Aberdeen, Md. – Despite cracking 15 hits, including three extra-base hits, the St. Mary's College of Maryland baseball team dropped an 11-7 decision to Stevenson University at the Yankee Stadium Field at Ripken Baseball Academy in Capital Athletic Conference action Wednesday afternoon.
Stevenson (10-21, 5-11 CAC) jumped out of the gate early with seven runs in the bottom of the first inning, posting a 7-0 lead on five hits and a Seahawk error.
The Seahawks (17-13, 8-8 CAC) finally got on the scoreboard in the third inning as senior centerfielder Bobby Corton (Owings Mills, Md./Calvert Hall) stole home. Corton was hit by a pitch then advanced to third on a single down the right field line by senior second baseman Matt Baden (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown). Stevenson responded with a run of their own in the third as well.
St. Mary's closed the gap to 8-5 in the fifth inning with four runs. Sophomore shortstop Corey Napier (Leonardtown, Md./St. Mary's Ryken) doubled down the left field line to score Baden who connected on a lead-off single. Junior third baseman Keith Johnson (Great Mills, Md./Great Mills) stepped up to the plate after Napier and collected a double as well, driving in junior right fielder Eric Gronbeck (Owings, Md./Northern) who was hit by a pitch.
Still in the fifth, senior leftfielder Joey Kavanagh (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) walked to load the bases and then senior first baseman Ian Simpson-Shelton (Upper Marlboro, Md./DeMatha) drew a walk to bring home Napier. With bases still loaded, Johnson crossed home plate on senior catcher Brad Shepherd's (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills) single to centerfield. Corton lined into a double play to end the inning.
The Mustangs added a pair in the fifth to stretch their lead to 10-5 and then notched their 11th run in the seventh. Stevenson finished the game with 11 runs on 14 hits while committing one error.
In the eighth, the Seahawks tacked on their sixth run as Napier led off with a double to left center before advancing to third on a throwing error by senior Dustin Tarlow (Finksburg, Md./Westminster). Napier then came home on Johnson's single to centerfield. The eighth inning rally was cut short as Kavanagh struck out swinging and senior Mark Dattilio (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) grounded into a double play.
After keeping Stevenson scoreless in the eighth, St. Mary's rallied again in the ninth. The Seahawks loaded the bases with a lead-off walk to Simpson-Shelton, a Corton single and a Baden single before Gronbeck grounded out to junior reliever Patrick Quinn (Mt. Airy, Md./Linganore) to bring home Simpson-Shelton. Napier flied out to right field for the final out of the game.
Sophomore starter Devon Jerrard (Hunt Valley, Md./Boys' Latin) was saddled with just his second loss of the season as Jerrard (4-2) gave up 10 runs (eight earned) on 10 hits while fanning five Mustang batters in 5.0 innings.
Baden registered four hits and a run scored while Napier added three hits, including two doubles, two runs, and an RBI to pace the Seahawks at the plate.
St. Mary's will see the Mustangs again this Saturday, April 9 at the Hawk's Nest and will look to sweep the doubleheader from Stevenson to solidify its position in the top half of the league standings. Prior to the start of the Saturday's first game, the eight Seahawk seniors will be honored.