South River sweeps two at Bernie Walter Easter Invitational

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Little leads Seahawks with emergency relief; No. 15 Marriotts Ridge splits; Arundel win streak ends at five
Unranked  South River  was the only team to go  2-0 in Thursday’s Bernie Walter Easter Invitational at Arundel High’s Bernie Walter Field in Gambrills.  Howard County’s No. 15 ranked Marriotts Ridge was a  9-4 loser to South River, but came back to edge the host Wildcats, 1-0 in the nightcap.

After starting the season 1-3 with a tie, perennial county and state contending Arundel extended its winning streak to five straight, including an 8-2 victory over No. 4 Severna Park (Falcons first loss) last Friday, with a 7-2 victory over Northern-Calvert County at 9 a.m.  The Cats returned for the fourth and final game of the day at 6 p.m. but their bats went to sleep from the long day.

The Wildcats (6-4-1) got strong pitching performances from senior ace Michael Prosperi and junior Will Schubert in each of their games, but Schubert suffered a tough loss as Joey Fellona knocked in the only run in the fourth inning. Fellona and Max Mahon each had two hits off Schubert.

Arundel junior outfielder Patrick Mason had five hits in the doubleheader, three in the Northern victory including a two-bagger for the Wildcats. Andrew Santarpia and EJ Santana chipped in two hits each in the Arundel win.

Junior Dylan Anagnos out-dualed Schubert  by separating six hits to salvage the 1-1 day for Marriotts Ridge (7-3) after ace Gunnar Barnard suffered the first game loss to South River.

Patrick LittleComing off a 4-1 home loss to Arundel  in Edgewater on Tuesday,  the Seahawks (7-4) bounced back with the change of scenery to Gambrills, ripping 24 hits in their two games to rout Northern-Calvert, 10-5 and Marriotts Ridge by five runs. South River broke out with 15 hits in the first game, despite no extra-base hits, to put the Howard County Mustangs away with a nine-hit attack and the pitching of 6-foot-2 junior lefty Patrick Little, in the second game.

The Hawks dealt two-time Howard County first team All-County right-hander Gunnar Barnard (2-2) the loss, chasing the 6-foot-3 and 235 pounder after three innings, including a decisive six-run second. Barnard was followed to the mound by senior Jake Dinoto, the son of assistant coach Chris Dinoto, a former All-County performer at Arundel, as the first three hitters in the Seahawk lineup had two hits each.

Dinoto  tossed two scoreless innings with three strikeouts.

Strangely enough the top three batters did not have an RBI to show for their six safeties, but they scored six of the nine runs. The Caster brothers, senior Jahan and recently promoted JV sophomore Kavi, tallied three and two runs each with No. 3 hitter Nate Byington scoring one.

Sophomore right-hander Kyle Goetzger was the benefactor of the offensive eruption in the first game triumph over Northern, while Little was a last minute pitcher who would scatter seven hits, strike out six, yield only two runs on just 77 pitches through six innings. Little was forced into action when senior ace Brad Marceron experienced some pain in his right elbow after giving up three hits and two runs in the first inning.

“Brad had something in his elbow, so I unexpectedly came in and pitched six innings throwing mostly fast balls and mixing in my curve which worked well on a couple hitters,” said Little, who went to 2-0 having notched another win in relief just last week. “I tried to change speeds. It was definitely my best outing of the season. It felt really good in my last outing and it carried over today.

“I really focused on working low and throwing strikes.”

South River’s fourth-year coach Gary Gubbings, who was an assistant to Ken B. Dunn before taking the reins from the latter following the school’s only baseball state championship in 2013, was very happy over Little’s effort.

“Pat is a finesse guy who knows he has to pitch to contact,” said Gubbings. “We know we have to defend behind him. He does a really good job staying within himself. He wasn’t expected to go six innings today, one or two, yeah. We couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

The Seahawks couldn’t have asked for anything more in their first two at-bats against Barnard. After getting an RBI single from Nick Moskios in the first inning and leaving two on base, South River rung up six runs in the second inning.  Two RBI’s from cleanup batter Bryce Lerner, a run-scoring knock from Marceron and a bases loaded walk to Keaton Goetzger, Kyle’s twin brother, in addition to a couple Mustang errors produced the crucial frame.

Gary Gubbings“We swung the bats really well in the first game, something we really haven’t been doing,” said Gubbings. “I was hoping we didn’t waste them (15 hits) in the first game, but just about 25 hits in the doubleheader is pretty good. We haven’t really been out of any game this season, but we have to score runs. Our pitchers averaged seven walks per game in our first seven games (went 4-3) and we were not hitting very well.”

South River sure hit in that second inning against Marriotts Ridge and Little saved the day. His sixth and final strikeout came in the fifth inning and it was huge. Little punched out Reed Galloway with two Mustangs aboard to end the inning with No. 3 hitter Josh Olsufka on deck and cleanup man Barnard waiting. Olsufka had two hits on the day and Barnard was 3-for-4 with a homer and three runs knocked in. The score was 7-4 South River when Little rung up the big “K”.

The following seventh frame saw Olsufka and Barnard each single after South River had tallied two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth on a sac-fly by Moskios, a throwing error and two hit batters.

“It was a good day for the Seahawks,” Gubbings concluded. “We basically look at these games as scrimmages to get ready for the playoffs (May).”

Bernie Walter Easter Invitational at Arundel High School

Marriotts Ridge (7-3)      201     010     0     -     4   9   4
South River (7-4)           160     002     X     -      9   9   1

MR – Gunnar Barnard, Jake Dinoto (4), Reed Galloway (6) and Matt Rumrill.
SR – Brad Marceron, Patrick Little (2) and Keaton Goetzger.
2B – Hunter Reeling (MR).
HR – Barnard.

Last Updated (Friday, 14 April 2017 04:37)



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