Patterson Mill baseball battled right to the end Monday afternoon, but the third-seeded Huskies were edged, 3-1, by visiting Catoctin in a Class 1A state quarterfinal playoff game.
Both teams had ample opportunities to score throughout, but strong defense and crafty pitching kept the game tight until the last out.
“Tip our hats to those guys. My mentality is easy to say, well, we did these things wrong, but part of it was they did a lot right,” Catoctin head coach Mike Franklin said. “Their pitchers made pitches, their defenders made plays, so I want to be clear when I say that, it was a lot of them doing stuff right.”
Catoctin will face either Frederick Douglass or Northern-Garrett in a state semifinal on Wednesday.
Patterson Mill (16-5) didn’t have a hit until the seventh inning, but despite that the Huskies had the Cougars and starting pitcher Bryson Caballero under siege over his four innings on the mound.
Caballero, a strong right-hander throwing fastballs in the high 80s, had some control problems as he walked six and hit two battersthough he struck out six.
“What we did is we made him [Caballero] throw those pitches, so we fouled off strikes, we worked the count, we got on base any way we could and we didn’t get one timely hit that they got,” Huskies head coach Matt Roseland said.
In the third inning, the Cougars (8-6) had two of those timely hits, a pair of back-to-back triples to open the frame against Patterson Mill starter, senior Evan Celuch. He escaped more trouble when he tagged out McMannis at the plate as he was trying to score on a wild pitch.
Celuch worked his way out of jams in all five-plus innings he pitched to keep the Huskies within striking distance.
“They’re a good team; our bats just didn’t come alive today. We had it against Colonel Richardson and we just didn’t bring it today,” Celuch said.
Celuch drove in the Huskies lone run in the fourth. Mike Hemelt drew a one-out walk and Jonah Vujanic reached on an error. Another walk to Christian Shertzer loaded the bases and Celuch grounded out to first to score Hemelt and tie the game at 1.
Celuch (11 hits, 5 walks, 3 earned runs, 3 strikeouts) pitched into the sixth before the Cougars forced him out. He got two straight outs after a leadoff single, but a walk to Caballero (1-2, two walks, two runs) and intentional walk to McMannis (2-3, walk, RBI) loaded the bases and continued the inning.
Dylan Nicholson (2-4) followed with an infield single to push across the go-ahead run then Celuch walked his final batter, Logan Simanski, to score the Cougars’ third run. Connor Crum led Catoctin with three hits.
Reliever Chris DeCamp came on to get the final out and also pitched a scoreless seventh to give his team a chance.
Catoctin left-handed reliever Ayden Shadle came on in the fifth and he set down the Huskies in order for two straight innings.
In the seventh, Shadle got Huskies leadoff hitter Christian Shertzer out on a sharp liner to left. Celuch, though, bounced a ground ball back up the middle for the Huskies first hit. Mike Segreti and Aiden Laurentius followed with line drive singles to load the bases and give the Huskies one final chance.
Shadle, though, struck out the next two batters to seal the Cougars’ 3-1 win.
“It’s always a little frustrating, especially how close the game was and before the sixth inning it was back and forth,” senior Christian Shertzer said. “So, they had plenty of chances and we had plenty of chances and they just got a couple of more through than we did.”
Huskies win region title
Patterson Mill won the 1A East Region I title (school’s sixth) on Saturday, 5-1, over host Colonel Richardson. Christian Shertzer tossed a compete game for the win, allowing eight hits, a walk and an unearned run. He struck out seven.
The Huskies scored all five runs in the second inning. Laurentius went 1-4 with a double and run scored and Celuch was 1-4 with an RBI. Jonah Vujanic, Hemelt and Ethan Shertzer added an RBI each.
Hawks win title, too
North Hartford (14-6) jumped out to an early lead Saturday at North East and the Hawks brought home a 7-3 victory in the 2A East Region I title game.
North Harford scored on a single by Kevin Halford in the first inning. North Harford pulled away for good with one run in the second inning on Kole Iddings’ stolen base.
Jeremy Weber was credited with the victory for North Harford. The ace surrendered one run, on one hit over five and two-third innings, striking out seven. Tim Steele and Keegan Bowling entered the game in relief and helped to close out the game in relief.
Halford, Iddings and Charlie Canapp all managed two hits for North Harford.
Latest The Aegis Sports
The Hawks were scheduled to play at Parkside on Tuesday in an 2A state quarterfinal.