The Lance

Varsity baseball ends season with loss in semifinals

by Matthew Gelhard, Editor

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The short URL of the present article is: https://lhslance.org/5wbw1

 

courtesy of Stephanie Downs
Linganore Baseball huddled together before taking the field

The varsity baseball season came to an end on May 15th in the MPSSAA 3A West Regional Semifinals against the Govenor Thomas Johnson Patriots with a score of 4-0. This ending was not as far as the team was expecting to advance; however, what was accomplished this season can not be overlooked. The Lancers ended with a 9-7 record and became co-division champions with Thomas Johnson High School.

Throughout the season, the baseball team had to fight adversity. The weather was their greatest opposition. Looking for a beautiful opening day at home against the South Carroll Cavaliers on the 21st of March, they not only got rain on that day but also for the next seven scheduled game days after that.

While the weather conditions continued to be poor,  the team relied on indoor practices to keep them in shape.  Having the disadvantage of practicing every day fielding baseballs on a gym floor did not stop the Lancers from winning their first game of the year 2-1 over TJ. After a span of seventeen days from their last scrimmage to their first home game, the Lancers were able to start their season 1-0.

Injuries plagued the team at the start after Cole Lee (elbow), Josh Taylor (ankle), Sam Downs (ankle), and James Jones (knee) had injuries. Depth in the line-up helped the Lancers: freshman Ryan Sachar took over at third base; junior Matt Gelhard helped behind the plate; junior Sam Marth played first base; and freshman Matt Cunningham was able to pitch and play middle infield.

Head coach David Keiling spoke about the seasoned players on the team leading by example and making a difference on the field everyday. Sam Downs played first base and pitched 28 innings with 39 strikeouts on the season. Zach Willett was the lead-off hitter for the team and had a .300 batting average and scored 20 times. Junior Jacob Ference led the team with a .438 batting average and was behind the plate for 80 innings.

Sam Downs, Zach Willett, and Brett Tibbs were all selected to play in the MABC AllStar Classic where a selective group of players will compete and are recognized for their achievements during the season.

The team was on a hot streak in the end of April as they achieved a seven game win streak from April 17th to the 30th. The Lancers outscored their opponents 54-27 and put themselves in contention for the CMC Championship heading into May.

Then, the Lancers lost their final four games, heading into the playoffs with a record of 9-7. Due to rescheduling of games from earlier in the season, the team had a game every day the final week of the season. 

Junior second basemen Tyler Perry said, “You could see the fatigue in the players as our energy was low and our arms began to become sore. The amount of games that we had in the final weeks were an insane amount for any high school team.”

“Every game of this season I believed our team was the best team on the field, we weren’t worried about other opponents but focused on the opponent we were facing that day,” said Keiling.

There is a lot in store for next season as eight juniors are returning, including Cole Lee, who has been injured all year, will be in the lineup, and the underclassmen will come back with experience. After losing in the Regional Semi-finals to TJ two years in a row, the Lancers are looking to reclaim their baseball superiority.

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Varsity baseball ends season with loss in semifinals