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.
Oakland Mills 4, Glenelg 1
Oakland Mills stayed alive in the race for the county championship by defeating Glenelg, 4-1.
Joe Zayatz doubled, Ben Hale had two singles and an RBI and Cody Thomas singled and drove in two runs for the Scorpions.
Kyle Madden-Stricker pitched the first three innings, striking out three, walking one and allowing two hits. Cody Thomas pitched the 3 and 1/3 innings, and allowed two hits and a run. Zayatz came on in the top of the seventh to close, and ended the game by inducing a double play ball.
Anthony Bowman (two hits) drove in Chris Dornan (two hits, doble) in the top of the seventh for the Gladiators' only run. Carter Sancomb also had two hits for Glenelg.
Logan Dubbe allowed one run on three hits in three innings, striking out four and walking two.
Reservoir 8, Atholton 5
Paul Burmester hit a three-run home run in the top of the seventh for the Raiders, but Gators ace Cody Morris was too much to overcome (12 K, 2 BB). Phil Frazier was 3-for-3 for the Raiders.
River Hill 11, Wilde Lake 0 (5 innings)
The Hawks hammered out 14 hits in a dominant offensive, defensive and pitching performance on senior day against visiting Wilde Lake on Monday.
Brandon Pelletier had the Wildecats' only hit, while Nick Wright walked and stole two bases. Wilde Lake was hamstrung by three fielding errors.
Marriotts Ridge 7, Mt. Hebron 2 (Saturday, May 4)
Mike Dorsch allowed two runs on four hits in six innings to lead the Mustangs past Mt. Hebron on Saturday. Connor Brown pitched the final inning for Marriotts Ridge, striking out two batters without yielding a run. Kevin Ross led the Mustangs at the plate with three hits and two RBIs, while Eric Augustino chipped in with two doubles.
League standings (as of May 7)
Oakland Mills, 12-4
Marriotts Ridge, 10-7
River Hill, 10-7
Mt. Hebron, 9-8
Wilde Lake, 4-12
Long Reach, 1-16
Glenelg Country, 12-2 MIAA B
Chapelgate, 6-2 MIAA C
Wednesday, May 8 schedule
Oakland Mills at Reservoir, 3 p.m.
Atholton at Wilde Lake, 4:15 p.m.
Boys Latin at Glenelg Country, 4:15 p.m.