Potomac State downs Chesapeake 6-4; moves into Region XX Tourney

Joel Rosencrance
Joel Rosencrance delivers a pitch during Potomac State's 6-4 win over Chesapeake College on Saturday at Golden Park.  Photo Courtesy Raymond Burner

Keyser, WV- Joel Rosencrance gave Potomac State College exactly what they needed on Saturday: a quality start on the mound.  The lanky sophomore pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowed just three runs and limited Chesapeake College to just five hits as the Catamounts downed the Skipjacks 6-4 in Region XX Baseball play-in action.

Chesapeake had eliminated Hagerstown Community College earlier in the day with a 9-4 win.

Potomac State advances to the 2012 Region XX Tournament that begins Friday at Chesapeake College.

“This was a great effort by our guys today,” said PSC Head Coach Doug Little.  “I am proud of this group, and this puts us into a tournament that we look forward to playing in.”

Potomac State took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning when Jake Potter delivered a 1-out single up the middle.  One out later Potter stole second and came home on a single from Steve Miele. 

Chesapeake tied the game at 1 in the top of the third when Casey Joseph lined a double down the left field line with one out.  After a walk and a fielder’s choice, Joseph came home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Matt Schotanus.

Potomac State did the rest of their damage in the fourth inning.  Potter opened the inning with a triple to deep centerfield; however he was called out when his foot left the bag upon getting up after his slide.  With one out PSC exploded for five straight runs.

Ryan Conner drilled a deep home run to lift PSC to a 2-1 lead.   Then Miele walked and Mike Eisel was hit with a pitch to put runners at first and second.  T.J. Weisenburg then singled to drive in Miele.  Zach Stolipher was hit with a pitch to reload the bases.  Zach Markel then drilled a single that scored Eisel. 

Ryan LaRose followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Weisenburg and moved Stolipher to third.  Rosencrance then helped his own cause with a single that scored Stolipher and made the score 6-1.

The Skipjacks answered right back with two runs in the top of the fifth.  With one out Joseph drew a walk.  Ryan Apodaco reached base on a bloop single, and then Chesapeake got back to back run producing singles from Schotanus and Kameron Stewart to make the score 6-3.

From there Rosencrance would not allow another run, allowing his defense to do the job.

“I owe a lot of credit to my defense,” said Rosencrance.  “They made all the plays behind me.  Ryan Conner, Steve Miele and Zach Markel all made outstanding plays.”

Scott Fox came on for Rosencrance with one out and a man on in the seventh inning and retired the first two hitters he faced.

“Fox did a great job,” said Little.  “Joel gave us a great effort to start the game, but we knew we would need some solid relief work and he did that.”

The Skipjacks threatened against Fox in the eighth inning as Joel Rowe and Ricky Brady singled to open the inning.  Fox then got Kevin Loftis on a nifty play in right field by Miele for the first out. 

Lane Farmer then lifted a deep fly ball to deep left center that looked like might tie the game, but the ball was tracked down by Conner as he collided with Stolpiher at the fence.  Fox induced a harmless pop up to end the inning.

In the ninth, Potomac State dodged more bullets from the Skipjacks.  Fox opened the inning by striking out pinch hitter Brendon Burch.  He then walked Ryna McCulley and allowed Schotanus to reach on a single ending his day.

Michael Drye came in from the bullpen to face the dangerous Stewart.  Stewart drew a walk to load the bases.  Rowe grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored McCulley making the score 6-4, but leaving the Skipjacks down to their last out. 

Brady then grounded a pitch that seemed destined for a double down the line, but PSC’s Markel snagged the ball, stepping on first to end the game.

Nik Nowottik took the loss for Chesapeake.  The hard-throwing right-hander allowed all six runs and struck out five in 4 1/3 innings of work. 

PSC out hit Chesapeake 13-8 and neither team committed an error.

Miele led PSC with three hits, while Weisenburg, Markel, Potter and Conner each had two hits.

“It was a very well-played game”, said Little.  “We are happy to win; anything can happen in the tournament and we hope this win gets us going and we keep playing well there.”