Severn had answer for wake-up call

Surprise loss is followed by victory over St. Mary's, B Conference crown, 7-5

MIAA baseball

High schools

May 23, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Known for lacrosse, things are happening with another spring sport at Severn School.

Six years ago, Tom Pollard took over as the Admirals' baseball coach and inherited a 3-year old program that had started at JV and gone 2-12 in its first varsity baseball season since 1919.

Tuesday, Pollard's Admirals won their first Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference title, 7-5, over St. Mary's at Arlington Baptist.

The Saints (14-9) forced the extra game in the double-elimination tournament by upsetting the Admirals, 5-1, on Monday. It was the first tournament loss for Severn (18-3).

"The bus was silent on the ride home Monday," said Pollard, who has had five straight winning seasons and is 55-41 in six years.

"We took BP [batting practice] at Severn on Tuesday before going over to Arlington Baptist. The bus was very silent on the way over there. The kids had gotten a wake-up call Monday."

Severn jumped out 3-0 in the top of the second only to have the Saints tie it up in the bottom half. Ben Pfinsgraff's fourth homer of the season gave Severn a 4-3 lead in the third, but again the Saints bounced back, this time with two runs to take 5-4 lead after four innings.

Sophomore first baseman Pat O'Connell belted an apparent three-run homer in the fifth to regain the lead for Severn, but in the words of Pollard, "a controversial call by the umpire," took O'Connell's run away.

It was ruled that O'Connell passed teammate Brad Holbrook between first and second base, so the former was called out. Severn led 6-5 after five and added an insurance run in the sixth.

Pollard brought on his ace, Pfinsgraff, who had suffered his first loss (7-1) on Monday, to preserve the win for Chris Avery. Pfinsgraf, a senior right-hander who transferred from New Jersey to Severn last year, closed the door on the Saints with five strikeouts in the last two innings, giving him 83 in 50 innings this season.

"We've been fortunate in drawing some quality players to the program the last couple years, but we lose eight seniors," Pollard said. "The kids have worked hard and hopefully, we've got the program going in the right direction."

S 031 021 0 - 7 4 5

SM 030 200 0 - 5 11 4

Avery, Pfinsgraff (6) and Williams; Hughes and Perkins. 2B: S - Pfinsgraff, Avery; SM - Mayer, Marchetti, Shea. HR: S - Pfinsgraff.

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