Just about the only positive that the Glenelg Country School baseball team could take away from Monday's 13-3 loss to Annapolis Area Christian at Joe Cannon Stadium was that the Maryland Interscholastic Athletics Association B Conference playoffs are double elimination.
After allowing 10 hits, including three doubles and a triple, and walking 11, the Dragons are thankful to get another chance.
"That's what we talked about. We're still alive, we've got tomorrow," said senior third baseman Tyler Henderson, who is scheduled to take the mound at home against Boys Latin in an elimination game on Tuesday. "It's going to be similar conditions but we're going to have to try to bounce back and fight through it again."
With the tournament scheduled to culminate with the championship games on Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21, at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, there is little room for weather postponements in the bracket.
But as the rainfall steadily increased on Monday afternoon at Joe Cannon, it was apparent that the conditions were affecting the play on the field.
"It wasn't very good conditions for anyone," said Henderson, who made several nice plays at third base. "When I was gripping (the ball) I had to take a little off because if you try to throw it as hard as you could it would sail, so I just made the play, got my grip and tossed it."
Annapolis Area Christian committed five errors throughout the game, leading to a pair of unearned runs, and the Dragons completely lost the strike zone by the sixth inning, when the Eagles had three hits, reached on an error, and drew five walks, the last of which pushed the winning run across the plate, all with two outs.
"You couldn't step without your foot sliding, the ball was slipping all over the place, the mound was in terrible condition by the end," said Henderson, whose brother Brandon came on in relief in the sixth.
But the problems started for the Dragons in the fourth.
In that inning the Eagles loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter and then scored five runs on a bases loaded walk by Nick Watkins, and two-out, two-RBI base hits by Steven Ridings and Brian Parreira (double).
And after scoring twice in the first, on a sac fly by Tyler Henderson and a fielding error, Ridings — the Eagles starter — found his groove, retiring eight batters in a row at one point and taking a no-hitter into the sixth, when Jack Dougherty and Brandon Henderson (bunt) hit back-to-back singles. Despite loading the bases with no outs, the Dragons came away with only one run in that inning, on a sac fly by Max Godwin.
Ridings finished the game with eight strikeouts, one walk, one hit batter, and one earned run on two hits.
"It was an interesting game, just having to deal with the slippery mound," he said. "But I loved the hitting from our team, the team did an amazing job."
Just over two weeks ago, Annapolis Area Christian defeated Glenelg Country, 5-3.
"They're a team that just sticks around and you try to shake them off at some point, but I definitely think we'll see them again," Ridings said.
Despite Monday's messy loss, Glenelg Country has enjoyed an excellent 2012 campaign. For the second year in a row, the Dragons finished the league season 9-6, placing second in the B Conference Red division.
"This year we've had a lot of guys coming together, playing team roles. Pitching's been great this year ... and the bats have been unbelievable," Tyler Henderson said.
Henderson himself has been especially hot, going 9-for-10 with seven extra base hits and ten RBIs during one scorching stretch in late March. And since then, he hasn't cooled off too much. Through 16 games he is still batting .529 (27-51) with 29 RBIs.
"You get two hits a game and then your average is drops ... but everyday you've just got to focus and try to get a couple of hits and help the team win," said Henderson, who has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball for Limestone College in South Carolina next year.
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