The Gerstell baseball team had a tough year last season, finishing near the bottom of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference.
Friday afternoon, they made sure they got this season off to a good start, defeating host and eighth-ranked Century, 7-4, in a game for Carroll County bragging rights.
The Falcons (1-0) were led by Jerry Torrence, who went 2-for-4 from the plate with a double and only allowed three runs in four innings on the mound. Dylan Nee added a home run in a five-run fourth inning.
“Winning a game like this over a good team like Century sends a message that we are here,” Falcons coach Cap Poklemba said. “We had to manage our way through it, because our league schedule is starting this weekend and we had to save our pitching, but it all worked out.”
Century (1-1) was led by Colin Perrier, who hit two solo home runs off of Torrence, one in the first and one in the third.
His first home run staked the Knights to an early lead, but Gerstell tied the game in the top of the third. Aaron Hammond started the inning with a walk, advanced to second and third on a pair of ground outs and scored on a Travis Smith single.
Century took the lead back in the bottom of the inning. After Perrier’s second homer in as many at bats, Torrence walked Kyle Grimsley and Brayden McCoraw doubled to move Grimsley to third. Owen Roach reached first on a throwing error, allowing Grimsley to score to give Century a 3-1 lead after three.
The fourth was a different matter altogether.
Torrence and Landon Bell doubled to start off the Gerstell rally. Gavin Larson reached on a fielder’s choice, and both Bell and Larson scored to give Gerstell a 4-3 lead. Hammond reached on an error, and Nee added to the lead when he deposited a John Kasten pitch over the left-field wall to make it 6-3.
“He threw me an outside fastball,” Nee said. “I just tried to keep my head in, and it worked out. I was kind of looking for that pitch.”
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The Falcons got another run in the top of the fifth when Daniel Burns scored on a throwing error.
Century got a run back in the sixth when a Ryan Matthews single scored Roach to cut the lead to 7-4. Although the Knights got two batters on in the bottom of the seventh with one out, reliever Travis Smith struck out McCarow and Roach to end the game.
“This game showed what we’re about,” Torrence said. “We established some great momentum at the plate in the fourth. When one of us got hot, we all started to get hot and started stroking the ball. We were pretty fired up after that, and I’m really proud of that.”
Gerstell Academy 7, Century 4
GA 001 510 0 – 7 10 3
CN 102 001 0 – 4 8 3
Torrence, Nee (4), Smith (6), and Burns; Kasten, Matthews (5) and Brauch. HR: GA – Nee; C – Perrier 2. 3B: none. 2B: GA - Torrence, Bell; CN – McCarow.