When the Eastern Tech Mavericks last took the baseball diamond against the No. 19 Dulaney Lions, it was the Essex-area squad which left the field licking its wounds from a thorough thumping.
Not wanting to bask in the same discouraging feeling, the Mavs picked up their game to avenge their prior loss, topping the Lions, Friday, in Fox 45’s Game of the Week, 5-3.
“We played a real good game,” Eastern Tech coach Spike McElfish said. “Dulaney had a good team, and we played them earlier in the year and didn’t have a real good day, so it was nice to come back and play them better this time.”
Despite one run entering the books for the Mavs (8-6) in the third inning, the game saw very little offense from either dugout, but that all changed in the seventh inning.
Starting Tech with a leadoff single to leftfield, Chuckie Trentler made his way on to the base paths ahead of walked-Neil Westdorp and error-benefactor Jimmy Szamski to load the bases. With the infield playing up, clean-up batter Troy Schuchman then dribbled an infield grounder which would be overthrown to home plate, causing two Maverick runs to score.
One batter later, Logan Miller took down the first-base-line after a dropped third strike rolled to the backstop, ringing in Szamski for the team’s third run of the inning and a 4-0 lead.
But the terror was not over for the Lions (10-5).
After the dropped third strike, Shane Mizelle drove in Schuchman with his fielder’s choice to short, rounding out the Maverick’s scoring efforts.
“We just had to put the ball in play and make the routine plays,” said Trentler, who scored twice in the game with a 2-for-4 appearance at the plate. “Leadoff hits were key, and we just put the ball in play when we needed.”
“A team like that doesn’t make many mistakes,” McElfish added. “So when they do, you have to capitalize.”
Even after Dunaley’s blow-up in the top of the inning, the Lions were not ready to give up. Putting together a double, two triples and a couple walks, the team saw three players cross the plate before the game’s final out.
Tyler Marvel riled up his teammates with a leadoff double down the leftfield-line, and crossed the plate moments later on a Ryan Bartenfelder bomb to right-center for an RBI-triple. Sheridan Doan duplicated Bartenfelder’s triple, this time to center, scoring his teammate and walked-Patrick Hoffman for the team’s second and third runs.
After the first Dulaney run scored, Schuchman called it a day for his work on the mound, exiting the game with six innings pitched and three strikeouts. More impressively, the junior pitcher picked-off two Lion base-runners in the first inning, and a third runner two innings later.
“Troy has a great move, and that was just a momentum killer for them,” McElfish said. “All three times.”
“I don’t really think I had my best stuff today, but everyone had my back as usual,” Schuchman graded himself. “I just tried to tough it out, and Chris came in to close it.”
Besides the runs scored in the seventh, Chris Hook closed the game with all three outs of the inning coming by way of strikeout.
Pitching wasn’t the only defense which denied the Lions a second win over the Mavericks. Making a connection with relay-partner Trentler, Szamski helped hose down a Dulaney runner trying to extend a double to triple in the sixth.
“The kid hit it over my left shoulder towards the line, and I ran back as fast as I could to get it,” Szamski detailed. “I turned and pivoted, and tried to throw it down to second and get him out. He went to third, and Chuckie relayed it, and we got him out.”
Kurtis Ewers pitched six innings for the Lions, striking out six batters and producing five shutout innings.
Eastern Tech isn’t out of the Baltimore County schedule yet. The Mavericks still have games against Overlea, Parkville and Kenwood before taking to the postseason, but McElfish believes this win will push his players in the right direction with confidence.
“They are 4A and we are 3A, but that aside, the momentum and confidence this gives us is amazing,” McElfish said. “Especially laying down on the game earlier in their tournament, the confidence level is just great.”
Dulaney, too, has a number of in-county games remaining, including battles with Pikesville, Perry Hall, No. 18 Hereford and Parkville.
You can email CJ Malinowski at email@example.com, and follow him on twitter.
Eastern Tech Mavericks 5, No. 19 Dulaney Lions 3
EASTERN TECH 001 000 4 – 5 8 2
DULANEY 000 000 3 – 3 7 3