Perry Hall baseball’s Mendoza twins, senior captain Cole Neff lead Gators to 13-4 rout of Lansdowne

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From left, Perry Hall's Cole Neff, AJ Mendoza and Santana Mendoza celebrate after combining for eight runs scored, seven RBIs and six hits in the Gators' 13-4 victory over Lansdowne.

Perry Hall junior twins AJ and Santana Mendoza and senior captain Cole Neff combined for eight runs scored, seven RBIs, six hits and five stolen bases to lead the visiting Gators to a 13-4 win over Lansdowne at Baltimore Highlands Elementary on Tuesday.

“We are coming through for playoffs right around the corner. We got to play through together as a team with energy up,” said AJ Mendoza, who also made several fielding gems. “One of my strengths is my arm and those plays are easy for me,”


AJ Mendoza and Neff opened the game with singles and Mendoza stole a base and Neff stole two, Both scored to give the Gators a 2-0 lead.

Lansdowne answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Ian Patterson celebrated his 16th birthday by stroking a two-run single to right-center field.


“He’s a sophomore and he’s been playing the field, but we’ve been DHing for him this year … so it was good to see him to go out there and get a hit,” Lansdowne coach Brad Tippin said.

Perry Hall blew the game open with six runs in the third inning. Raynor, Nathan Banas, JD Eckert and Santana Mendoza started the inning with singles; Eckert drove in a run and Mendoza drove in two.

After walks to Cameron Cooke and AJ Mendoza loaded the bases, Neff cleared them with a two-run double and a throwing error against starting pitcher Matt O’Donnell.

Perry Hall freshman pitcher Gavin Raynor delivers a pitch to Lansdowne's Derek Ervin in the Gators' 13-4 victory.

“They had a young pitcher that threw a lot of strikes and our pitcher was getting behind in the count and our pitcher is a very good pitcher. He throws good and has good stuff, but he just couldn’t get ahead in the count,” Tippin said.

The Gators seven stolen bases, also keeping Lansdowne’s defense on edge.

“They were very aggressive on the base paths, they were probably the most aggressive team we’ve faced so far on the base paths,” Tippin said. “They are young and they have a lot of good athletes and they took advantage at certain times.”

Lansdowne scored in the third after a leadoff hit by Derek Ervin led to an RBI ground out by Matt McCartin. Ervin’s hit was the second and last allowed by Raynor, who also struck out five in six innings.

“My changeup and my fastball were looking good,” said Raynor, who was calm on the mound despite being a freshman. “I just don’t worry about it.”


Perry Hall coach Joe Carlineo is looking forward to having Raynor for the next four years.

“He is going to be something,” Carlineo said.

The Mendoza twins are already something special.

“I think Santana is one of the best catchers in the county and he calls his own pitches ,and obviously AJ was a runner-up Player of the Year in the county and I think we are making a good case for him to be the Player of the Year this year,” Carlineo said. “He’s hitting over .500 and his stolen bases are double digits and he just makes plays that kids just can’t make. They both just have baseball instincts.”

AJ Mendoza was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and Santana had a hit, three RBIs and three walks. He also scored on a balk trying to steal home.

“I heard balk, so I just walked, but I would have been safe anyway,” said Santana, who doesn’t get a courtesy runner unless there are two outs. “I like running the bases, I feel like I can help my team because I’m like one of the fastest on the team.”


Neff, who went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored, appreciates his younger teammates.

“They are game changers,” said the center fielder who feels his squad is better than its 8-6 record indicates. “This is a big confidence booster, it’s been up and down you just got to put it behind you, everything ahead of us is what matters and we’ve just got to get ready for it.”

Lansdowne dropped to 5-7 with senior day next on Thursday against Kenwood.

“We are a very young team with a lot of promise in the next couple years,” Tippin said. ‘We’ve just got to coach them up, but we will get there.”