Year in and year out, the UCBAC's Chesapeake (upper) Division baseball race is a dogfight, and if Monday's game between the host-team C. Milton Wright Mustangs and defending Class 3A state finalists the North Harford Hawks was any indicator of things to come, this season's race will be another tooth-and-nail affair.
With the score tied, 1-1, in the bottom half of the seventh, CMW came through with the game-ending rally, with Jake Labe knocking teammate Chase DeMars home from third.
"This was a heck of a ballgame," CMW skipper Joe Stetka said. "I think it just shows how tight it's going to be in the Chesapeake Division this season. There's a bunch of really good teams in there, and it's going to be a real fight. Today's game could have gone either way, but I'm really happy we could come away with the win."
DeMars started the contest for CMW and battled North Harford hurler Brian Shaffer throughout, as both pitchers tossed complete games. Over seven innings, DeMars allowed three hits, struck out four and walked three.
"Chase pitched an outstanding game for us today," Stetka said. "Both pitchers, DeMars and Shaffer, tossed gems, and both threw well enough to win the game. Chase moved the ball around really well, and he got out of a couple innings only throwing seven or eight pitches. He got into a couple of jams, but he was able to work out of them."
Labe went 2-for-4 in the victory.
With the win, CMW improved to 2-1, while North Harford fell to 3-2.
Playing on the road at Northeast-Anne Arundel in a Monday baseball matchup, the Fallston Cougars suffered a 12-1 defeat. Fallston's Brendan Weinhold rapped out a triple in the loss, which dropped Fallston to 1-4 for the season.
CMW thumps Hereford
The C. Milton Wright Mustangs picked apart the visiting Hereford baseball squad on Saturday, beating the Bulls, 10-4.
Mustang starter Matt Phillips tossed a complete game in the victory, scattering seven hits, striking out seven and issuing a pair of walks.
CMW's Chase DeMars was 3-for-4 at the plate, while teammate Dakota Stern went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles. Jake Labe had an RBI single in the victory and Ricky Scheeler was 2-for-4 with a double.
The host Bel Air Bobcats split their two contests at Saturday's Mike Lacey Memorial Baseball Tournament, beating Bowie but losing to Century.
In their opening-round contest with Century, Bel Air lost, 9-3.
Brandon Clifford, Matt Hottman and Rich Rivera each smacked a double in the loss.
In the consolation-round matchup with Bowie, the Bobcats marched to a 13-5 victory.
Tyler Norcross, Nic Rhodes and Rivera all belted out two-baggers for Bel Air (2-2).
Hawks fall in final
After defeating Bowie, 14-0, in the opening round of Saturday's Mike Lacey Memorial Tournament in Bel Air, the North Harford Hawks came up short in the championship contest, losing, 9-2, to Century.
North Harford was led in the loss by Brian Shaffer, who went 3-for-3 with a double, a home run and two RBIs.
In the opening-round victory over Bowie, three North Harford pitchers combined to toss a one-hit shutout.
Shaffer started the game and worked into the fourth inning, before being relieved by teammate Austin Reitz, who pitched into the sixth. Hawk sophomore Jordan Menfree closed out the game for North Harford.
Nic Hammer had the Hawks hot bat, hitting a single and a triple, scoring three runs, and racking up three RBIs. North Harford's Sean Bowling was 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs.
Huskies edge Cobras
Patterson Mill (3-0) baseball skipper Matt Roseland summed up his team's Thursday matchup with visiting Harford Tech as "a good high school baseball game where, unfortunately, someone had to lose." At the end of the contest, it was Harford Tech (1-2) that had to swallow the loss, as the host-team Huskies overcame a sixth-inning deficit to win, 2-1.
The game remained a scoreless tie until the top of the fourth, when Harford Tech's Nick Waite, who reached base earlier in the inning with a base hit, sprinted home from third on a passed ball.
Down by a run and six outs away from a loss in the bottom of the sixth, the Huskies kicked off the game-winning rally when J.T. Tipton took a pitch off his body. Zach Dorn laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved Tipton to second base, and James Andrew followed with an RBI double to right that tied the game.
After Tyler Spencer lined out to second, Matt Elliott hit a grounder to short that was bobbled, allowing Andrew to race around with the game-winning run.
With two men on and two away in the top of the seventh, Harford Tech's Justin Smith blasted a shot to the gap in right center field. Center fielder Dorn and right fielder Andrew collided while sprinting to make the catch, but Dorn snagged the ball and hung on to it for the game's final out.
Patterson Mill's Griffin Marge went 2-for-3 with a double and a single, while teammate Billy Benson was 2-for-2 with a pair of base hits.
Benson tossed two innings of relief, holding the Cobras to three hits and zero runs to earn the win. Patterson Mill starter Blaine Sheesley went five innings, striking out three, walking three, allowing three hits and holding Harford Tech to the one earned run.
Harford Tech's Zach Robinette tossed a complete game, striking out one and allowing one earned run along the way.
Patriots top Fallston
The John Carroll Patriots earned a road victory Thursday afternoon, beating the Fallston Cougars, 9-6.
The visiting squad amassed an 9-0 lead by the top of the fifth, but Fallston managed to plate five runs in the bottom half of the inning, then scored once more in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Patriots' lead to 9-6.
Fallston's Andy Benjes went 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run, while teammate Luke Glover was 3-for-4 with one run. Mike Morais went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and one run in the loss. The Cougars' Wyatt Alexander was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and one run. Alexander, Benjes and Glover all cracked one double.
John Carroll's Tim Kutcher and Connor Reeves each laced a triple in the loss, while teammate Nick Flayhart stroked a double.