In a game in which both baseball teams arrived with identical records and comparable goals of gaining some momentum heading into their respective region playoffs, which are scheduled to begin next week, Col. Zadok Magruder High School gained an early advantage on host Watkins Mill Saturday afternoon and cruised to an 8-1 victory.
Magruder (5-9) scored four runs in the top of the first inning against Watkins Mill freshman starter Satchel Dyer and the Colonels gradually added to their lead with four more runs, all of which were unearned, during the middle innings. Watkins Mill (4-10), which began the season with seven straight losses then won four straight, suffered its third straight loss.
“I mainly just relied on my fastball and my defense,” said Magruder senior pitcher Hank Bunting, who allowed one run on six hits while striking out eight batters in seven innings. “I just focused on throwing strikes and my defense played great. My fastball was pretty good today. We got those four runs early and that helped. Right now we’re just hoping to get some momentum going into the playoffs.”
Magruder staked Bunting to an early lead by getting four runs in the top of the first against Dyer. Peter Loebach led off with a double and Jesse Wood singled and both runners later scored on a single by John Platt. Gerald Buchanan doubled and Kyle Beskett walked and both scored on a two-out single by Luc Douville.
Magruder’s next four runs, however, came courtesy of several Watkins Mill’s mistakes. The Colonels got one run unearned run in the third, two more in the fourth and another in the fifth.
Watkins Mill turned two double plays to avoid being run-ruled. With the bases loaded and one out in the sixth, Loebach hit a chopper back to the mound that reliever John Suarez, catcher Matt Finn and Jacob Richards turned into a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning. In the seventh, Kyle Heskett lined out to Suarez, who doubled up Wood at first.
“We made some good plays, but we have to clean up the mistakes,” said Watkins Mill first-year coach Michael Celenza, a 2006 Quince Orchard alumnus. “I think most of their runs after the first inning came on our mistakes. But the guys are playing hard and they’re learning. We had some chances to score some more runs, but we let them get away. We’re still a work in progress.”
Watkins Mill scored its lone run in the home half of the first when Finn singled home Suarez, who led off the inning with a single and stole second and third. But the Wolverines left two runners stranded in the first and then left the bases loaded in a scoreless second. Watkins Mill managed only two hits over the last five innings against Bunting — both were infield singles in the sixth.
Magruder 8, Watkins Mill 1
M (5-9) 4 0 1 2 1 0 0 — 8
WM (4-10) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 1
WP — Hank Bunting LP — Satchel Dyer 2B — M: Peter Loebach 1, Gerald Buchanan 1, John Platt 1. WM: Jacob Richards 1. 3B — M: Franco Basile. RBI — M: John Platt 2, Luc Douville 2, John Platt 1. WM: Matt Finn 1.