John Richardson pitched six strong innings and Nick Macey hit a two-run homer to lead the Eagles to an 8-2 victory today.
St. Georges scored first but Smyrna reeled off seven unanswered runs on the way to an 8-2 victory in the first round of the baseball state tournament today at Smyrna High.
John Richardson pitched six strong innings, and Nick Macey hit a two-run homer to help lift the 6th-seeded Eagles to their first tournament win since 1996.
St. Georges, the 11th seed, took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-out RBI single. But Richardson struck out the next batter to get out of the inning.
Smyrna's Ryan Seymour helped spark the Eagles in the bottom of the first, hitting a hard shot down the first base line that bounced off the stabbing attempt by the first baseman and into right field, as Seymour raced to second.
Jared Gillis hit a grounder to third and beat out a late throw while the third baseman was trying to get Seymour to go back to second.
With runners at first and third, Nick Macey stepped up to the plate.
The Eagles tried a bunt squeeze play, but the pitch was high and Macey couldn't reach it. Seymour was halfway down the third base line. The catcher threw to the third baseman, and Seymour raced home, beating the throw from the third baseman to tie the game at 1-1.
Macey stepped back into the box with two strikes and crushed the ball over the left field fence to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the second, Richardson settled in and cruised through a one-two-three inning.
Smyrna's offense kept rolling in the bottom of the inning, after singles by Justin Bowens and Corey Everage, followed by two consecutive hit batters that forced in a run.
Then Macey hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 5-1, and Nolan Henderson singled to knock in another run.
A catcher's interference call loaded the bases again, and then Justin Jones walked to make the score 7-1 before the Hawks finally retired the side.
Richardson continued mowing down St. Georges batters, holding the Hawks scoreless in the third, fourth, and fifth innings.
Meanwhile, St. Georges brought in a reliever in the bottom of the third who kept the Eagles in check with the help of two double plays.
The Hawks scored in the sixth after a double and an infield single put runners at the corners. After a pitch, Smyrna's catcher, Macey, tried to pick off the runner at third who had taken several steps down the line. But the throw bounced in front of third baseman Jared Gillis and off his glove into left field, as the runner scored.
Smyrna came right back in the bottom of the sixth with a run on an RBI single by Henderson for an 8-2 lead.
Everage relieved Richardson on the mound in the seventh, and retired the Hawks in order to clinch the win for Smyrna.
CHANGE IN QUARTERFINALS TUESDAY
Now the Eagles will advance to the quarterfinals on Tuesday, May 27 at 7 p.m., against Caravel Academy at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington, the home of the Blue Rocks. The time and location have been changed from what was originally announced.