Fellona and Lee lead Marriotts Ridge to a key victory in Howard County

by Pat O’Malley

Ryan Lee mixed three pitches masterfully to defeat Reservoir and help Marriotts Ridge claim a share of first place in Howard County.

Southpaw Ryan Lee had all three pitches working and his battery-mate Joey Fellona called the right ones to throw and the latter delivered a clutch, two-out, two-run knock to highlight a four-run fourth inning as No. 8 Marriotts Ridge defeated No.15 Reservoir, 6-3, in Howard County baseball.

The league is one of the metro area’s most highly competitive circuits and the victory by the host Mustangs (11-2 overall), in Marriottsville on Monday, left the defending Howard County champions deadlocked for first place in the league with No. 6 Howard (12-3). The Stangs and Lions are 10-2 each while No. 15 Reservoir (9-4) and No. 16 Mount Hebron (9-3), a 5-1 loser to Centennial, are tied for third at 9-3 each in league play.

“We’re glad to be tied for first, but I’m only thinking about our next game, at Glenelg on Wednesday,” said Marriotts Ridge coach Paul Eckert of his Class 2A team. “Ryan threw very well for us today and that’s the kind of pitching we need to get in this tough league. I’ve got to stay focused on Glenelg. These guys can enjoy the win tonight and practice tomorrow.”

Glenelg is 5-7 in league play, but pushed the Mustangs at Marriotts Ridge back in late March before bowing, 5-4. Mount Hebron pays a visit to Marriottsville on Friday.

Lee, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound 11th grader on what is a junior dominated club, threw only 75 pitches over the six innings he worked before giving way to senior lefty Dylan Anagnos, an MSABC pre-season All-State pitcher who was 7-1 in 2017 who closed it out.

“Ryan could have finished, but we can use him again on Friday per the state pitching rules,” said Eckert.

Eckert will hope if he calls on Lee for Mount Hebron that he will be as sharp with his fast ball, curve and change-up and his location.

After his teammates got him a run in the first inning, Lee was touched for a pair as the Gators took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third. No. 9 hitter Tyler Welch started the inning with a bingle followed by a two-base knock by Cameron Hyder. After Kyle Chu skied to short right. Ken Harrington doubled to right sending Hyder and Chu home for a 2-1 Reservoir lead.

Harrington’s hit would be the last given up by Lee through his six innings pitched. Lee finished with five hits given up, one strikeout and one walk to lift his record to 3-0.

“My change-up has gotten way better this year and is more effective for me,” said Lee. “When you can throw a third pitch in there, it’s hard for hitters to hit. I had a little rough spot in the second inning. I felt like I controlled all three pitches effectively.”

Marriotts Ridge would get the lead back for good for Lee in the bottom of the fourth after the Stangs had big innings taken away from them in the first and second innings when the Gators turned back-to-back 6-4-3 double-plays. Aaron Chiu and Nick Dinoto had RBI’s to start the fourth before Fellona singled in a big pair to make it 5-2 Marriotts Ridge.

“I got the pitch I wanted,” said Fellona, a senior who spent some extra time in the batting cage away from his school team on Sunday. “I was looking for a fast ball outside and that’s what I have been trained to do. I’ve been working on that pitch. I’ve been feeling that and really driving that pitch lately.”

Hunter Reeling, one of three seniors who start, capped the Mustang scoring leading off the bottom of the sixth with a rocket dinger over the left field fence. An RBI-fielder’s choice by Chu provided the Gators with their final run.

“They (Marriotts Ridge) came out and swung the bats well,” said Reservoir coach Adam Leader. “We can play better defensively. The league has been real tough and it’s going to be a long two weeks (until the end of the league season) of good baseball going on.”

Pictured above: Marriotts Ridge’s Joey Fellona caught a great game and delivered a two-run hit to lead No. 8 Marriotts Ridge to victory.

Reservoir (10-3, 9-3) 002 000 1 – 3 7 1
Marriotts Ridge (11-2, 10-2) 100 401 x – 6 8 0
Eric Jenkins, Nick Helmick (4) and Jason Meyer; Ryan Lee, Dylan Anagnos (7) and Joey Fellona.
WP-Lee (3-0) LP-Jenkins (2-1)
2B: R-Cameron Hyder, Ken Harrington.
HR: MR-Hunter Reeling.