Two Harford County high school baseball teams trending in opposite directions found themselves on the same field Monday as Fallston visited Aberdeen at Cal Ripken, Sr. Field.
Fallston freshman Paul Kvech, making his first varsity pitching start, threw five strong innings to lead the Cougars (4-0) past the winless Eagles (0-5), 6-1, in an Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference baseball game.
Kvech allowed two hits and one run, while striking out six. “The last time I pitched I was kind of missing off the mound a little bit, so I really worked on trying to keep my front side closed a bit more,” Kvech said. The freshman had pitched an inning of relief last week, in preparation for Monday’s start. “Just trying to remember my mechanics, so I could throw some strikes, let them hit, got a good defense behind me, so just let them make the plays and win the game,” Kvech said.
The Cougars gave Kvech support with two runs early. An Aberdeen error and base on balls led to both runs.
Fallston was back at it in the third with three more and a 5-0 lead. Joe Gizinski and Nate Popp drew back-to-back walks, leading off the inning. Collin Lipinksi and Jake Bogdan both reached on fielder’s choices, that also drove in runs.
Lance Ables drove in the third run with a single. Aberdeen pitcher Will Hagan got out of more trouble with a fly ball to left, that his teammates turned into an out on the catch and a 7-5-2 out at the plate on base runner Miguel Agramonte who tagged up from third.
In the bottom of the third, Kvech struck out the side, but in the fourth, Aberdeen was able to put together a couple of hits and score its lone run.
Brian Langbein hit a drive to center, over center fielder Lipinski’s head. Lipinksi raced back, but the ball tipped off his glove and the speedy Langbein was in with a two-out double.
Hagan followed with a liner to left-center, driving in Langbein ahead of the throw.
Kvech got a ground ball to get out of the inning and then induced three fly ball outs in his final inning of work.
“He’s mature beyond his years, he’s not kid that I would normally, I’m just very confident in him now as just a freshman,” Cougars head coach Grant Morlock said. “He pounds the strike zone, he’s gonna throw three pitches for strikes and he likes to get ahead of guys and he just makes you hit his pitches.”
The Cougars added their final run in the seventh, off Aberdeen reliever Nate Caughron, who was effective in his four innings of work.
Popp singled and stole second base, before a groundout to the pitcher moved him to third with one out. Bogdan then hit a sacrifice fly to center to plate Popp with the final run.
Two Fallston relievers worked an inning each. Cash Rayner walked a batter and struck out two in the sixth and Finley Jourdan struck out two in the seventh. Jourdan did give up a single to KJ Miller, but Miller was thrown out at second in his effort for a double.
“We saw better approaches at the plate, I mean were still striking out, too, much, but we’re starting to see them start to get it, start to grasp the idea of working the count and when they get up in the count, be aggressive,” Eagles head coach Bob Arnold said.
Hawks beat Rams
North Harford (5-0) stayed unbeaten Monday with its 13-1 UCBAC win over host Edgewood (1-2).
Tim Steele was the winning pitcher. The ace allowed one hit and no runs over five innings, striking out eight. Ryan Martinelli and Keegan Bowling closed out the game in relief.
Offensively, North Harford totaled 14 hits. Martinelli, Tristan Pomeroy, Will Armiger and Bowling each collected two hits for the Hawks.
North Harford scored early with a run in the first inning and late, with five in the seventh.
Antonio Gautreaux took the loss for Edgewood. The hurler allowed six hits and six runs over four innings, striking out six.
Huskies blank Elks
Patterson Mill (2-3) needed just five innings Monday to blank host Elkton (1-2-1), 11-0, in UCBAC play.
Evan Celuch tossed three innings of no-hit baseball to earn the win. The lefty walked one and struck out six.
Aiden Laurentius went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs to pace the offense. Caleb Heymann was 2-for-2 with a double and Jonah Lever was 1-for-1 with a double and two RBIs. Ethan Shertzer had three RBIs.
Cobras shutout Warriors
Harford Tech (3-1-1) scored four out of six innings Monday en route to an 11-0 UCBAC win at Havre de Grace.
Wyatt Dudeck earned the victory, pitching a strong five innings for the Cobras. He held the Warriors scoreless thru five innings, allowing three hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Gage Summers pitched one inning of scoreless relief, allowing one hit and striking out two.
The Cobras offense pounded out eleven hits, led by Conor Henderson’s 3-for-4 with two runs scored, two doubles, a solo home run, and two RBIs.
Other contributors were Austin Utterbaugh, 2-for-4 with a run scored and one RBI; Dominick Ward, 2-for-4 with two RBIs; Melvin Bagamsah, 1-for-2 with two runs scored, a stolen base, a walk, and one RBI; Josh Kanner, 1-for-2 with a run scored, a walk, and one RBI; Parker Smith, 1-for-2 with a run scored and hit by pitch; and Brady Reise, 1-for-4 with a double, run scored and one RBI.
