By: Dr. Richard Midcap
McHENRY – The Trojans were committed to making something happen, but Garrett College had the right play on to prevent it Tuesday afternoon and help the Lakers secure a 7-4 baseball victory.
Host Garrett was protecting a 5-4 lead with two outs in the seventh with Allegany College of Maryland's Dan Fry on third base when Trenton Creppage walked. ACM head coach Steve Bazarnic put on a delayed double steal, but Garrett second baseman Winn Allen cut off the throw and fired home to catcher Ryan Kolich in time to nail Fry at the plate.
The Lakers (13-15 overall, 3-4 conference) added a pair of insurance runs in the home seventh to help secure the win.
"We knew what play we were going to run and they just executed it," Garrett head coach Eric Hallenbeck said of the play at the plate.
"If he [Fry] breaks, the second baseman just shoots it to '4' [home plate]," explained Kolich, while Allen said he was "thinking '4' the whole time."
Bazarnic praised the performance of the Lakers, who have won four of their last five games.
"They made the plays," said Bazarnic, who indicated the Trojans shouldn't have had to depend on a double-steal considering Fry was on third base with no outs. However, Garrett reliever Tyler Ritenour struck out Samuel Plafcan and then checked Fry at third before retiring Brady Goodling on a comebacker for the second out.
"In that situation you have to put the ball in play somewhere other than the pitcher," noted Bazarnic.
Allegany (15-8, 5-6) took a 2-0 lead when Garrett starter Michael Penney walked five straight batters with two outs in the second. Fry homered leading off the third, allowing the Trojans to extend the lead to 3-0.
Garrett, however, answered with a four-run rally in the home third to take the lead for good. Kolich and Cody Hammond (3-for-4, double, two runs) sandwiched RBI singles around Tyler Dobie's two-run double off Allegany pitcher Josh Stegmaier.
Penney, who walked seven in three-plus innings, hit one batter and walked another to begin the fourth. Hallenbeck then brought in Ritenour, who allowed a double steal on the first pitch before shutting down the rally.
"Tyler Ritenour did an unbelievable job," said Hallenbeck. "Coming in with first and second, no outs, and then having a first-pitch steal put runners at second and third – and they don't get a run. That's a key play as well."
"I just focused on getting first-pitch strikes and working in my off-speed stuff," said Ritenour. "I trusted my stuff and I trusted my defense as well."
Jordan Beans then slammed the door on the Trojans, retiring all six hitters he faced in the eighth and ninth with three strikeouts to earn the save.
"If I need to get six outs, he's the guy I go to," Hallenbeck said of Beans.
Stegmaier went the distance for Allegany, yielding 10 hits and six walks while striking out seven.
Notes: Tyler Ray (2-for-5) joined Hammond as Lakers with multiple hits. No Allegany batter had more than one hit.