It wasn't a good sign when Loch Raven coach John Railey walked out to the mound twice in the first inning to visit junior pitcher Adam Boudouris in a Class 2A state semifinal Thursday night against Williamsport, of Washington County.
After facing only five batters, Railey pulled Boudouris.
"He was up (in the strike zone) and was a little tight," Railey said. "You make a change when you need to make a change."
Railey ended up using two other pitchers, and not much else — the Raiders committed three errors and left five runners in scoring position — went right in the 3-0 loss at the University of Maryland's Shipley Field.
If Loch Raven's struggles weren't enough to deal with, the Raiders faced an emotional Williamsport squad that was recovering from the death of the team's No. 1 pitcher, Brendon Colliflower, and his prom date, Sam Kelly, a volleyball player at the school, who were killed in a car accident May 5.
"We have a lot to play for," Williamsport coach David Warrenfeltz said. "We are playing for Brendon and Sam to keep their memory alive. We are trying to help the community recover through what we are doing. There are still a lot of moments we're down, but we run on emotions."
Williamsport senior left-hander Zach Lucas is one doesn't have the most impressive stats (43 innings, 52 hits, 23 K's, 4.68 ERA) , but proved to be effective against Loch Raven (13-10) by striking out six in five innings and allowing four hits and walking one. Tyler Byers pitched two scoreless innings to earn the save.
Boudouris' replacement, Jake Ranniger, wiggled out of one jam his teammate created by striking out Ryan Butts before running into trouble in the third.
Brandon Allen singled to left to start things off and advanced to second on Brandon Greene's walk. Lucas smoked a triple down the left-field line to score both runners.
The Wildcats gave Lucas some more breathing room in the fourth when they chased Ranniger in favor of Sean Welling after 2 1/3 innings, giving up three runs (two earned), three walks and two hits.
Loch Raven's best chance to score came in the fifth when a single by Jack Moseley started it off. Boudouris then doubled to right-center field. After Ranniger struck out, Ryan Flanigan lined out to shortstop Brandon Toloso, who doubled up Boudouris at second.
"We did have our opportunities," said Railey, whose team won four straight in the playoffs, including beating last year's Class 2A runner-up, Lansdowne, in a quarterfinal. "We needed to capitalize on them."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun