No. 10 Reservoir knocks off River Hill

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Alexander's four-hitter keeps Gators off balance
Pat AlexanderReservoir showed Thursday that the 10th-ranked Gators might have their best team since their 2014 Class 3A State Champion, as they dealt No. 6 River Hill its first Howard County League loss by 8-1 in Fulton.

Senior righthander Pat Alexander, a catcher turned pitcher, was brilliant as he hurled a four-hitter with seven strikeouts, only one walk and one hit-batter on 98 pitches.

The Hawks slipped to 9-1 in Howard County action while Reservoir improved to 8-2 coming off a last inning 5-4 loss to No. 14 Marriotts Ridge on Wednesday. River Hill and Reservoir are each 11-2 overall with the result of what was a makeup game between the two who could meet again in the Class 3A East Regional that also includes No. 4 Chesapeake (10-1) of Anne Arundel County, the defending region champion and 3A State finalist.

Reservoir (22-3) won the 2014 3A State championship by 2-0 over North Harford behind junior phenom Cody Morris and had great expectations going into 2015. Those hopes of a repeat crown with Morris leading the way were dashed by an arm injury to Morris who underwent Tommy John surgery after his senior season.

“Cody is doing fine now,” said Gator coach Adam Leader.  “I went down to see him last week during our break and he is pitching and feeling good. He is considered a freshman athletically at South Carolina.”

With Morris pitching only sparingly during March in 2015, the Gators went 16-5 and lost in the 3A East Regional final and last spring they were 13-6 exiting the regional earlier in the quarterfinals.

“We only lost one player from last season and had a lot of experience returning,” said Leader.

Optimism was abound coming into this season and the Gators have so far lived up to expectations with the conversion of Alexander paying dividends.

Alexander, who has mostly worn the mask and gear in his high school career, became the No. 2 pitcher behind ace right-hander Max Goron this spring and has more than pleased coach Leader and his teammates.

“Pat is the heart and soul of our team and did a great job in what was a huge win and one that made a statement not only to River Hill, but to the entire county,” said Goron, who supported Alexander with a 3-for-3 day with a double and RBI.

The 6-foot-5 and 200-pound Goron will pitch at UMBC next year and won’t get to hit, but he looked pretty good at the plate against rival River Hill, singling twice and drilling a two-bagger to center to drive in the final of four runs in a game-clinching sixth inning.

“We needed this win after losing to Marriotts Ridge yesterday and Pat got it done for us,” said Goron, the only Gator with more than one hit off Hawks’ starter and loser Josh Mann who went 5.2 innings on 91 pitches, giving up nine hits and was charged with all 8 runs.

Alexander mixed a fast ball and change and altered speeds in  keeping the Hawks off balance striking out a batter in every inning but the second when he issued his only walk and Connor McCullough who got it later scored. He closed down the River Hill attack with two K’s in the last inning, including the final batter. Only catcher Luke Parker, whose twin brother Jake plays centerfield, had two hits off Alexander.

Under the tutelage of his twin brothers Kevin and Kyle, a pitcher and catcher combo who graduated from Reservoir in 2011, Alexander developed his change-up which was crucial for him in ringing up the victory.

“It worked well for me today after I couldn’t find my curve ball,” said Alexander, who used to chase foul balls according to Leader when the twins played for the Gators.

“Coach told us to keep focused coming into this game after the loss and we did. Our team has a lot of heart.”

Leader joined Goron in citing the heart of Alexander and added his game toughness.

“Pat not only is a competitor with a lot of heart, but he is a really smart player,” said the coach. “He knows what he is doing out there. He was outstanding today. I am proud of him and entire team for the way they bounced back.’”

River Hill Hawks (9-1, 11-2)     010     000     0     -   1   4   3
Reservoir Gators (8-2, 11-2)    012     014     X     -   8    9   2  

RH – Josh Mann, Rich Gerard (6) and Luke Parker.
R – Pat Alexander and Kyle Fehr.
2B – R – Cameron Hyder and Max Goron; RH – Ian Sterling

Last Updated (Thursday, 20 April 2017 23:11)



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