MAUGANSVILLE — Northern Calvert jumped out to a 9-1 lead in its first-round game but needed to hold on for a 13-9 victory over South Caroline on Saturday during the opening day of the Maryland 11-12 State tournament at the Maugansville Little League complex.
Northern Calvert jumped to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning on the strength of Zach Thompson’s three-run home run. Mac McGrath added two-run blast in the second to move to the eight-run advantage.
South Caroline bounced back with five runs in their half of the second, highlighted by Jonathan Buchanan’s two-run homer.
“It was nice to see South Caroline come back,” said Northern Calvert manager Steve Kingsbury. “All the teams in this tournament won their districts and have the ability to come back. We had to kick it in high gear and hold on.”
South Caroline plated three more runs to move within 9-8, but Jimmie Gentry’s a three-run double sealed the win for Northern Calvert.
Northern Calvert moves on to play Conococheague today at noon, while South Caroline will face West Salisbury on Monday at 4.
South Maryland 6, Thurmont 1
South Maryland settled in behind the combined pitching efforts of Lenny Lehner, Sam Barnes and Jake Pecilunas to defeat Thurmont.
South Maryland, the District 4 champs, scored four runs in the top of the first inning, highlighted by a Nick Vermillion home run.
Lehner went 3 1/3 innings on 50 pitches in his start, while striking out seven and allowing Thurmont’s only run. Thurmont’s run was driven on Jared Pawlus’ RBI single.
“Pitching is definitely the strength of our team,” said South Maryland manager Marty Vermillion. “They throw hard and hit their spots and we got just enough hitting to support them. We’ve got a smart group of kids and an enthusiastic group of parents to support them.”
Barnes and Pecilunas combined for 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief with four strikeouts.
South Maryland faces Elkton on Sunday at 3 p.m in the winners’ bracket semifinal, while Thurmont faces West Salisbury to stave off elimination on Sunday at 6 p.m.
Elkton 9, West Salisbury 5
Elkton used two three-run innings to build a 7-4 lead before holding off West Salisbury in the final game of the day.
Elkton’s second inning was highlighted by a two-run home run by Nick Gregson and an RBI by Dakota Hodgson, before errors and walks helped manufacture three more runs in the third.
West Salisbury surged back to within four runs before loading the bases in the bottom of the sixth on the strength of two infield hits. Casey Baker struck out Grayson Winterbottom to preserve the win.
“Our kids did a good job today, but we need a little more focus next game,” said Elkton manager Dale Ross. “We need to make sure our players are doing the jobs that they are assigned.”
Elkton plays Southern Maryland today at 3 p.m., while West Salisbury plays Thurmont today at 6 p.m.