Junior Seamus Patenaude was the catalyst on the mound and at the plate as Severna Park baseball cruised into the state final with a shutout win.
Patenaude pitched a two-hitter through five innings and helped his own cause with three hits and two RBIs as fourth-seeded Severna Park defeated eighth-seeded Dulaney, 10-0, in a Class 4A state semifinal held Wednesday afternoon at McCurdy Field in Frederick.
Patenaude was one of five Falcons to deliver a double and was joined by Ethan Rodriquez, Angel Santiago-Cruz, Kody Phillips, Brooks Harris and Nathan Clarke in that department. Severna Park pounded out 12 hits and scored runs during all five innings on the way to closing out the Lions by way of the 10-run rule.
“We played well and Dulaney made some mistakes that we took advantage of,” Severna Park coach Eric Milton said. “I’m proud of our guys and their performance in a pressure situation to get to another state championship game.”
Patenaude allowed six total base runners, giving up two singles and issuing four walks. The right-hander notched four strikeouts and got out of an early jam by picking off a runner.
Trailing 3-0, Dulaney had runners on first and third with no outs and tried a double steal to get the lead runner home. Severna Park anticipated the ploy and implemented a play in which the catcher pretended to throw to second base but fired the ball to Patenaude instead.
Patenaude had the runner hung up between third base and home plate and easily picked him off.
“That was a crucial part of the game. We got the lead runner and Seamus was able to work out of that inning,” Milton said. “Seamus was outstanding in the spots he needed to be.”
Meanwhile, the Falcons scored four runs in the third inning to take a commanding 7-0 lead, then closed out the contest with a run in the bottom half of the fifth.
Severna Park, which improved to 19-3-1, will seek its fourth state championship on Friday night (7:30 p.m.) at Regency Field in Waldorf. The Falcons will meet a familiar foe in defending state champion Sherwood.
Sherwood defeated Severna Park, 5-4, in extra innings in last year’s Class 4A state final. It marked the fourth time the Falcons were state runner-up. Severna Park captured state championships in 2003, 2005 and 2009.
Severna Park’s toughest game in the playoffs so far was its opener against South River, a 6-5 nail-biter in the region semifinals. Severn Park subsequently handled Leonardtown, 8-4, in the region championship game then routed Laurel, 8-0, in the state quarterfinals.
Top-seeded Sherwood has also rolled through the playoffs — beating Northwood, 15-2, and Blake, 10-0, in its regional before slipping past Urbana, 4-2, in the state quarterfinals and handling Montgomery County rival Winston Churchill, 3-1, in the semifinals.
“We’re going to get a wake-up call against Sherwood, which is a very talented team that is well coached,” Milton said. “I’m sure they’re as strong, if not stronger, this season as they were last.”
Milton said senior left-hander Colton Adams (4-0) will start against Sherwood. The Bryant College signee beat Arundel twice during the season, including in the county championship game.