Just one win away from heading to their second straight state baseball title game, the Patterson Mill Huskies fell short Thursday afternoon, losing 6-4 to the Patuxent Panthers in the Class 2A semifinal at the University of Maryland, College Park.
The game's key inning turned out to be the fifth, when Patuxent, trailing the host-team Huskies 4-1, touched Patterson Mill starter Matt Golczewski for four runs on three doubles, a single and a pair of walks. The Panthers would hold the lead through the game's final out.
Trailing 5-4 after Patuxent's four-run outburst, the Huskies threatened in the bottom half of the inning, when Golczewski and Aaron Childs, reaching on a single and a walk, respectively, each moved over a base on a wild pitch.
With the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position, Zach Scheuerman was called out when a bunt attempt bounced off his leg in fair territory, Alex Abild was retired on a short fly to right and Griffin Marge belted a long liner to right, where the Panther outfielder was able to chase it down for the final out.
Patuxent padded its lead in the sixth, scoring once on Golczewski with a pair of singles and a groundout that brought the Panthers sixth run home.
Needing to score twice to stay alive, the Huskies managed just one hit in the sixth, a leadoff single by James Andrew, and then went down in order during their final at-bat in the seventh.
Huskies on board first
The Huskies had opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first, as Childs and courtesy runner Zach Dorn scored on a hit, an error and a sacrifice fly.
Patuxent cut Patterson Mill's lead in half during the top half of the second, touching Golczewski for one run.
In Patterson Mill's half of the third, Golczewski led off the inning with a double to dead center. One out later, Scheuerman drove an 0-2 fastball to left, scoring his teammate from second and giving the Huskies a 3-1 edge.
The Huskies' Griffin Marge led off the home half of the fourth by knocking a 2-2 curve up the middle for a single, then moved over to second Andrew's sacrifice bunt. Chad Hall came up the plate with one down, and after running the count full hacked an inside softball to the opposite field in right, driving Marge home from second for the Huskies fourth run.
Patterson Mill, which made it to last year's 1A championship game before losing 4-0 to St. Michael's, ends its 2012 campaign with a 19-5 record.