Atholton ends Reservoir's run in 3A East semifinal, 7-4

Loss is 1st for Gators in 22 games

Raiders to play J.M. Bennett on Saturday for regional title

May 20, 2011|By Andrew Conrad, Howard County Times

Reservoir's best baseball season in school history is now over.

The Gators' 21-game unbeaten streak ended Friday afternoon against visiting Atholton, 7-4, in a 3A East regional semifinal.

"It's a sad day and it stinks that we're not moving on, but we've got nothing to hang our heads about," Reservoir coach Adam Leader said. "I remember when I played and it was my last game, and I didn't want to go home. It still stings … but we've got a banner up in the school that's going to be up forever, and they can bring their grandchildren here to see it."

Reservoir won its first county and District V championships during the campaign, which included a 2-1 win over the Raiders on April 15. But it is the Raiders who will be traveling to top-seeded J.M. Bennett on Saturday to play for the regional championship at 1 p.m.

J.M. Bennett earned the top seed over Reservoir on a coin flip.

"It's a shame that it had to come down to us playing one another," Atholton coach Kevin Kelly said. "They're a very good team, and they deserve better. … That's a tough way to go down."

Atholton's Kory Britton, who is slated to pitch Saturday, hit the first pitch of the game over the right-field fence.

Reservoir tied the game in the third inning when Lee Lawler was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a dribbler off the bat of Geoff Stone that was booted into shallow left center. Later in the inning, the Gators went ahead on an RBI single by Kevin Alexander and a single by Danny Klein that was mishandled in left field.

Atholton responded immediately with a three-run inning of its own. Jon Thews and Paul Burmester stroked back-to-back singles, and Jake Yasenka walked to load the bases. Jordan Thompson drove one run in with a groundout, and freshman Brady Acker hit two-run double up the third-base line.

The Raiders loaded the bases again in the sixth on a walk by Yasenka, a single by Acker and an intentional walk to Britton. That's when Josh Martin delivered a bases-clearing, two-out double up the first-base line.

"When they intentionally walked Kory the previous time and I got out, I came up to him and told him, 'I'm going to get your back one of these times,' " Martin said. "I sat back in the box looking for a fastball, drove it opposite field, and it felt great."

Drew Reed drove in Danny O'Hagan with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, but Thews retired the side in the bottom of the seventh to earn the save.

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