The Northeast baseball team captured its first win of the season Monday and it could not have come in a more dramatic fashion.
Trailing 8-6 going into the top of the seventh inning against host Glen Burnie, the Eagles rallied for five runs in this wild back-and-forth affair for an 11-8 victory, the team’s first in eight tries.
“This is a fantastic feeling,” said Eagles catcher Ryan Hatch, who belted his first high school home run to ignite the rally. “We started off slow [this season] but hopefully we can get things rolling the rest of the way.”
Hatch’s solo shot, which he said “felt good off the bat” but he didn’t watch leave the stadium, came with one out and trimmed the deficit to one.
Starting pitcher Tyler Covahey then tied it at 8 as he reached on an error, moved to second then third on a stolen base and a passed ball, respectively, before scoring on a groundball up the middle by Paul Moger with the infield pulled in. Cam Arrington then walked with the bases loaded to give the Eagles their first lead since the opening inning at 9-8. Aden Stankiewicz then belted a two-run single to left field for an 11-8 advantage.
“It was a fastball down the middle,” Stankiewicz said of his two-run single. “I was looking for it.”
Stankiewicz then closed out the victory in the bottom of the seventh with the only 1-2-3 inning of the game.
The disappointing loss dropped the Gophers to 2-6 on the season.
“We leave too many baserunners,” said Glen Burnie coach Brian Kellner, whose squad combined with Northeast to strand a staggering 21 baserunners for the game. “The other team makes errors and we can’t take advantage. This one is one [win] we should have had.”
Northeast used three consecutive singles and a bases-loaded walk by Mason Kanipe to open up a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Jacob MacDonald limited the damage with back-to-back strikeouts, including one looking to end the threat.
That lead was short lived as John Elkins tied the score on a double to deep left field. He then reached third on a wild pitch and scored on an error in left field for a 2-1 Gophers lead.
Caleb Hartwell pushed that advantage to 3-1 in the first with a run-scoring groundout that plated Rylan Cooper. Colby James followed with a solo home run before Covahey struck out the final two batters to end the high scoring first.
A pair of bunts and a wild pitch trimmed that deficit to 4-2 in the second, but MacDonald once again minimized a potential big inning by inducing a ground ball out with the bases loaded.
Hartwell responded for the Gophers with a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second and James followed with a single to right field to make it 6-2.
The seesaw battle continued as Covahey singled to right field to bring a home a pair of runs to trim the Gophers’ lead to 6-4 in the third. Hatch further cut it to one run on the next at-bat, a ball up the middle that turned into a field’s choice attempt at second base that proved to be too slow.
The Eagles looked to tie things in the top of the fourth but a squeeze bunt failed, leading to a run down and out.
Glen Burnie did not squander its opportunity in the bottom half of the inning with Cooper knocking in Alan Ferguson with a shallow fly ball to left that was caught by Northeast shortstop Will Ward. With his momentum carrying him to left field, Ward’s throw home came up a little and Glen Burnie took a 7-5 advantage.
The Eagles cut it to 7-6 on a pair of errors and looked to take the lead when Stankiewicz sent one to the warning track before it was hauled in by Chartwell to end the top of the sixth.
Glen Burnie’s George Johnson singled to left field for an 8-6 lead after six innings.