Potomac State thumps Harford for Region XX Title

Potomac State Baseball- Region XX Champs
Potomac State Baseball celebrates their 12th Region XX Championship since 2000 with an 11-0 win over Harford Community College on Sunday afternoon at Golden Park.  Photo by Raymond Burner

By Michael Minnich - Mineral Daily Tribune Sports Editor   mminnich@newstribune.info


KEYSER—Music can take you to a different time and place.

And, after Potomac State finished off their 11-0 Region XX-clinching win over the Harford Owls on Sunday, it told the story of the Catamounts’ prospective journey.

First, of course, was ‘Country Roads’—we were in West Virginia, after all.

Third, some Sinatra—the district tournament is in New York this weekend at Monroe College.
In between? Where the Catamounts hope to end the season—on a ‘Rocky Mountain High’ in Grand Junction, Colo., at the JUCO World Series.
“Good theme,” smiled Potomac State head coach Doug Little.

Play like they did this weekend, and that’s not impossible.

Dalton Westfall
Dalton Westfall delivers a pitch on Sunday
Dalton Westfall tossed seven innings of five-hit ball and struck out nine to earn the win.
“He’s a great kid, and he’s a bulldog,” said Little. “He wanted the ball, and you could see it in his eyes.”

Daniel Kerwin went 4-for-5 at the plate with a run and an RBI to lead a balanced attack.
Korey Foltz and Matt Maiers both drove in two runs.

“We’ve gotten better and better as time went on, and I think that’s been the key. Our hitters have worked their butts off,” said Little.

After Westfall worked around two two-out singles in the top of the first, the Catamounts started to pound away in the home half of the inning. Andrew Kowalo doubled with one out, then Matt Jeffery walked to set up RBI singles from Maiers and Kerwin.

The Cats, though, left the bases loaded thanks to a strikeout and a ground out. PSC added another in the second on an error, but again left the bases loaded.
In the third, the Catamounts doubled their lead.

Fraser Brown walked, Jarin Jenkins singled, then an error allowed Malik Brown to reach and Fraser Brown to score.

Foltz then followed up with a two-RBI single: 6-0.

Potomac State kept going in the sixth: Jeffery bunted for a base hit, then a single by Kerwin and a walk to Russell Schwertfeger loaded the bases. A passed ball, a sacrifice fly, and a Jenkins RBI single pushed the cushion to 9-0.

“Last year, we had a very experienced offensive lineup. We had great hitters, 1 through 9. And we had good young pitchers,” said Little. “So we knew that pitching was going to be our strength. And we had all new hitters in our lineup. And we knew that that was going to be the key. We were going to have to find a way to get our hitters better and hope early that our pitchers would keep us in games. And Coach [Don] Schafer and Coach [Brock] Stevens, they’ve done an absolutely fabulous job with our hitting. We’ve got our hitting back to where we can win a region.”

Westfall wrapped up his day on the mound by getting out of a final jam in the seventh: with the bases loaded and two men out, a ground ball was snared by a charging Kowalo, who fired to a stretching Maiers at first for the final out.

In the eighth, the Catamounts moved into double figures on a fielder’s choice off of Schwertfeger’s bat and a passed ball.

It was pretty much over, but you still have to get that final out, and reliever Kyler Brown did: a line drive to right field that caused the PSC dugout to erupt onto the field in celebration of the program’s 12th Region XX title since 2000.

PSC punched their ticket to Sunday’s final with a 5-1 win over Hagerstown early on Saturday afternoon.
Evan Mitchell was superb, allowing a run on three hits and fanning 11 batters in eight innings of work before Kyler Brown came on to toss a scoreless ninth. Hagerstown scored first in the top of the second, but the Cats took the lead for good in the third.

With two outs, Korey Foltz tripled, Andrew Kowalo was hit by the pitch, and Matt Jeffery and Matt Maiers followed with RBI singles.
In the fifth, Maiers smacked an RBI double, then Daniel Kerwin followed with a two-RBI two-bagger of his own to set up the final score.

“Matt has done a tremendous job for us,” said Little of the former Hampshire Trojan, who stepped in this year at first base due to injury. “He’s done a fantastic job, for not having played [first base] in over a year. His defense has gotten better, his offense has gotten better.”
“He’s a kid that’s going to end up going to a big school when he finishes up there.”

Hagerstown then lost to Harford on Saturday afternoon to set up Sunday’s final: Harford needed to beat PSC twice, but couldn’t scratch a single run.

Daniel Kerwin, Matt Maiers, Andrew Kowalo, Evan Mitchell, and Dalton Westfall were named to the all-tournament team for PSC.

So, now it’s on to the next verse of the song.

“We played all three of the teams we’ll face up there,” said Little. “And we can play with all three of them.”