The Howard County baseball season so far has been all about the pitchers.
No pitcher in Howard County, however, has been as dominant as Glenelg’s Andrew Johnson this season — or maybe ever.
The senior southpaw struck out 18 batters in 6 2/3 shutout innings in the Gladiators’ 2-0 win over Atholton on Tuesday.
“I’ve been waiting so long to come out here and kill it,” said Johnson, who missed his sophomore season in 2019 due to a meniscus tear and his junior season last spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. “I’ve been working hard for this. I couldn’t do it without my team behind me.”
While striking out 18 of 24 batters is remarkable enough, for Johnson it’s the norm now.
The 6-foot, 190-pound lefty also punched out 18 in six innings in a win against River Hill last week — meaning every out Johnson recorded was a strikeout.
“After the first time [against River Hill], nothing’s going to surprise me,” said Glenelg head coach Steve Tiffany. “He competes, and he wants the ball. All the success goes to him and the work he’s put in.”
Johnson, who sports an 88-90 mph fastball with lefty tail and a sharp breaking ball, now has 41 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings, a 1.23 ERA and a 2-0 record.
The last time a pitcher dominated county hitters like this was Reservoir’s Cody Morris, who won three Howard County Pitcher of the Year awards from 2013-15 and is now in the Cleveland Indians’ minor league system.
“If you’re in the same sentence as Cody Morris, that’s special,” Tiffany said. “To be honest, Andrew is one of the hardest working kids I’ve ever known. I knew he was special, but did I know he was this special? I don’t know, but this is a credit to his work ethic.”
Against the Raiders, Johnson, a University of Maryland commit, allowed only one bloop single and three free passes. He reached the 100-pitch count limit with two outs in the seventh, and junior Collin Estes came in and got a fly out to earn the save and preserve the one-hit shutout for Glenelg (4-2).
While Johnson was dominant, Atholton (3-3) received a solid start from junior Liam Snow. The righty battled through multiple jams, stranding runners in each of his first four innings. Snow struck out five, walked one and allowed two hits in five shutout innings.
“He [bore] down and made pitches when he needed them,” said Atholton head coach Scott Peddicord. “He was great today.”
The game was scoreless through five innings, and it looked as if Johnson’s stellar performance wouldn’t end with him receiving a win. But Todd Calhoun gave Johnson all the run support he needed with a two-run home run in the sixth inning. Calhoun, a junior, smacked a low-and-inside fastball over the left field fence to score Braeden Sumpter.
“That was a huge hit. Todd has been struggling a little bit. I know he has it in him, and he finally stepped up for us,” said Tiffany. “The crazy thing about our season is that we’ve outhit every team we’ve played. But it’s come down to timely hits for us. The only difference between our four wins and our two losses is timely hits.”
Johnson opened the game at Atholton High School with six straight punchouts. The lefty said starting the game strong and throwing first-pitch strikes are the keys for him on the mound.
“First-pitch strikes are huge. I want to get ahead,” Johnson said. “... [The strikeouts] adding up is in the back of my head as the game goes on, but I can’t get ahead of myself because then I’ll start walking people.”
The Raiders had runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and sixth innings but couldn’t get the clutch hit they needed.
The closest Atholton got to scoring was in the third inning. Devin Hollingsworth reached third base and tried to score on a passed ball, but Glenelg catcher Gavin Henley rushed to the backstop and threw a strike to a prepared Johnson for the out.
Other than a hard-hit line drive from Dustin Eidson, which was ruled an error, a few sharply hit grounders and Jason Drucker’s shallow popup that fell for a single, Atholton’s hitters struggled with their timing against Johnson.
“You have to tip your cap to that kid,” Peddicord said. “You can’t take anything away from him. He’s got a bright future ahead of him.”
Both teams are back in action Thursday in Ellicott City. Glenelg travels to Centennial, while Atholton plays at Mt. Hebron.
Glenelg 2, Atholton 0
....... 123 456 7 — R H E
G — 000 002 0 — 2 5 1
A — 000 000 0 — 0 1 1
W: G — Andrew Johnson; L: A — Liam Snow; SV: G — Collin Estes.
2B: G — Harrison Hobdy.
HR: G — Todd Calhoun.
SB: A — Dustin Eidson, Scotty Vaszil.
OTHER BASEBALL SCORES:
Centennial 14, Hammond 0
The Eagles (5-1) won their third game in a row and all have been shutouts, getting a two-hitter from pitcher Drew Buckmaster in six innings of work to cruise past the Golden Bears (1-5) on Tuesday. Buckmaster struck out six.
Jack Pistner (three hits, home run) and Sawyer Wickstrom (two hits, 2 RBI) were among the offensive leaders for Centennial.
