For the second time in three days, the Reservoir baseball team piled into a bus in Howard County and embarked on a three-hour trip to the Eastern Shore. On Friday, though, the ride home seemed much longer.
Reservoir lost to Stephen Decatur, 3-1, in the 3A East regional championship game after pulling out a 6-5 regional semifinal win over two-time defending state champion J.M. Bennett on Wednesday.
"The experience of having to travel out here twice isn't easy," Reservoir coach Adam Leader said. "We gained a lot of experience this year that can only help us in the future, so I'm really proud of these guys and the way they're handling this now."
Reservoir, which played eight sophomores on Friday and only one senior — designated hitter Seth Singer — tied the game, 1-1, in the top of the fourth on an infield single by Tony Grabow.
But Stephen Decatur, which knocked out Mt. Hebron (1-0 in nine innings) and River Hill (5-4) earlier in the playoffs, went back ahead with an RBI double by Zach Adams in the bottom of the fourth and then tacked on an insurance run in the fifth on an RBI single by Justin Meekins.
"That’s how its been all year. We're young, we don't have a whole lot of pop, and the runs come one or two. Against good teams we don't really have big innings," Stephen Decatur coach Rich Ferro said.
Reservoir stranded seven base-runners, leaving the bases loaded in the second inning and two on with one out in the sixth.
"We didn't get it done, the bats fell asleep. We were pretty equal teams and we should have won. We made a couple of miscues in the field that were costly but most of all we couldn't score runs," said sophomore first baseman Cody Morris, who finished 3-for-3 with a run scored. "We've got pretty much everyone coming back except for Singer and I really wish we could have got it done for him. But it looks like the future is bright, I think we'll be back."
Singer contributed two sacrifice bunts and was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning.
"The first thing that all of us talked about was Seth and we thanked him for the season he gave us," Leader said. "Seth was somebody who came in and didn't play much last year and really contributed between being a backup first baseman and DH."
Sophomore Doug Zilka led off the seventh inning with a pinch-hit single to bring the tying run to the plate.
Stephen Decatur sophomore Grant Donahue earned the win for the Seahawks, while fellow sophomore Sean Colgan pitched the sixth and seventh innings to get the save.
Reservoir sophomores Jon Mierzwa and Tony Grabow combined to hold Stephen Decatur to three runs on eight hits, and junior catcher Danny O'Hagan caught a runner stealing second base in the first inning.
"I wouldn't trade the experience for a second," Leader said. "I'm excited to keep working with them."
Re 000 100 0 – 1 5 1
SD 100 110 x – 3 8 0
Mierzwa, Grabow (5) and O'Hagan. Donahue, Colgan (6) and Adams.
2B: SD — Adams.
Marriotts Ridge fought back from a 3-0 deficit to tie Patuxent in the seventh, but Patuxent scored the walk-off run in the bottom of the seventh on a bases loaded, one-out wild pitch to win, 4-3.
Patuxent senior Cody Robertson pitched six innings of four-hit baseball, striking out ten, walking three and allowing one run.
Patuxent had nine hits — including three by senior Gabe Castro (double) — and Marriotts Ridge had six.