In the official season opener for both teams in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, the Gaithersburg Giants produced single runs in three innings while a quartet of pitchers combined on a shutout in a 3-0 victory against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts Wednesday at Kelley Park.
Gaithersburg (1-0) hurler Jesse Frawley, a rising senior at Central Connecticut State University and Silver Spring starter Brandon Holsworth, a rising senior at Galluadet University, were in a scoreless duel through three innings. But the Giants finally pushed a run across in the fourth and one more in each of the sixth and seventh innings to vault Frawley to the victory.
“It was good just to be back out there pitching,” said Frawley, who has been nursing minor elbow soreness for the past month. “If I had been pitching more recently, I think I could have gone two more innings. But it was my first game back in a month and I just wanted to get some work in. My sinker was working well today, that’s how I was able to get so many groundouts.”
Frawley tossed five scoreless innings to get the win on Wednesday, while recent Riverdale Baptist graduate Taylor Bloom, a University of Maryland recruit, tossed two scoreless innings then Kyle Colgain and Kyle Hamby each tossed one shutout inning. Hamby, a rising senior at Salisbury University, fanned all three batters he faced in the ninth to get the save.
“Jesse went out there and gave us five really good innings,” Gaithersburg coach Jeff Rabberman said. “He did a nice job keeping the ball down in the zone. Taylor was good for two innings and then Kyle and Kyle came in and did their job. Kyle [Hamby] was our closer last year and he’s going to be our closer again this year. He went out and attacked the hitters.”
Gaithersburg looked poised for a big inning in the fourth, but Holsworth nearly escaped unharmed. After the first two batters reached, Holsworth enticed Ryan Thomas to ground into a double play. But with two outs and Brady Pollicelli on third, Brady Acker, a recent Atholton High graduate and George Mason University recruit, smacked a double to left center to break the deadlock.
“I didn’t want to leave my teammate stranded at third,” Acker said. “I wanted to be aggressive and I was looking for something good to hit early in the count.”
Acker would contribute to the Giants’ second run two innings later. With one out, Thomas beat out an infield single then Acker followed with a single to right. Connor Mascalla, a rising sophomore at the University of Texas-Austin, followed with a single to right center that scored Thomas to give the Giants a 2-0 lead.
One inning later the Giants added an insurance run off reliever Nick Moylan, a Silver Spring native and rising sophomore at the University of Delaware. With one out, Derek Jenkins, a rising junior at Seton Hall University, beat out an infield single then stole second and Pollicelli followed with a single to left that scored Jenkins for the game’s final run.
“Right now it’s all about making the right adjustments,” said Silver Spring-Takoma coach Doug Remer, a Springbrook High teacher who spent the spring as a roving assistant coach for the Bowie Baysox. “They made a few more plays than we did today and that was the difference. But it’s just one game and we played one of the best teams in this league, so getting beat 3-0 is not a bad outcome.”
Silver Spring-Takoma left fielder Tyler Coleman, a 2013 Richard Montgomery graduate and rising sophomore at Montgomery College-Germantown, made the game’s best defensive play when he robbed Mason Hesse of certain extra bases by making a running catch on the warning track in left field.
Gaithersburg 3, Silver Spring 0
SS (0-1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0
GB (1-0) 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 x - 3
WP - Jesse Frawley - LP - Brandon Holsworth - 2B - GB - Brady Acker - RBI - Brady Acker 1, Connor Mascalla 1, Brady Pollicelli 1.