Eli Van Bemmel went five innings at pitcher for Hammond and struck out seven.
.. 123 456 R-H-E
C 230 126 14-13-2
Ha 000 000 0-2-5
River Hill 14, Long Reach 2
The Hawks (5-1) jumped ahead 3-0 in the top of the first and kept building from there on the way to the win over the Lightning (2-4) on the road. Ryan Miller and Okojie each had three-hit games to lead the River Hill offense.
Tucker Freer pitched 4.2 innings and struck out eight for Long Reach in the loss.
.. 123 456 R-H-E
RH 301 073 14-12-1
LR 000 200 2-5-6
Mt. Hebron 6, Oakland Mills 3
Tyler Goladay was the Vikings’ star in the win over the Scorpions (0-5). The sophomore pitched four innings of one-hit relief to earn the win. He also went 2-for-2 with a double, a triple and two RBIs. Sam Cohen also had two hits in the Mt. Hebron (3-3) win. Six different Vikings scored a run. The victory snaps the Vikings’ three-game losing streak.
OM — 120 000 0 — 3
MH — 050 100 x — 6
Howard 7, Wilde Lake 4
Six runs in the bottom of the first set the stage for the Lions (4-1) to defeat the visiting Wildecats (1-4) on Tuesday. Alex Marshall had a game-high 2 RBI for Howard, while Ryan Anderson was among the Lions to finish with multiple hits.
Wilde Lake was led by three hits from Derek Fermaint on offense, along with eight strikeouts in five innings of work from pitcher Peter Keating.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
WL 001 030 0 4-8-0
Ho 600 010 x 7-9-1
Marriotts Ridge 5, Reservoir 1
Adam Macfarlane pitched a complete-game gem to help the Mustangs (3-3) defeat the Gators (3-2), as he allowed just one run and three hits while striking out four.
Offensively, Marriotts Ridge maximized its five hits by scoring once in the second inning and two times in each of the fifth and sixth innings. Brandon Lake went 2-3 with 3 RBI and a run scored, while Logan Anderson went 1-2 with a double, a walk and scored twice.
Reservoir got a RBI single from T. Thompson in the third inning for its lone run.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
Re 001 000 0 1-3-2
MR 010 022 x 5-5-1
Indian Creek 11, Glenelg Country 5 (MIAA B playoffs)
The Dragons’ 2021 season came to a disappointing end with its first home loss of the season in the loser’s bracket of the MIAA B Conference playoffs. Through the first six innings, Glenelg Country freshman pitcher Trey Miller outdueled Indian Creek senior Alex Seidlick. The Dragons led 5-3 going into the last inning, but Indian Creek smacked eight hits and scored eight runs in the top of the seventh. Miller also went 4-for-4 with two RBIs at the plate. Dylan Melton and Marcus Arterburn both had two hits for the Dragons.
IC — 100 002 8 — 11 14 2
GC — 010 031 0 — 5 10 3
Howard 5, Wilde Lake 3
The visiting Wildecats (4-1) brought the tying run to the plate in the top of the seventh, but the strong pitching of Maddie Coleman (11 strikeouts in seven innings) was just too much as the Lions (4-2) handed Wilde Lake its first loss of the season. Coleman allowed just four hits and is the first pitcher this season to hold the Wildecats’ offense under 12 runs.
Lindsay Smith had a big day for Howard on offense by smacking two hits to go with a game-high three RBI. She helped plate the first run of the game with a double in the third inning. The Lions later added another run in the fourth and three in the fifth.
Veronica Goode pitched (one strikeout in six innings) and also led the way at the plate with a team-high two hits for Wilde Lake, which scored twice in the top of the sixth to create the final 5-3 margin.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
WL 000 102 0 3-4-2
Ho 001 130 x 5-6-7
Reservoir 9, Marriotts Ridge 2
The Gators (6-0) moved into sole possession of first place with the win over the Mustangs (4-2), combined with Wilde Lake’s loss to Howard. Kylee Gunkel continued her dominant senior campaign with nine strikeouts in seven innings, allowing just five hits and the two earned runs in the seventh inning.
“Gunkle was virtually unhittable again and she did a great job commanding her pitches and keeping us off balance,” Marriotts Ridge coach Renard Parson said.
Maggie Frisvold (3-5, 2 runs, 2 RBI, stolen base), Maddy Davis (3-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs) and Casey Johnson (3-5, double, 3 RBI) all had three hits apiece to pace the Reservoir offense. Gunkle even helped her own cause with a pair of hits, including a double.
Melina Parson (1-2, double, walk, run), Sarah Fan (1-3, stolen base) and Leah Chen (1-3, RBI double) were the offensive leaders for Marriotts Ridge.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
Re 000 203 4 9-16-0
MR 000 000 2 2-5-2
Mt. Hebron 26, Oakland Mills 0
Emma Behel pitched a one-hitter and the Vikings (4-2) smacked a combined 17 hits on the way to the shutout home win over the Scorpions (0-5).
