lead courtesy of a nine-run fifth before surrendering the advantage over the last two innings. Fitch went 3 for 5 in the second game, while Burch was 1 for 4 with three RBIs.
CSM (13-12, 2-7 Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference) was scheduled to host Chesapeake in a single game on Tuesday, then play another round of three doubleheaders in four days starting with Thursday at Frederick followed by Saturday at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf at noon versus CCBC-Dundalk and at home Sunday versus Cecil at noon.