Baseball: Catamounts rally back to win Region XX Opener

Andrew Kowalo
Andrew Kowalo drives an opposite field home run during Potomac State's 9-6 win over Chesapeake College in the Region XX Tournament at Golden Park.  Photo by Raymond Burner

From the Cumberland Times-News www.times-news.com

KEYSER, W.V. — Andrew Kowalo hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning and Matt Jeffery, Matt Maiers and Daniel Kerwin had RBI singles in the sixth as top-seeded Potomac State roared back from an early 6-0 deficit to beat fourth-seeded Chesapeake 9-6 in the opening round of the Region XX, Division I Tournament Friday at Golden Park.

Drew Hemminger threw 5 1-3 innings of shutout relief to get the win, and Kowalo and Maiers led a 15-hit attack with three hits each as the Catamounts stretched their winning streak to eight.

Third-seeded Hagerstown upset second-seeded and 15th-ranked Harford 9-3 in the day’s first game. In the afternoon elimination game, Harford scored eight unanswered runs and beat Chesapeake 16-8.

Today, Potomac State (32-8) plays Hagerstown (33-18) at 11 a.m. with the winner advancing to Sunday’s championship game. The Potomac State/Hagerstown loser will play Harford (41-14) in an elimination game at 2:30.

Potomac State trailed Chesapeake 2-0 after the first inning, 6-0 after 2 1-2 innings.

Down 6-2, Kowalo fueled the comeback with a three-run home run, his seventh of the year, in the bottom of the fifth to cut the score to 6-5.
The Catamounts scored three runs on six hits, with three being bunt singles, to take the lead in the sixth.

Jarin Jenkins led off the inning with a single, and Malik Brown and Korey Foltz reached on bunt singles to load the bases with no one out. Kowalo hit a bullet to third that was turned into a line-drive double play, but Matt Jeffery’s bunt single plated Jenkins to tie it 6-6, and Maiers and Dan Kerwin followed with RBI singles to give Potomac State its first lead, 8-6.

The Catamounts got 7 1-3 scoreless innings out of its bullpen. Hemminger (4-0) got the win and allowed only three hits and struck out three in 5 1-3 innings. Maiers pitched the final two innings.

Kowalo finished 3 for 5 with a homer, two singles and three RBIs, Maiers was 3 for 4 with three singles and three RBIs, and Russell Schwertfeger was 2 for 5 with two singles for Potomac State.

Cayden Stover had an RBI double in the first inning and Dustin Jones an RBI single in the third to help Chesapeake build its early lead. Stover finished 3 for 5 and Jeffrey Tabares was 2 for 4.