Alex Wendt (3-5, triple, 6 RBI, 4 runs), Emma Kim (3-3, 6 RBI, 2 triples, 2 runs, 2 stolen bases), Allison Sicoli (3-3, 2 doubles, 5 RBI, 3 runs) and Sarah Ginty (2-3, double, 5 RBI) did the heavy lifting offensively for Mt. Hebron. Every batter in the starting lineup finished with at least one hit or RBI.
Paige Andrews had the lone hit for Oakland Mills.
.. 123 45 R-H-E
OM 000 00 0-1-1
MH 4(15)2 5x 26-17-0
Glenelg 23, Atholton 3
The Gladiators (4-2) won their third game in a row, breaking things open with 13 runs in the third inning to defeat the Raiders (0-5). Jamie Shaw (3-3, 3 stolen bases, 3 runs, RBI) and Nia Stewart (3-4, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 2 runs) had three hits apiece, while five other players had two hits for Glenelg.
Emily Piwowarski had a team-high 4 RBI, while Jordyn Woodling, Haley Markel and Sydney Spiegel all had three RBI. Reese Holden (2-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs) added three stolen bases.
Taylor Pence and Megan Ortwein split the pitching duties, with Ortwein striking out five and not allowing a hit in three innings of work.
Marisa Patel and Kyra Holtje each had a double to lead the way for Atholton’s offense.
.. 123 45 R-H-E
G 51(13) 40 23-18-0
A 300 00 3-4-1
Hammond 19, Centennial 1
Celebrating its seniors, the Golden Bears (3-3) put together a strong all-around effort to defeat the Eagles (0-5).
Jordan Rodriguez pitched a four-hitter, allowing just the one run over a complete-game effort. Abby Weirich led the Golden Bears’ offense by going 3-4 with three runs scored and delivering a 3-run inside-the-park homerun.
Other offensive standouts for Hammond were Kaylee Beahm (2-2, 2 doubles, walk), Krista Goodwin (double) and Rodriguez (double).
Centennial got its lone run in the second inning as Gussy Ruckdeschel doubled and then came in to score on a RBI triple from Madison Ceglia.
River Hill 13, Long Reach 0
Ella Wood threw a complete-game shutout, allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out seven to lead the Hawks (4-2) to the road win over the Lightning (1-5).
River Hill was led at the plate by Ellie Hasegawa (2-3, double, 2 walks, 4 runs, 3 RBI), Kathleen Maiorana (3-4, double, 3 runs, RBI), Brooke Gettier (2-5, 2 triples, 3 RBI) and Sara Emig (3-3, 2 walks, 3 RBI).
Haiden Saffer pitched the first three innings for Long Reach, giving up two runs before giving way to Amelia Bross, who struck out two in her four innings of work. Irene Lee, Taylor Slovac, Haiden Saffer and Holly Ryan all had hits for the Lightning.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
RH 101 502 4 13-12-2
LR 000 000 0 0-4-5
River Hill 14, Hammond 3 (Saturday)
The Hawks scored three times in the top of the first, including a first-pitch home run by lead off batter Ellie Hasegawa, and never looked back. Kathleen Maiorana scored on a Sara Emig SAC fly and then Brooke Gettier reach on a single and came around to score on an Abby Shim single in that first inning.
After Hammond cut the lead to one, scoring two times in the bottom of the fourth, River Hill created separation with six more runs in the fifth. Sara Emig led off with a single, followed by singles from Ella Wood, Shim and Ever Sheplee. Lux Sheplee then delivered a RBI triple to break the game open.
In the sixth, Emig hit a triple followed by a Shim double and RBI single by E. Sheplee for two more runs. In the seventh, Allie Young reached base and stole second before scoring on a single by Maiorana. Gettier added a singled and then scored on a single by Wood.
Wood also stood out at pitcher, facing 27 batters and striking out nine against no walks.
