STEVENSON, Md. – The Stevenson baseball team continued swinging a hot bat on Sunday afternoon as they racked up 12 hits and scored 11 runs cruising to an 11-5 non-conference victory over Elmira College (N.Y.) at Sugar Field.
Stevenson (7-5) was led by a 3-5 day by sophomore Jacob Norris, he doubled and scored a run. Senior John D'Aquanno was perfect on the afternoon going 3-3 with a double, RBI, and drew a walk. Sophomore Alex Kidwiler also added a double, RBI, and scored a run. Junior Jordan Moore and sophomore Brady Kessler each chipped in a run and combined to score three runs.
Elmira (0-9) started out strong scoring the first run of the game in the top of the first. Sophomore Mustangs starting pitcher Tyler Graham got the leadoff hitter Sam Plaugher to ground out back to him on the mound. Bryce Plante was then issued a walk and was granted second base when Moore was called for catcher's interference allowing Conor Bawiec to be awarded first setting the Soaring Eagles up with two on and one out. Dennis Rudolph reached safely on a fielder's choice to D'Aquanno at third who stepped on the bag retiring Plante letting Bawiec go to second with two gone. Cameron Heggie drew the second walk of the frame to load the bases. Then with Tommy Fogarty at the plate, Graham let go of a wild pitch allowing Bawiec to score, the threat would then stall with the batter grounding out to junior Matthew Kerber at second keeping the score 1-0. In the bottom of the first, sophomore Kevin Murray Jr., Kerber, and D'Aquanno opened things up with walks against visiting starter Noah Gulino to fill the bags. Sophomore Mark Terrell was plunked by a pitch keeping the bases full and plating Murray. Senior Billy Small hit into a 4-6-3 double play scoring Kerber and putting up the first two outs. Norris came to hit with one on two down and grounded out to Fogarty at first, at the end of one it was 2-1 Stevenson.
Inning number two saw Elmira get a one-out base hit from Mark Ryan, and he would reach second on a balk by the pitcher. Graham settled down after that retiring Eddie O'Donnell IV and Plaugher on fly balls to set down the side. The bottom half of the inning started well for the Mustangs as Kidwiler doubled to deep left and Moore walked to set up first and second with no out. Kessler then ripped a single to center scoring Kidwiler and pushing Moore to second. A sacrifice bunt by Murray moved both players up 90-feet with one gone. Kerber followed up by reaching safely on a fielder's choice, and Moore was able to come home after a bobble by Ryan at third. D'Aquanno stepped up next and smacked a single to left to load the bases with one down. That spelled the end of the afternoon for Gulino as he was replaced by Joe Kidd who induced a popup from Terrell and a ground ball by Small both to Plaugher at second to retire the side. After just two frames the home side was in front 4-1.
The Soaring Eagles were able to get one back in the top of the third after a leadoff single and stolen base by Plante had him at second with no outs. Bawiec grounded out to Kerber moving the runner to third now with one out bring Rudolph to the dish. He bounced one out to Kessler at short who tossed across to Small at first for the second out but did allow Plante to come home. After Heggie walked he was caught stealing to put away the visitors. Stevenson was turned away in their half of the third, as were the Soaring Eagles in the top of the fourth keeping the score at 4-2 going to the bottom of inning four. Murray opened the frame up with a walk and Kerber ripped a double to deep right-center making it second and third with no outs. D'Aquanno was then hit by a pitch to fill the bags. The ensuing hitter was Terrell and he hit into a double play picking up an RBI in the process as Murray came in to score. Small followed with a hard line drive out to right center to end the threat with the score at 5-2.
In the bottom of the next inning, the Mustangs would break the game open as they plated four. First Norris led off smashing a double to right, and then came around to score when the following batter Kidwiler laced a single up the box into center. With runners at first and second, Kidd was lifted from the contest for Garinder Singh Sarana. He unleashed a wild pitch to the first hitter he faced moving Moore to third and Kessler to second. Murray made him pay with an RBI groundout to first. Sarana then issued a free pass to Kerber, and with D'Aquanno at the plate, he stole second as the pitch skipped away from O'Donnell behind the plate Kessler broke for home and scored without a throw. D'Aquanno then plated Kerber with a double to deep left-center but got himself thrown out trying to stretch for third. At the end of five Stevenson held a 9-2 advantage.
Elmira did not go quietly as they got two in the top of the sixth against sophomore reliever Zach Kaye. With one out Fogarty walk and Harrison Zambarano singled putting two on for Ryan. He ripped a triple over the head of Norris in deep right field scoring both runners. The next batter O'Donnell grounded out to Kessler at short and let Ryan come home without a throw. After Plaugher drew a walk Plante grounded out to Kerber at second to retire the side.
With the score 9-5 going into the bottom of the seventh the Mustangs got the final two runs of the day. Moore led off with a bouncing single up the middle and went to second on the sacrifice bunt by Kessler. Murray followed with a walk and Moore was able to get to third when ball four got by the catcher. That brought in a new pitcher in the form of Zach Williamson. He watched as Murray stole second and advanced to third on an error by O'Donnell on the throw that allowed Moore to score. On the next pitch to Kerber, a balk was called which let Murray come home. Kerber and D'Aquanno both singled making it first and second with one out before Terrell bounced into his second double play of the day.
The Soaring Eagles were not able to mount a comeback in the eighth and ninth innings and Stevenson left the field triumphant winning 11-5.
Stevenson starter Graham (2-1) earned the win lasting five giving up two runs (one earned) and three hits. The bullpen combination of Kaye, senior Eric Prachniak, and freshman Phil Wugalter went four giving up three runs all earned, three hits and fanning four.
The Mustangs are back in action tomorrow Tuesday, March, 13 when they travel to Bridgewater (Va) for a non-conference contest. First pitch against the Eagles is set for 4pm.