Sophomore Josh Olsufka hit a three-run home run in the top of the first inning and visiting Marriotts Ridge held off a Mt. Hebron rally to win, 8-6, on Saturday and improve to 10-2 in county and 12-3 overall.
“I’ve been coaching for 25 years and I’ve never seen anybody hit it over the cement wall in left field and Josh did that,” said Mustangs coach Paul Eckert. “That’s impressive for anybody, but for a sophomore, my goodness, that was a tremendous blast and a big boost to us because it went from 1-0 to 4-0 in one fell swoop. We needed all those runs as it turned out.”
Olsufka (4 RBI, 2 BB), Jake Dinoto (RBI) and Gunnar Barnard each had two hits while Dylan Anagnos threw 5 1/3 innings and struck out six before exiting the game in the sixth inning because of his pitch count. The Vikings (5-7, 5-8) followed with three runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh but couldn’t overcome the deficit.
“I thought each person chipped in in one way or another either offensively or defensively,” Eckert said. “Each player had some contribution to help us win and that’s what we’re going to need going forward.”
The victory is the fifth straight overall and seventh straight in county for the Mustangs, who will play five games in six days from April 28-May 3 with four road games.
They are trying to keep pace with Reservoir, which holds a ½ game lead in the county standings, and stay in front of River Hill (½ game behind Marriotts Ridge). A rained out game against the Hawks could be the difference in the county championship race, even though Marriotts Ridge owns a 5-4 victory over the Gators on April 19.
“I told our guys that the Atholton game [on Friday] was the biggest game of the year until we play Mt. Hebron,” Eckert said. “And now we have a very good Glenelg team that will throw their top pitcher against us and face another team’s No. 1, which is a compliment to what our guys have accomplished so far. You can’t look past anybody.”
But Eckert said his team isn’t looking ahead at the county championship picture. He said they simply plan to take care of business one day at a time and let the race take care of itself.
“If you start thinking about that, things generally don’t happen,” he said. “Teams that throw and catch the ball, particularly pitching, will win the most games. We’re throwing and catching the ball well right now.”
123 456 7 R-H-E
MR 400 201 1 8-8-3
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