Just over a week ago, it didn't seem like the Reservoir baseball team had a chance at winning this year's Howard County title. But that didn't stop the Gators from making things difficult for anyone else in the championship hunt.
Coming into last week, Oakland Mills was 11-1 and in control of its own destiny to win its first county championship. But then, on Monday, April 29, Reservoir knocked off the Scorpions, 5-3, behind a strong pitching performance from sophomore ace Cody Morris to reopen the county race. After that game, Atholton and Oakland Mills were both 11-2 in league play.
Before the week was over, Oakland Mills had lost twice more — to River Hill (5-3) and Hammond (5-1) — to drop to 11-4, and Atholton, at 12-3, was in the drivers seat.
But then Reservoir struck again.
On Monday, May 6, the Gators (11-4) knocked off Atholton, 8-5, behind another strong performance from Morris (7 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 12 K), while Oakland Mills took care of business against Glenelg, 4-1, to knot things up again atop the county standings.
"It's nice. Things have started to come together for us and hopefully we'll keep it going into the playoffs," Reservoir coach Adam Leader said.
Atholton and Oakland Mills are now both 12-4 with one game left to play.
The Raiders were scheduled to visit Wilde Lake (4-12) and Oakland Mills was scheduled to visit Reservoir on Tuesday, May 7, but both games were rained out and rescheduled for Wednesday.
If both fields are unplayable on Wednesday, the county race will end in a tie between Atholton and Oakland Mills.
But if one team were to win while the other lost, the victor would take sole ownership of the county title.
And in a final bizarre scenario, if Reservoir defeated Oakland Mills while Wilde Lake upset Atholton, all three teams — Atholton, Oakland Mills and Reservoir — would finish 12-5 and each share a third of the county crown.
Reservoir has won each of the last two county titles.
Around the league
Howard 4, Long Reach 2
Howard finished the season with a winning record (9-8), while Long Reach lost its 11th game of the year by three runs or less.
Marriotts Ridge 11, Hammond 1 (5 innings)
The Mustangs collected 14 hits, including home runs by Jake Bender (3 RBIs), Connor Delaney (2 RBIs) and Matt Hanson (2 RBIs), to rout the Golden Bears, 11-1. Eric Brown allowed only one hit and no runs in three innings, before handing the ball over to Connor Brown who allowed just one run in two innings of relief.
Mt. Hebron 10, Centennial 0 (6 innings)
Jacob Meyer (three runs) reached base twice via catcher's interference, the second time in the bottom of the sixth inning to force in the tenth run with the bases loaded and two outs, ending the game via mercy rule.
Chris Carbonetti pitched the complete game for the Vikings, striking out seven while allowing three hits and three walks. Bobby Gormley hit a bases loaded triple, while Brady Smouse and Sean Kelly each collected a pair of hits.