Crusaders take out Severn in five innings in league opener

Although it won a pair of non-league tuneups against new MIAA B Conference rival Boys’ Latin School in the past week, the St. Paul’s School baseball team made its official debut in its new league, Monday, taking out visiting Severn, 11-1, in five innings in Brooklandville.

St. Paul’s (3-1 overall) would have made its debut in 2020, having moved down after many years in the A Conference, but COVID-19 made certain that season never got underway.

After a scoreless first, the Crusaders broke out with a 3-run second when Cam Nelson singled home a pair of runs and Alex Cromwell delivered an RBI triple. Jack VanValkenburgh delivered an RBI single in the third and he later scored on sacrifice fly from Hayden Hair to push the Crusaders lead to 5-0.

Severn (0-1) got on the board in the top of the fourth when Campbell Grimes reached on a leadoff single, moved to third on an error and a passed ball, and scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Grant Cowell.

St. Paul’s countered with five runs in their half of the fifth which featured a two-run inside the park home run by Zach Felton. The Crusaders scored their 11th run in the fifth to close out the run-rule victory.

Cromwell and Felton each had three hits and two RBI’s to pace the Crusaders. On the mound, Nelson worked the first three innings, striking out seven to earn the win, and Hair and Grant English each worked one inning.