For five innings, Patterson Mill junior ace Alex Koehn was a baseball Houdini, pitching out of several scoring threats generated by St. Michael’s, in Tuesday’s 1A baseball state semifinal at McCurdy Field in Frederick, as the team’s entered the bottom of the sixth inning in a 1-1 stalemate.
Koehn nearly escaped another jam in the sixth, but a throwing error on a would-be inning ending double-play opened the door for a four-run outburst for the Saints that carried them to a 5-1 win and a place in Saturday’s 1A state championship game against Boonsboro, at Ripken Stadium.
Patterson Mill was seeking its second straight trip to Ripken, hoping to claim its elusive first state championship, after finishing twice in the last five years.
Matt Grogan gave St. Michael’s the lead with an RBI double off the glove of Patterson Mill third-baseman Thomas Kragh, who made a diving stab at the ball. The Saints then added two more doubles, as Seth Parks drove in the third run and Andrew Risher plated the final two.
In the top of the seventh, Noah Brack, who limited the Huskies to just three base hits in the contest, retired the side in order to close out the game. Brack, who …., also drove in St. Michael’s first run with a safety squeeze bunt in the fourth inning.
Patterson Mill tied the game, 1-1, in the top of the fifth, as Cooper Mattheu smacked a leadoff triple off of Brack and raced home on a wild pitch.
“Congratulations to an outstanding St. Michaels team,” said Patterson Mill coach Matt Roseland. “A strong lineup 1 thur 9 with great pitching and great coaching is a tough draw for anyone and a very worthy opponent for a Final Four game.
“We hit three or four line drives right at guys today and they hit a few down the line and in the gaps in one inning that made all the difference. That’s how baseball goes and they certainly earned the victory. Setting extremely high goals sometimes masks the accomplishments you achieve throughout the year. Our quest was to get back to Ripken and bring back a state championship. After coming up short today, looking back at being 21-3 in the division we play in is an outstanding accomplishment.”
Patterson Mill is now 42-7 over the last two years, with a pair of Chesapeake Division championships, two regional championships and a state finals appearance.