- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Scoring a combined 12 runs in the final three innings of a Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Baseball League contest Sunday afternoon at Rainbow Construction Field in La Plata, the St. Mary’s Door completed its come-from-behind victory and defeated Bumpy Oak, 14-8, as both teams battled for playoff positioning.
Half of the 12 late-game runs for St. Mary’s and head coach Drew Willard came in a six-run ninth inning sparked by a two-RBI double from Lyle Kralle, which put St. Mary’s ahead 10-8.
“I’m thinking, ‘Don’t strike out here, put the ball in play and hit the ball hard,’” said Kralle, who faced a 3-ball, 2-strike count in the at-bat.
A wild pitch took the score to 11-8, and Chris D’Antuono (3 RBIs), Ryan D’Antuono and Jay Turen each added RBI singles in the ninth to secure the victory.
“We were getting pretty frustrated, and the first six innings were incredibly frustrating,” Willard said. “We couldn’t push many runs across, period, and then we just got hot. It happens.”
Down 5-0 after two innings and 5-2 after six, it was Turen’s eventual RBI single, with an additional run scoring on a throwing error, that tied the game at 5 in the seventh. Julian Grant then gave St. Mary’s a brief 6-5 lead in the very next at-bat.
“It was a lot of game left,” Kralle said. “It was only the second inning, and we play a nine-inning game. In a seven-inning game, it’s a little tougher to come back, but in a nine-inning game, we had a lot of time. We have a good offense, so we scored some runs.”
Of the comeback, Turen said, “We started seeing more pitches and being more selective, but at the same time, we got more aggressive. I know that is kind of contradictory of each other, but it was more about selecting the right pitches and not chasing anything that was out of the zone.”
St. Mary’s extended its lead to 8-5 an inning later with an RBI double from Jason Bean and an RBI single from Ryan D’Antuono, only for Bumpy Oak to tie the game in its half of the eighth, taking the teams into the final inning knotted at 8.
With all five CHASM playoff spots clinched, the five teams atop the leaderboard continue to jockey for positioning.
The win for St. Mary’s (14-8) ends a three-game losing streak and puts it in the third seed behind the current first seed Western Charles and second-place Yankees.
“It feels really good,” Turen said. “We had a good start, then had a rough stretch, and now we are back on the winning side. It feels good, especially when you can put up 14 runs against a good team like [Bumpy Oak].”
“It felt weird going to shake hands on the winning side, but it’s nice to get one under our belts,” Kralle said.
Bumpy Oak (12-9) and head coach Ray Michael currently hold the fifth seed and missed an opportunity to be tied for fourth with a victory.
Bumpy Oak jumped out to its 5-0 lead in the second with separate two-RBI doubles from Michael and Bobby Connolly, with a wild pitch amounting to the fifth run.
“We know that with Greg Conden pitching for them, we try to get to him early because when he settles in and gets in that groove, he is tough to hit, and that’s basically what happened,” Michael said. “We put one good inning together off of him and then he settled in, and we didn’t do much to him until the end.”
Fighting back from a deficit of its own, Bumpy Oak tied the game at 8 in the eighth inning with RBI singles from Ben Sobocinski and Clint Sanders, with an additional run scoring on error.
Michael admitted that he takes some of the responsibility for the loss, despite his guys’ efforts throughout the contest.
“I really commend all our guys,” Michael said. “We played really hard, and I think we used our entire bench. Everybody had a part in it, and I am kind of disappointed in myself that I came in there in the end and kind of let it get away from us.”
In other Sunday CHASM action, Western Charles defeated the Yankees 9-2, and the Blacksox defeated the Bayhawks 12-2.
St. Mary’s 14, Bumpy Oak 8
St. Mary’s 000 020 426 — 14 15 2
Bumpy Oak 050 000 030 — 8 8 2
WP DeAtley, LP Michael
Extra-base hits: 2B — C. D’Antuono (SM), Bean (SM)