Lions pounce on Blue Dogs to survive
July 29, 2012 -
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In the first elimination game of the regional tournament, the Long Island Lions jumped out to an 8-run lead in just two innings. Already up by 3, they led off the second with consecutive hits from Brenden McKnight (single and stolen base), Connor Coman (RBI single), and Vinny Iacono (2-run home run). After Tyler Bell flew out, Joe Longo, Rob Burns, and Conner McCarthy all hit consecutive singles to score two more runs.
After the second, however, Maryland pitcher Lachlan Whyte settled down and kept the Lions caged. Both he and starter Charlie Wright had allowed 4 runs, but Whyte struck out five over the next four innings and allowed only three hits.
On the other side of the inning, New York’s pitching began to falter. After allowing an unearned run in the third, relief pitcher Longo put the side down in order in the fourth. However in the fifth with two outs and a man on first, he hit three consecutive batters (Burgess, Whyte, and Williams) to bring in a run. Jeremy Tayman was then walked for Maryland’s third run. With slugger Henry Faunce at the plate and the bases loaded, the Blue Dogs found themselves one swing away from closing the lead to one run. Faunce hit the ball hard to right field, but came up about 20 feet short of the grand slam, with Andrew Sesto recording the out.
Trouble continued in the sixth as New York pitcher Ryan Lewis walked the first two batters before Jordan Twiford grounded into a double-play. Lewis then walked Jones and Burgess to load the bases again, but Whyte flew out to center to strand 3 more runners.
In their final chance in the seventh, Troy Calvert and Jeremy Tayman led off with walks from Lewis. But Calvert was caught stealing third on a wild pitch, Faunce grounded to the shortstop, and Charlie Wright flew out to center, ending LaPlata’s regional run.
New York stays alive to play the loser of the 2:00pm Altoona / Brooklyn game. Maryland State is eliminated from the regional. The Maryland State franchise has an 0-8 streak in AAABA games and has not won a game in AAABA competition in four years.
Visit the Regional Page of this site for more information.