Hammond got two of its runs in the fourth inning with back-to-back hits from Kaylee Beahm and Maddi Berning starting things off.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
RH 300 062 3 14-19-1
Ha 000 201 0 3-7-4
Marriotts Ridge 4, Reservoir 1
No. 1 singles: Joshua Cai, Re def. Sai Charan Chodavarapu, MR (8-6)
No. 2 singles: Rafa Feldman, MR def. Avneesh Sakhey, Re (8-0)
No. 1 doubles: Revanth Bairi and Pedro Arantes Gabriel, MR def. Yari Arnold and Edwin Brown, Re (8-2)
No. 2 doubles: Alex Wang and Arnav Srivastava, MR def. Haider Hussain and Jared Carino, Re (8-3)
No. 3 doubles: Ethan Bernstein and Colin Wang, MR def. Sean Kim and Will Tao, Re (8-1)
Glenelg 4, Atholton 1
No. 1 singles: Lukas Zukaliskis, G def. Daniel Etcheberrigarary, A (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Jason Lilly, A def. Daniel Zheng, G (8-2)
No. 1 doubles: Caleb Taylor and John Masterman, G def. Alex Nguyen and David Szympruch, A (8-4)
No. 2 doubles: Mitch Steinberg and Jack Fitzgibbons, G def. Steven Tzeng and Anthony Zhou, A (8-5)
No. 3 doubles: Karen Gulati and Kaushal Jatti, G def. Nico Taber and Paul Kim, A (8-5)
Centennial 5, Hammond 0
No. 1 singles: Vijay Jagarapu, C def. Austin Uwimana, Ha (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Keshav Ganapathy, C def. Colin Ward, Ha (8-1)
No. 1 doubles: Danny Ho and Ryan Huang, C def. Hussain Masood and Tyler Prudhomme, Ha (8-0)
No. 2 doubles: Tyler W. Lin and Carter Custodio, C def. Huy Tran and Brandon Nguyen, Ha (8-1)
No. 3 doubles: Hari Meka and Aadarsh Govada, C def. Sohan Modi and Gabe Porter, Ha (8-1)
Howard 5, Wilde Lake 0
No. 1 singles: Andrew Au, Ho def. Hughes Charles, WL (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Niko Bifsas, Ho def. Maddox Ciesluk, WL (8-0)
No. 1 doubles: Richie Pemberton and Alex Brousseau, Ho def. Noah Begley and Matthew Batemonkh, WL (8-0)
No. 2 doubles: Savsas Bifsas and Tyson Nguyen, Ho def. Sovanmonireach Ek and Jonathan Monah, WL (8-0)
No. 3 doubles: Charlie Veihmeyer and Tyler Nguyen, Ho (win by default)
Mt. Hebron 5, Oakland Mills 0
River Hill 5, Long Reach 0
Marriotts Ridge 4, Reservoir 1
No. 1 singles: Anna Ottman, MR def. Grace Tao, Re (8-5)
No. 2 singles: Gabby Tseytlin, MR def. Alanna Ro, Re (8-2)
No. 1 doubles: Charita Sandoze and Hashini Amarasinghe, MR def. Gia Santos and Nicole Carino, Re (8-1)
No. 2 doubles: Lexi Lee and Karen Yhim, Re def. Srinidhi Arumugam and Amrutha Alibili, MR (8-6)
No. 3 doubles: Megan Wagner and Varsha Devireddy, MR def. Sripriya Vemu and Kaitlyn Ro, Re (8-0)
Atholton 3, Glenelg 2
No. 1 singles: Jessica Zhou, A def. Ava Stamatakis, G (8-6)
No. 2 singles: Talia Brown, A def. Akshitaa Jay, G (8-2)
No. 1 doubles: Ally Abruscato and Kousalya Gaddam, G def. Niki Patel and Lexi Nguyen, A (8-1)
No. 2 doubles: Arianna Moadeli and Kate Kim, G def. Jen Chiang and Rissah Remy, A (8-5)
No. 3 doubles: Alisa Hira and Eulalia Voo, A def. Rukmini Gaddam and Kristin Ruehl, G (8-1)
Centennial 4, Hammond 1
No. 1 singles: Shivaani Selvan, Ha def. Rose Huang, C (8-3)
No. 2 singles: Michelle Fradlin, C def. Janel McCray, Ha (8-2)
No. 1 doubles: Audrey Oaksmith and Shreya Vallimanalan, C def. Ronia Agyeman and Megan Martin, Ha (8-1)
No. 2 doubles: Sarika Kapadia and Joanna Blackman, C def. Cingh Cing and Man Huai, Ha (8-0)
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No. 3 doubles: Yunah Kwon and Sarah Blackman, C def. Olivia Ametewee and Mayuri Chakkara, Ha (8-4)
Howard 4, Wilde Lake 1
No. 1 singles: Corinne Chau, Ho def. Kristina Staussi, WL (8-1)
No. 2 singles: Viola Yu, Ho def. Sajan McLaughlin, WL (8-6)
No. 1 doubles: Kate Kuiesza and Johanna Shin, WL def. Presley Caroland and Marina Kim, Ho (8-6)
No. 2 doubles: Shannon Clifford and Amelia Krieg, Ho def. Makael Manor and Sarah Haghight, WL (8-1)
No. 3 doubles: Varsha Katheli and Medha Hegde, Ho def. Avery Iadarola and Koko Jones, WL (8-1)