Siano leads Warriors
The second annual Cal Ripken Sr. Battle for the Fungo baseball game highlighted high school baseball action Friday and the game between host Aberdeen and Havre de Grace couldn’t have been more interesting and entertaining.
A pitchers’ duel between seniors Frank Siano of Havre de Grace and Isaiah Coxon of Aberdeen resulted in a 1-0, no-hit win for Siano and the Warriors. The Warriors now hold possession of the relic, an old fungo bat used and previously owned by late Orioles coach and manager Cal Ripken Sr.
Also winning Friday were North Harford, Patterson Mill and Harford Tech.
In Aberdeen, both hard-throwing pitchers were on their game but Siano was just a notch better in this Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference game.
Siano threw six and two-third innings of no-hit baseball and had to come off the mound after reaching the maximum 105 pitch count. Freshman Taylor Blevins came on to strike out the final batter.
“Just come in here, pump strikes. Some of their guys were good at reading the fastball, you know. I got to read the batter as well, mix in the off-speed there,” Siano said. “Most of all, pump strikes and let my defense play behind me.”
Siano (13 strikeouts, seven walks) and Coxon (11 strikeouts, two hits, two walks) both threw three scoreless innings before Havre de Grace scored the game’s only run in the fourth.
Siano ripped a one-out, first-pitch fastball from Coxon to the fence in left-center field that went as a stand-up triple.
Ryan Hopps came on to courtesy run for Siano with Connor Howes at the plate. Howes squared to bunt on a safety squeeze, but Coxon‘s pitch was low and outside. The pitch glanced off freshman catcher Ryan Brinegar’s mitt and to the backstop.
Hopps got a good read and alertly raced home with the big run.
“Everybody knows that first pitch fastball, that’s the best pitch you’re going to get,” Siano said of his at-bat. “You always have the highest batting average first pitch coming at you. You got to sit, wait, watch it and then do a little poking and it turns into a triple.”
With the run across, Howes singled to center for the other Warriors hit, but Coxon was able to escape any more trouble.
Aberdeen had at least one base runner in every inning but two, but they could not produce a run.
The best chance may have come in the fifth when freshman KJ Miller drew a leadoff walk. Miller, though, was thrown out trying to steal second base by Warriors junior catcher Keegan Gruzs. Siano then struck out the next two batters.
Siano says he was on vacation the last time this game was played, the inaugural game in 2019 and won by Aberdeen.
“I was on vacation unfortunately, but now I’m back here and look at what happened man, let’s go,” Siano said.
Havre de Grace manager, Chad Blevins was pleased with the win. “We lost it the first time and we’ve been kind of anticipating this game for months,” Blevins said. “This was just awesome. We love their coaches, we get along so good, but we come out here and we just battled.”
Aberdeen coach Arnold was disappointed, but appreciated the efforts of both teams. “Both pitchers brought it and we had some opportunities and didn’t cash in and they had one really good opportunity and cashed in on it.”
Shertzer leads Huskies
Patterson Mill (2-3) senior Christian Shertzer tossed a complete game, two-hitter Friday in Patterson Mill’s 6-0 UCBAC win over visiting C. Milton Wright.
Shertzer walked three and struck out 11.
Shertzer also aided his cause at the plate, with a two-run double. Adding offense were Jackson Wheeler, 2-for-3 with an RBI and two stolen bases and Aiden Laurentius, 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Jon Klein pitched five and a third innings for the Mustangs, allowing three hits, three walks and five runs (three earned). Klein struck out seven.
Preston Henigan went 2-for-3 to lead the CMW (2-2) offense.
Cobras edge Bobcats
Harford Tech (2-1-1) won at Bel Air (1-2-1), 9-8, on Friday.
The Cobras scored four runs in the first, highlighted by a Gage Summers two-run double and Joey Kanner RBI single.
The Bobcats answered with three runs in the bottom of the first inning and they added two more runs in the third, to take a 5-4 lead.
Both teams scored two runs in the fourth inning, keeping the Bobcats ahead by one, 7-6, with three innings to play.
Bel Air added one more run in the fifth to increase its lead to two, 8-6, but Tech put together a last inning rally to steal away the win.
Parker Smith roped a two-run double and advanced to third on an error. Kanner then drove in the eventual winning run with a sacrifice fly.
Ben Byers earned the win for the Cobras, pitching the final four innings. He allowed no hits, while allowing one run on one walk, while striking out five. Josh Morton started the game for the Cobras and lasted three innings.
Hawks edge Tigers
North Harford (4-0) won at Rising Sun (3-1), 8-7, Friday in UCBAC play.
The Hawks, who had 15 hits, scored late to overturn the score for the win.
Jeremy Weber had a big hit, doubling on an 0-2 count, to drive in one run.
Weber was also credited with the victory. He threw the final three innings in relief, allowing two runs on six hits.
Mitchell Wittkamp pitched the first four innings, allowing seven hits and five runs. He struck out eight. Weber recorded the last nine outs.