When Reservoir senior shortstop Joe Kearney transferred from Mount St. Joseph to Reservoir prior to this school year, he traded the uniform of one of the top private school baseball teams in the state for one of the top public school teams in the state.
And so far, he is very happy with his new threads, and his new surroundings.
"Both teams are high caliber baseball so I didn't really feel like there was any kind of drop off or anything," said Kearney, who led the Gators to a 9-2 win over previously undefeated Marriotts Ridge Thursday afternoon. "(Adam) Leader's a great coach, it's a really good program with a lot of good players ... we definitely have really high hopes. I know this team hasn't been able to make it past regionals so that's definitely a goal for all of us and beyond, but before that we've just got to take care of Howard County."
On a team that was already returning nine starters, Kearney's presence has been a boost on the diamond and in the clubhouse.
"He's a great addition and we're still pretty young," Leader said. "Joe has come in and been a leader right away. He knows these guys really well. They're all friends and he lives in their neighborhood, so they've been playing with each other forever ... he's a great kid, coming in here working hard and just one of the guys."
Marriotts Ridge struck first on Tuesday afternoon when Chris Morath doubled off of Gators ace Cody Morris in the top of the third, and scored on a single through the infield by leadoff man Alex Caffes.
But Reservoir responded immediately with five runs in the bottom of the frame, which was more than enough for Morris, a two-time Howard County Pitcher of the Year and University of South Carolina commit.
The rally started with back-to-back doubles from senior catcher Danny O'Hagan and Kearney, and Reservoir sent 11 batters to the plate in that inning. The Mustangs committed two errors in that inning, and five in the game.
"It was not our best effort defensively, that's for sure," Marriotts Ridge coach Paul Eckert said. "And you can't give a team like Reservoir four outs, five outs, sometimes six outs an inning. You can't walk however many people we walked (10). You just can't do that, and they capitalized on that. It's going to turn into a lopsided game. And Cody is very, very good. There's not a lot of margin for error. But I told our kids, I hope we face him again. If you're going to beat them you want to beat them at their best."
Morris struck out 10 in six innings of work, walking two and allowing three hits.
MR (3-1) 001 000 1 - 2 6 5
Re (3-0) 005 040 x - 9 6 0
Dorsch, Hansen (4), Ross (5), Forman (5), Barrett (6) and Carson. Morris, Harris (7) and O'Hagan.
2B: MR — Morath. Re — O'Hagan, Kearney.
Around the league
Atholton 10, Hammond 0
Atholton ace Michael Slayton pitched six perfect innings against Hammon, striking out 10 with no hits or walks, in a 10-0 shutout.
Brady Acker was 4-for-4 with two doubles, three runs, two RBIs and a stolen base to lead the offense.
Centennial 9, Oakland Mills 2
Centennial senior Jorge Maldonado pitched a complete game three-hitter in his first start of the year, defeating Oakland Mills 9-2. The Eagles had a balanced offense, led by sophomore David Phelps (2-3, BB, 2R, 2 RBI, 2 SB), senior Daniel Sterenberg (2-3, BB, R, RBI, SB), senior Robbie Miller (1-3, R, 2 RBI, BB) and senior Derek Nadeau (1-2, 2B, 2 BB, R). The Scorpions were led by Ben Hale (1-2, 3B, BB, 2 R).
Howard 6, River Hill 0
Long Reach 5, Wilde Lake 4
Chris Wessels doubled, singled, drew a walk and drove in a run to lead Long Reach past Wilde Lake.
Mt. Hebron 13, Glenelg 7
Jake Snyder was 2-3 with a triple, three runs and an RBI. Paul Lutchenkov drove in four runs with a double and a single for the Vikings.
Chapelgate 4, Beth TFiloh 3
Glenelg Country 24, Pallotti 11