October 17, 2018
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  • Sophomore Evan Lewis was huge for the Falcons on May 19, scattering seven hits and keeping Leonardtown subdued as the Falcons defeated the Raiders 9-7 to win the 4A East region championship for the second straight year.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Sophomore Evan Lewis was huge for the Falcons on May 19, scattering seven hits and keeping Leonardtown subdued as the Falcons defeated the Raiders 9-7 to win the 4A East region championship for the second straight year.
  • The Falcons are 4A East champions once again, defeating Leonardtown 9-7 on May 19. Severna Park will face CH Flowers in the state semifinals on May 22.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    The Falcons are 4A East champions once again, defeating Leonardtown 9-7 on May 19. Severna Park will face CH Flowers in the state semifinals on May 22.

Severna Park Baseball Defeats Leonardtown For 4A East Region Crown

Colin Murphy
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May 20, 2018

The Severna Park baseball team is heading back to the state tournament.

The Falcons are the 4A East entry to the state’s final four after Saturday evening’s 9-7 win over Leonardtown on a foggy night on the all-turf field at Blandair Regional Park in Columbia.

Sophomore starting pitcher Evan Lewis stepped up big Saturday, scattering seven hits and allowing four runs in five innings and never relinquishing the early lead Severna Park’s offense spotted him to earn the win.

Five different Falcons—Cam Clark, George Lesher, Luke Guy, AJ Weyant and Nick Horgan—drove in runs as Severna Park (20-3) took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, held the Raiders at arm’s length and punched its ticket to next week’s state semifinals.

Severna Park’s offense has carried the season, and on Saturday, the Falcons showed they’ve got the pitching and defense to complement.

“We battled from the first inning to the last,” said Severna Park head coach Eric Milton. “We had the bats one-through-nine, and I think everybody hit the baseball and contributed…Evan was huge, huge for a sophomore to do something like that. It was his ball. There was no Cam. [Evan] was it today. The season was riding on a sophomore with not a lot of experience, and he stepped up big.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Severna Park baseball vs. Leonardtown, 4A East region final, 5.19.18

After Severna Park went down in order in the top of the first, Lewis took the mound and allowed two base hits to put runners on second and third with no outs.

But the sophomore stayed steady, and the defense backed him up. Leonardtown attempted a suicide squeeze, but the batter popped up to first. Guy gloved it and doubled up the runner at third.

After a walk, Lewis set up the next batter with a pair of curve balls, then popped the mitt with a scorching fastball to get the third out and trot back to a fired-up Severna Park dugout.

The sophomore said the team had Leonardtown’s hitters scouted.

“We had their lineup kind of analyzed,” he said. “We had planned a lot of curve balls down, and try to blow it by them [with the fastball] when we can, and that’s what I tried to do.”

The middle and bottom of the Severna Park order got the scoring started in the top of the second. Brendan Simonds led off with a double, and Lesher and Drew Jeffries singled to load the bases. Guy battled in his at-bat, fouling off pitch after pitch—one foul ball smashed a stadium light and rained glass down behind the Severna Park dugout—before drawing an RBI walk.

Weyant stepped to the plate and smacked a two-out, two-RBI single to plate Jeffries and Guy, putting Severna Park up 3-0:

“It started with AJ, our nine-hitter, who had the two-out single in the first inning, and we’re up 3-0 instead of 1-0, ad that’s huge,” said Milton.

Weyant said he was glad to get the team started on the right foot.

“Getting that hit was huge for me,” Weyant said. “I haven’t had a hit like that in a couple games, and the fact that we got two runs from it, that was even better. That set the tone for us. Whenever we have a lead like that, we always do much better in the game, hit well, field well, and all our momentum builds up.”

Severna Park kept the momentum. Leonardtown scratched out a run in the bottom of the third, but Lewis got a strikeout and two flyouts to end the frame to keep it at 3-1.

In the top of the fifth, Garrett Whitaker led off with a double, and the lefthanded-batting Weyant laid a perfect bunt down the third base line for a hit. Nick Horgan batted in Whitaker for a 4-1 lead, and Clark knocked a hit to drive in Weyant. Horgan was thrown out on the play, but Severna Park led 5-1:

Even though Leonardtown put together a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, the defense and pitching showed up for Severna Park again. Lewis induced a grounder to short, and Horgan/Clark/Guy turned a 6-4-3 double play. Lewis again got a strikeout to close the inning and preserve Severna Park’s lead at 5-3.

Jeffries hit a deep fly to center field in the sixth, and Leonardtown’s outfielder lost sight of it in the fog. The ball bounced to the base of the wall as Jeffries cruised into third with a standup triple, and Guy followed with a hit to bring him in. Severna Park led 6-3.

Lewis put two runners on in the sixth before Kody Milton came on in relief. The Raiders were able to push a couple runs over but could not tie the game, and the Falcons got out of the inning still ahead, 6-5.

Severna Park put insurance runs on the board in the seventh. Horgan walked and advanced on a wild pitch, and Clark doubled to bring him in, making it 7-5. Milton was intentionally walked, and Lesher made the Raiders pay with a two-run double to put Severna Park up 9-5:

Kody Milton got two outs in the bottom of the seventh before the Raiders battled for two walks and a hit to make it 9-7. There would be no repeat of the 2016 region final, when Severna Park saw its lead slip away and the Raiders seize the crown; Milton induced a flyout to right to end the game and seal the Falcons’ second straight 4A East plaque and third in four years.

The Falcons will play Charles Herbert Flowers High School (Prince George’s County), which defeated Parkdale on the same field at Blandair Park prior to Severna Park’s game on Saturday, in the state semifinals on Wednesday, May 23 at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, game time 4 p.m. Howard and Bethesda-Chevy Chase will play in the other 4A semifinal.

Eric Milton said the team’s pitching and defense is rounding into form as the offense continues to do its job.

“Two more wins and play mistake-free baseball,” he said. “If we don’t make errors in the field we’re going to be tough to beat, just because of our bats. Our lineup. We’ve got the pitching now, I think. We didn’t have it at the beginning of the year, but it’s come around. We’ve got the pitching now, guys that can come off the bench and throw, and if we just swing the bats the way we’re capable of, we should be okay.”

Weyant said the team is having fun right now, and they’ve grown in confidence as the year has progressed.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “At the beginning of the year, our goal is always to get a state championship. We didn’t really think it was this year. Everyone was talking about it. As we progressed through the year, we beat Arundel three times, that was huge for us, and now going down the road we can see what our team can really do, and we’re just going to keep rolling.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Severna Park baseball vs. Leonardtown, 4A East region final, 5.19.18


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