Raptor Report – Highlights of Day 2 of Region XX Baseball Tournament

The second day of the NJCAA D3 Region XX baseball
tournament kicked off with the highly anticipated match-up between the number one seed Prince
George’s Owls and the number two seed Montgomery College Raptors. The two had played twice during the regular
season and the Owls had won them both, but both games were nail biters. PG gave the ball to Dakota McFadden and he
breezed thru the first. MC countered with their top starter Clayton
Dwyer and he seemed to be over throwing in the first and the Owls took advantage getting
RBI’s from Dwayne Coleman and Harold Marte to grab a quick lead. The Raptors got one back in the top of the
second when Darren Prebble walked went to second on a wild pitch and then scored when
Cole Wycoff drove a McFadden fastball off the fence in right. But PG answered that with two more in the
top of the second on a Brandon Crosby double to right center and a Coleman sac fly to center. MC got one back in the third when Wykoff drew
a bases loaded free pass. But PG made it 5-2 in the fourth on back to
back doubles by Crosby and Coleman. MC got one of those back in the fifth when
Brock Antognoni led off with a walk and eventually scored on Wykoff’s fielders choice grounder. But again PG answered in their half on a Ryan
Faircloth homer down the line in right. MC scored twice in the sixth to make it 6-5
and then clawed their way back to a tie in the seventh when Pat Burke led off with a
double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Naja Garcia’s RBI ground out. And then in the eighth, Brock Antognoni took
James Wilcox’s fastball to dead center field and over the 15 foot wall for a home run to
give MC it’s first lead of the day. Dwyer who had pitched a gutsy game got into
trouble in the bottom of the eighth so Head Coach Dan Rascher turned to Greg Brown and
he promptly induced a double play grounder to end the threat. After MC couldn’t add to the lead in the ninth,
it came down to the bottom of the ninth. And sure enough the Owls found a way, aided
by a Raptor error and a balk to pull it out on a Bay To single and then McFadden brought
home To, who just beat the relay, the hand the win to PG. The disappointing and stinging loss meant
the Raptors would have to win three straight to defend their Regional title and that quest
started so just 30 minutes after the bitterest of losses they took on the CCAC South Tigers. And the Raptors showed the character that
has come to epitomize the program under Dan Rascher. They got a quality start from Pat Burke who
was making just his second appearance of the year and his first start. And if he was nervous he didn’t show it. He threw 5 and two-thirds innings of scoreless
ball, striking out 5 and walking just one. He threw strikes and his defense supported
him nicely. And after a slow start the Raptor offense
got untracked as they played small ball on their way to five runs in the third on a bases
loaded walk to Antognoni, an unearned run, a RBI single from Wykoff, a fielder’s choice
RBI by Brooks and a double steal, with Brown swiping home. And with Burke sailing along they added single
runs in the fifth when Brown scored on a wild pitch and another in the sixth when Jake Paholski
drove in Garcia. They added two more runs in the eighth to
wrap up the win and now it all comes down to tomorrow against PG. The Raptors have to win two to defend their
title and if any team can pull off that feat, it’s this one. They showed a lot today pulling themselves
off the mat to beat CCAC and in baseball anything is possible. For the Raptor Report, I’m Michael Brown

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