Photo by Colin MurphyJoe Seidler pitched for Chesapeake against Severna Park on April 3. The Cougars are 8-1 as of mid-April and host Northeast on April 19.
Photo by Colin MurphyDillon Oxyer connected for a base hit against Severna Park on April 3.
Photo by Colin MurphyAndrew Revels followed through on a swing against Severna Park.
Strong Pitching Has Chesapeake Boys Back In Familiar Place
It’s mid April — guess what baseball team has raced to the front of the county on the strength of its deep pitching and timely hitting?
Educated guessers surely went with Chesapeake, and rightly so. At 8-1 through nine games, the Cougars have once again established themselves as one of the area’s strongest teams this spring, and they’ve once again done it with pitching.
“It starts with pitching,” said senior third baseman Andrew Revels of the team’s success so far.
The season certainly began that way, as the Cougars allowed only five total runs and reeled off wins against Southern, Annapolis, South River and Arundel to start the year 4-0. Juniors Joe Seidler and Dylan Young combined for a three-hitter in a 7-1 win over the Bulldawgs to start the year on March 24, while Young and Bobby Quesenberry held the Panthers to one earned run in a 6-2 win on March 27. Roland Siwinski allowed three hits in five shutout innings in a 5-0 win over the Seahawks, and Young and Colby Buckheit combined to hold the Wildcats in a 7-2 in on March 31.
Then came an uncharacteristically high-scoring game against the county’s other top power, Severna Park, on April 3, in which both teams pitched poorly, hit well and committed multiple errors en route to the Falcons taking a 13-8 win. (Severna Park is 9-1 through April 14, having lost only to Arundel.)
The Cougars got right back on track at home on April 5 in spite of mostly dormant bats against Broadneck. Chesapeake was no-hit for six innings against the Bruins’ Luke Tuttle, but Cougar senior Nate Simmons threw 5.2 innings of two-hit ball to keep Broadneck scoreless as well. With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Seidler singled, Mike Cybert’s sacrifice bunt attempt turned into a bunt single, and catcher Tommy McNamara drove in Seidler to give Chesapeake a 1-0, walk-off win.
“They no-hit us for six innings, we made an out in the seventh, then we get three straight hits on four pitches and we win the game,” said Chesapeake head coach Ken King.
Buckheit and Dillon Oxyer pitched in a 15-3 win against overmatched Meade on April 7, and Chesapeake came right back with another statement victory over Old Mill on April 10. Seidler went the distance on 81 pitches, allowing five hits and only one earned run, while Jake Fitzsimmons had two of the Cougars’ seven hits and an RBI; McNamara and Blake Rebstock came through with RBIs; Cybert had two walks and scored a run; and Oxyer, Seidler and Ryan Potter had hits in a 5-3 victory. Old Mill took a 2-0 lead after one inning, but Chesapeake came right back with three runs in the top of the second inning and never trailed again.
Young hurled a complete-game one-hitter in a 6-1 win over Eastern Tech on April 12, a game in which Rebstock, Potter and Cybert each had two hits; Seidler, Revels and Oxyer had hits; and McNamara an RBI to push Chesapeake to 8-1.
Cybert, a junior, noted the county’s newly imposed pitch-count restrictions that place a pitch limit per game and require mandatory minimum rest intervals between outings based on number of pitches thrown in stressing the Cougars’ pitching strength so far this season.
“It’s imperative to have pitching depth,” he said, adding that the team is playing with good confidence at this early stage. “I think the confidence level is pretty high, and the chances we can go far are pretty good. It’s probably the funnest team I’ve been on, and it’s fun to be good.”
Asked about the region and state playoffs later this spring, King steered his answer back to the present.
“It’s always in the back of our mind, but it’s a day-by-day process,” he said. “You can’t reach the top of the mountain unless you take the steps along the way.”
The Cougars host Northeast on April 19.