In a feature baseball matinee of two teams who came into the game sporting 10-2 records, host Catonsville (11-2) rallied from a 4-0 deficit for a 6-4 victory over Towson (10-3).
Seniors Ben Hall and Will Jones combined to strike out 11 Generals on the summer-like day.
Hall hurled four innings and allowed two earned runs and Jones fanned five in three scoreless innings of two-hit ball.
Catonsville’s George Berbakos (2-for-3) drove in three runs and Nick Eiswert knocked in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth.
Nate Bowman and Tariq Talley had two hits each for Towson.
Hall worked out of a jam in the top of the first after Bowman’s single was followed by Talley’s one-out double.
Hall fanned Noah Perkinson with a high fastball and he locked up Ian O’Malley with a heater on the outside corner for a punch-out to end the inning.
Towson erupted for four runs in the top of the third inning.
Bowman’s one-out double was followed by a run-scoring double by Talley and he moved to third on an infield single by Perkinson.
O’Malley’s sacrifice fly plated Talley and courtesy runner Jake Guttman scored after a throwing error on a grounder to third by Milo Fisher.
Fisher scored on a double by Doyle McNew, making it 4-0, but that was the last run the Generals could muster.
“We struck out 11 times today and in Baltimore County high school baseball, you’ve got to put it in play, you’ve got to challenge the other team’s defense,” Towson coach Shawn Tormey said.
Down 4-0 was just what the doctor ordered for the Comets.
“There is no quit in these guys, all year, they are playing good teams, they are playing good baseball, they are hitting, they are scoring runs, they are not making mistakes,” Catonsville coach Eric Warm said. “To beat teams, we do just what we have to do, we will chip away, chip away and give me several at bats against the same pitcher or bring in the bullpen and my team is going to take advantage.”
Catonsville’s rally started with three runs in the bottom of the third.
Josh Tingler led off with a walk and Mark Brady got plunked by a pitch.
Towson starter Noah Perkinson got the next two batters, but Cody Brick returned from the injured list and plated the first run with a single to left field.
Brady advanced to third and Brick to second on a wild pitch and Berbakos drove in two runs with a two-run single to center field.
The Comets got the equalizer in the bottom of the fifth against southpaw reliever Josh Edwards.
After Brady’s deep line drive to right field was caught by O’Malley and Eiswert’s deep shot was caught by left fielder Denny Berger, Jones reached on an infield hit.
Brick followed with a single and Berbakos tied the game with a single to center.
The Comets moved ahead with two innings in the bottom of the sixth.
Sam Brown led off with a single and Dylan Hagar sacrificed him to second with a bunt.
Josh Tingler advanced courtesy runner Austin Baker to third and he scored on base-hit to right by Eiswert on the first pitch.
Jones brought home Eiswert for the sixth run with a ground-rule double.
“I just try to swing hard when the ball comes in,” Jones said. “I’ve been struggling a little bit, so I was just trying to take a little off it and it was a nice hit,” Jones said.
“They are a good offensive team and the other thing we talked to our guys about is we scored four runs in one inning and Catonsville has a good lineup and they never take their foot off the gas,” Tormey said. “They are relentless. We had them 5-2 at our place after five innings. They keep coming at you because they’ve got that offensive team. Their 3-4-5 hitters are very good.”
Jones, who bats fourth, took the momentum from his long two-bagger to the mound and struck out the side in the seventh inning with some nasty off-speed stuff.
“The breaking ball was just working today, so I worked off of that and I used the fastball as the second pitch in the last inning,” Jones said.
First-year coach Warm liked what he saw from the tall right-hander on the mound.
“Will looked sharp today and Ben pitched well, he had one tough inning when we made one throwing error that ended up costing us two runs,” Warm said. “Then Ben pitched the next inning and that got us three outs and that was it, they did all their damage in one inning.”
Towson’s only losses this season have come against Catonsville (twice) and Dulaney, who improved to 13-1 with an 8-2 win over Hereford on Tuesday afternoon.
“That’s a good team and we wanted to beat a good team so we are very disappointed,” Tormey said. “We want to be in the conversation with them (Catonsville and Dulaney) and until we beat them, we can’t be in the conversation with them.”
Fortunately, since the Comets and Lions are in Class 4A, and the Generals are 3A, they won’t be concerned with them in the regional playoffs.
“We’ve got to worry about Lansdowne and Franklin and Parkville, so we’ve got to take care of business,” Tormey said.
Meanwhile, Catonsville coach Warm hopes the Comets can carry their same winning formula into the postseason.
“It’s hard to play small ball with this team because they are all good hitters,” Warm said. “They all have confidence in themselves, they are not afraid to swing the bat. We do have a lot of strikeouts, but you see they are swinging the bat with confidence and we are getting hits, we are scoring a lot of runs and we are beating good teams.”