After battling through seven-inning doubleheaders through the dog days of summer, teams from the Charles & St. Mary’s Baseball League will begin their quest for the CHASM League title this weekend with a pair of nine-inning games each day in the double-elimination format.
During the league slate, Pomfret (17-1) cruised to the regular season crown while dedicating the season to longtime late coach and former player, Pernell Young. The Pirates split a doubleheader with defending champion Western Charles on June 28, but they have won 14 straight games heading into the postseason.
“We’ve got a good chance to win the tournament,” said Pirates’ hurler Brandon Samuels. “We’ve been playing really well all season. Our defense is very good and our hitting has been good all season. There are some really good teams in this league.”
Pomfret dedicated the season to the one of its former players and coaches, Pernell Young, who passed away prior to the summer schedule. His brother, Garnell Young, has been a coach and player with the Pirates since their earlier days in the league as the Black Sox, and he has commended the current Pirates for honoring his brother with a regular season title.
“Our guys came out ready to play every week,” Young said. “I know my brother would have appreciated the way they have played. We’ve got really good pitching and a good defense and we can score some runs. But you can’t take anything for granted once the playoffs start.”
Western Charles (11-7) will head into the postseason as the defending tournament champions. The Natty Boh’s ended the season by winning seven of their last eight games and were the only team to upend Pomfret during the regular season slate. Western Charles shortstop and leadoff batter Tyler Summers admits the double-elimination tournament brings out the best in all of the competitors.
“Our guys have been playing really well the last month of the season,” Summers said. “We’ve got a good, veteran group. They know how to get up for the playoffs. It’s all about which teams gets the good pitching and plays good defense. You can’t make mistakes.”
Indian Head (9-9) emerged as the third overall seed and will face Western Charles this weekend in the opening round of double-elimination play. Indians’ coach Darren Sanders will have a solid group of pitchers to send to the mound, including Greg Conden, Charlie Wright and Sam Wright and the Indians’ lineup can generate some runs.
St. Mary’s Legion Post 255 (8-10), which was scheduled to face La Plata in Wednesday’s play-game game to join the double-elimination portion of the tournament, started the season well but struggled in August. Post 255, which reached the championship round of last year’s tournament via the winner’s bracket, will look to atone for last year’s finals setback to Western Charles.