When Severn School and Glenelg Country traveled to Calvert Hall, Sunday afternoon, they began their MIAA B Conference baseball playoff game battling for a single ticket to Ripken Stadium for Monday’s finals, opposite Boys’ Latin, which is undefeated in the double elimination event.
As it turns out, both the Admirals and Dragons may both be headed to Aberdeen.
Despite the use of the turf field at Calvert Hall’s Carlos Crispino Stadium, the contest, which was played in a steady rain throughout, could not get past the the sixth inning. With Severn leading 8-4 and batting in the home half of the sixth, the rain intensified causing the umpires to send the players to their respective dugouts to wait out the downpour.
After a 50 minute wait the rain did subside enough to potentially resume play, but once the tarp was pulled back from the mound it was deemed unsafe. Not only was the slope of the mound a clumpy mess, but the synthetic turf in front of the bump was caked with a soupy coating of wet mud that was as slippery as an ice rink.
MIAA Executive Director Lee Dove who was on hand for the contest said the Association would be seeking permission from Ripken Baseball to complete the Severn/Glenelg Country game at Ripken Stadium on Monday, with the winner advancing immediately into the finals with BL, in a contest that is currently scheduled to get underway at 4:15 p.m. Further complicating things is the fact the A Conference finals, between Archbishop Spalding and Gilman, are scheduled to be played after the B game on Monday, not to mention that rain remains in the forecast for both Monday and Tuesday.
“We will see if we can complete this game at Ripken Stadium on Monday. I am not sure yet if that will be an option, but if it is we will finish this game and move directly into the finals,” said Dove. “We only have Ripken Stadium for Monday and Tuesday and we are at the mercy of the weather. We will do our best to complete both of these tournaments over the next two days. If not, we will make alternate arrangements.”
Senior Jack Elstner is the primary reason Severn has a 4 run lead in the contest. Elstner came on to pitch in the top of the second inning with the Admirals trailing 2-1, in relief of freshman starter Ty Benz, and tossed five strong innings. He also keyed a 4-run fourth inning with a bases loaded triple as Severn took a 7-2 lead.
“Obviously rain delays are tough. We wanted to get the game finished. We were playing well, hitting well,” said Elstner, who was making his first pitching appearance since early in the season because of shoulder injury. “We just have to pick it up where we left off, tomorrow, and keep playing hard.”
Despite his inability to pitch for much of 2016, Elstner is having a big offensive year and has nine home runs. He did not homer on Sunday, but he did drive a ball deep into center-field, over the Glenelg Country outfield, clearing the bases. Earlier in the inning, teammate Jordan Mathis plated a run with a RBI single.
Marcus Khademi staked the Dragons to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when he sliced a double into the right-field corner, plating Jack Adamson, who had walked, and Brendan Grady, who was hit by a pitch. The GCS rally may have been bigger were it not for Severn catcher Ethan O’Malley.
After Glenelg Country leadoff hitter Tim Oh walked, O’Malley gunned him down trying to steal. Then, he picked Khademi off second to end the inning.
Severn scored its first run in the bottom of the first when Brendan Gauthier drew a 1-out walk, stole second, and scored on a 2-out double by Ricky Treanor, off Oh, who made the start for GCS. The Admirals took the lead with a 2-run second. Sam Roeder started the rally with a walk and Tyrek Thornton followed with a single. Both runners moved into scoring position on a sac bunt by Ryan Jack. After the play concluded, GCS catcher Michael Fagen thought he could catch Roeder off third, but instead through the ball into left-field, allowing the run to score and moving Thornton to third. Thornton then scored on a sac fly by Mathis.
The Dragons got back on the board with 2 runs in the fifth. Oh had a 1-out single and, with 2 outs, Adamson singled and Brendan Grady walked. Struggling with the mound, which was growing sloppier at this point, Elstner allowed both runs to score on consecutive wild pitches before striking out Khademi to end the inning.
The Admirals got one of the runs back in their next at bat as Grady, who came on to pitch for the Dragons in the fourth, struggled with the mound as well, walking four Severn batters in the inning to force home a run.
“I haven’t pitched in two months now. Just some nagging stuff, but playoff games, this is the spot you want to be in. It’s what your dream about” added Elstner. “The adrenaline was pumping and I just wanted to prove myself and put my team in a position to win.”