Fallston bats are shut down in 8-0 state final baseball loss to Middletown

Randy McRoberts
Contact Reporterrmcroberts@theaegis.com

The Fallston baseball team weathered a three-hour plus rain delay Saturday evening, but the Cougars could not weather the Middletown Knights and pitcher Matt Dillard.

Fallston was limited to five hits and, most importantly, zero runs, as the Knights blanked the Cougars, 8-0, for the Class 2A state championship played at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.

Dillard pitched a complete game, striking out 11 for the Knights.

"Dillard was really good this evening, he was mixing in three pitches for strikes and he was getting ahead of us and he was really getting that leadoff guy every inning," Cougars head coach Grant Morlock said. "Like six out of seven innings he got the leadoff guy."

Fallston starter Bryce Logan (eight hits, seven strikeouts) wasn't bad, Dillard and his teammates were just better.

Bryce Logan struck out the side in the first and despite a leadoff single in the second, had the Knights scoreless through two innings.

That changed in the bottom of the third. Ryan Woelkers led off the inning with a single and Nick Madden drew one of two walks issued by the Cougars lefty.

Leadoff man Andrew Wenner put down a textbook sacrifice bunt and Jacob House followed with a two-RBI single through the Cougars drawn in infield.

House was later cut down at the plate on a failed squeeze play, but Luke Pryor, who missed the bunt, eventually singled and scored on Robbie Houck's two-out single.

The Cougars, meanwhile, got one-out singles from Blake Loewe and Everett Cox in the top of the third, but Kyle Hoover's shallow fly ball into left field turned into a fielder's choice and Noah Hagenston struck out to end the inning.

The Knights added two more runs in the fifth. Wenner (2-3) and House (2-4) both singled and scored. Wenner on a Houck sac fly and House on a steal of third and a Cougars error.

Cox (2-3) added his second hit of the game leading off the sixth, but Dillard got Hoover to ground into an 4-6-3 double play. Dillard's 10th strikeout ended the inning.

Cougars head coach Morlock relieved his starter in the sixth. Unfortunately, reliever Kyle Moody came on and with eight of nine pitches coming across as balls, he was relieved.

"We didn't come out to play today, obviously," Loewe said. "Our pitcher threw as well as he could, we just gave him no run support. Didn't get anything on the board and that's how it goes sometimes."

Joe Pacheco came on and gave up back-to-back singles and the Knights final three runs.

Fallston got a two-out single from Brady Logan (2-3) in the seventh, but Dillard struck out pinch hitter Brett Sperl for the final out.

"I'm just proud of our boys, if you would have told us this, the beginning of April, we'd be standing here a state runner up on May 27th, I'd say you're crazy, but these guys worked their tails off all year and I'm just proud of all they've accomplished," Morlock said.

The Cougars season ends at 16-8.

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