Baseball state semifinals Marriotts Ridge's run through the regional playoffs consisted of low-scoring affairs, but last night in the Class 2A state semifinal, the Mustangs ran into a South Hagerstown team that relied on its explosive offense to win.
The Rebels sent every batter to the plate in the first two innings, but they walked nine batters and hit one through the first four and could not pull away. South Hagerstown's hitting eventually bailed out the pitching, and the Rebels won, 14-10.
"This is never easy," said Marriotts Ridge coach Paul Eckert, who has been to two straight semifinals even though the school is only three years old. "I just told the young men I could not be more proud of them."
Kevin Seker hit two home runs that accounted for two of Marriotts Ridge's four hits. Mitchell Smith and Stephen Kahl had the others.
The Mustangs (17-6) took a lead in the first inning on a three-run home run by Seker. South Hagerstown (18-3) responded in the bottom half with four runs on six hits, including a double by Tim Jacobson that scored two.
Smith knocked in three more runs for the Mustangs on a double that cleared the bases. But once again, South Hagerstown answered, with eight runs on six hits, including a home run by Tim Hamilton.
The Mustangs scored three runs in the third inning without getting a hit because of four walks and a hit batter. The Rebels scored two more runs in the fifth to lead 14-9. Seker got one back for Marriotts Ridge with his fifth home run of the season in the sixth.
"We have been together for three years, we started the program. ... It just ended. The whole experience for us," Seker said. "Right now, it hurts. We came up short as a team."
Kent Island 2, No. 15 Loch Raven 1 -- Loch Raven's Jordan Heller and Devin Gardner of Kent Island (14-8) each kept opposing hitters off balance, and both hit home runs in the Class 2A state semifinal. In the end, Gardner won the battle, as Kent Island outlasted the Raiders. Heller's home run in the sixth inning cut the lead to one, and the Raiders (15-6) threatened in the seventh, but they could not manufacture any runs. Heller pitched six innings, scattering three hits with eight strikeouts and four walks. Gardner was very effective as well, pitching a complete game, giving up four hits with six strikeouts and three walks.
C. Milton Wright 8, South River 6 -- Mike DeVecchio (2-for-5) hit a bases-loaded two-run single to start a three-run eighth inning to lift the visiting Mustangs (19-4) over the Seahawks. C.M. Wright faces Sherwood in the state final tomorrow night at 7 at Ripken Stadium.
Harford Tech 6, Clear Springs 3 -- Chase Gardner went 2-for-4 with an RBI to power the visiting Cobras (15-7) past the Blazers. Harford Tech faces St. Michael's in Saturday's final at 1 p.m. at Ripken Stadium.
Patapsco 8, No. 5 Centennial 6 -- Eric Ryan had two hits, including a triple in a four-run sixth inning, as the Patriots (19-2) stunned the host Eagles (20-5).
Sun reporters contributed to this article.