Mustangs Earn Season-Opening Split At St. Mary's (Md.)

Mustangs Earn Season-Opening Split At St. Mary's (Md.)

ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. -  The Stevenson baseball team began their 2019 campaign with an in-state non-conference doubleheader with St. Mary's College of Maryland on Friday afternoon at the Hawks Nest.  In game one, the Mustangs got out to a 2-0 lead but were unable to hold on as the Seahawks won 6-5.  Then, in game two Stevenson got out to an early 4-0 lead and used a five-run seventh to earn a split winning by a score of 9-3.    

  • After a scoreless first, Stevenson (0-1) struck in the top of the second off of starter Drew Strugess when after senior Jordan Moore singled and sophomore Kevin Barrett reached on an error.  Junior Brady Kessler stepped to the plate with two down and two in scoring position he drove them both home with a single for a 2-0 lead.  He would not go any further as the next hitter classmate Kevin Murray Jr. grounded out to second.
  • St. Mary's (Md.) (1-0) threatened in the bottom half of the frame when with one out Dillon Waters, Andy Collins, and Dakota Merritt all reached in consecutive at-bats to load the bases against senior starting pitcher James Wiercinski.  Matt Ansaldi was set down on strikes for the second out, before with Lucas Kraft at the dish a passed ball allowed Waters to score to make it 2-1.  Kraft eventually worked a walk to reload the bases.  Dan McCann watched strike three go by to end the frame.
  • With two on and no one away, Bowen Plaglee singled out to right field plating Joey Bryner to tie the score still leaving men on the corners. A fielder's choice off the bat of Collins drove home the go-ahead run with two gone.  The inning came to an end when Wiercinski picked strikeout number seven fanning Merritt.
  • The Mustangs mounted a two-out rally in the top of the fifth as Murry drew a walk off of reliever Tyson Johnson which was followed by a base hit for senior Matthew Kerber put two men on.  That brought fellow senior Zachary DeLong to the dish who was safe on an error by the second baseman allowing Murray to race home knotting the score 3-3.  Johnson would load the bags as sophomore Thomas Holcomb was hit by the pitch, but the next hitter popped out.
  • Wiercinski looked the keep the game tied entering the home half of the fifth and after getting a ground out and a strikeout he appeared to be on his way to doing just that.  However, Plaglee reached on an infield single and Waters smacked a two-run homer over the left-center field fence to give the Seahawks a 5-3 edge heading to the sixth.
  • Stevenson had their last chance to stay alive in the top of the seventh and took full advantage of it.  Murray and Kerber started things with back-to-back singles.  DeLong delivered an RBI single and Holcomb provided a sacrifice fly to tie the score 5-5 still with one out.  The Mustangs could not grab the lead though as senior Michael Rhodes and freshman Jonathan Brandt were both retired to halt the rally.
  • Freshman Sam Downs came in to replace Wiercinski in the bottom of the seventh and issued a walk to McCann.  After pinch-hitter, Brady Waters moved him up on a sac bunt, Jay Hammett flew out to center leaving a man on and two out.  The next batter was Plaglee who plated McCann with a game-winning single 6-5.
  • W: Matt Ansaldi (1-0), L: Sam Downs (0-1)
  • Wiercinski went six innings giving up five runs on seven hits and struck out nine.
  • Moore and Kerber each went 2-3 with a run scored.
  • Kessler added a hit and two RBIs, while Murray also picked up a knock and scored two runs.
  • Sturgess started lasting two frames on two hits and two runs.
  • Plaglee went 3-4 adding two RBIs and a run scored. 
  • D. Waters was 2-3 including a home run with two runs scored and a pair of RBIs.

  • Stevenson (1-1) got on the board in the top of the first against Seahawks starter Connor Manion as Murray led off the game with a single and then with two down stole second base.  That brought DeLong to the dish who smacked a base hit to left scoring Murray for the early 1-0 lead.  With men at first and second, Holcomb struck out swinging to end the frame.
  • In the bottom half of the inning Mustangs pitcher, Joe Thompson surrendered a single to Hammett and that was it as Plaglee went down watching strike three to move the game to the second.
  • The next inning opened up with a bang for Stevenson as junior Alex Kidwiler blasted one down the left field line to make it 2-0.  Manion responded with a pair of strikeouts and induced a fly out off the bat of Murray allowing for no more damage.
  • Stevenson continued to put runs up in the third this time versus relief pitcher Tim Hand.  After giving up a leadoff infield single to Kessler, Kerber then hit into a double play erasing the runners.  With two gone DeLong and Moore each singled giving the rookie Holcomb to add onto the lead which he did with a two-run double to center pushing the advantage to 4-0. 
  • St. Mary's (Md.) (1-1) started to work their way back into the game in the home-half of the fourth with a two-out rally.  With men on first and second, B. Waters doubled to left plating D. Waters from second.  Thompson issued a free pass to Kraft which loaded the bases for Connor Coursey.  He would cut the deficit down to one 4-3, with a two-run single.  Collins popped out to short to stall the frame.
  • The Seahawks went in search of the game-tying hit in their part of the fifth against junior reliever Tyler Graham.  Hammett grounded out and Plaglee popped up to first to bring up D. Waters.  After Holden Marshall drew a walk putting two on with two out Taitano lined out to Kessler at second.
  • Stevenson added onto their lead in the top of the seventh when Moore delivered a two-run double to straightaway center field scoring sophomore Patrick Sullivan and Kerber extending the lead to 6-3.  Holcomb was hit by a pitch and Kidwiler earned a walk to load the bags for Rhodes who reached on an error driving home Moore making it 7-3 still with just one out.  Freshman Austin Taylor kept things rolling with an RBI single, Murray added a sacrifice fly, before Kessler grounded out giving the Mustangs a 9-3 lead going to the bottom of the inning.  
  • Graham got the first two men out but then loaded the bases after letting a batter reach on an error by the shortstop, allowing a single and then hitting a batter. That brought B. Waters to the plate with a chance to make things interesting but he hit a grounder to second which forced out the runner to end the game.
  • W: Joe Thompson (1-0),  L: Connor Manion (0-1), S: Tyler Graham (1)
  • Thompson earned the win going four innings allowing five hits, three runs, and struck out three.
  • Graham gave up one hit in three frames of relief. 
  • Moore continued his strong day going 3-4 driving in two and scoring twice.
  • DeLong was 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
  • Six other Mustangs added one hit and combined for five RBIs.
  • Manion went two innings on four hits and two runs.
  • Hand put up a similar line of two frames, four hits, and a pair of runs.
  • Taitano was 2-3 at the plate with a run scored.
  • Coursey had one hit and two RBIs.   

  • The loss in game one snapped the three-game winning streak that dated back to the end of the 2018 season.
  • On the afternoon Moore was 5-7 with three runs scored and two RBIs.
  • Six different Mustangs recorded an RBI on the day.
  • Stevenson struck out just five times between the two games.
  • The home run for Kidwiler was his first since April 19, 2017. 

  • Stevenson returns to action on Friday, February 22 when they will take part in the Bison Baseball Classic hosted by Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.  The Mustangs will play the host Bison at 10am and then square off with Marymount University for a 2pm first pitch.