MILLERSVILLE—A year ago, Old Mill eliminated South River from the playoffs with a convincing 9-1 win.
South River pitcher Craig Sheridan didn't want a repeat result.
“A kid parked one, and I kinda remembered that,” he said of last year's season-ending loss. “They’re a good hitting team and attack the ball pretty hard. Today, I figured keep it down, move the ball a lot, change speeds and I figured we’d catch them off guard and get a lot of ground balls.”
The strategy worked, as Sheridan pitched six strong innings and the Seahawks (8-3 in the county) topped Old Mill, 5-1. The junior induced 10 groundball outs and took advantage of some great infield defense.
With the loss, defending county champion Old Mill moved to 7-4 in the county on the year, one game out of first place.
Sheridan was sparkling through four innings, as he walked the very first batter then retired 12 in a row. In the fifth, he allowed three singles but the inning ended with a runner gunned down at home on a relay throw from left fielder Connor Cox.
“They made fantastic plays, all of them,” Sheridan said. “Our left fielder has a hose.”
Old Mill tried to stage another rally in the sixth inning, as they loaded the bases with one out. But Sheridan escaped with little damage, allowing just an RBI single by Josh McCormick.
Overall, Sheridan gave up five hits and one run in six innings of work. He walked three and struck out three. Nick Raimondo pitched a perfect seventh inning with two strikeouts to secure the win.
Old Mill pitcher Guy Wharton matched Sheridan’s effort in stretches, at one point retiring 11 Seahawks in a row. But he allowed two runs in the first inning and then three more runs on four hits in the fifth.
“[Wharton] did a good job, and we were fortunate to have a couple of big innings,” South River coach Ken Dunn said.
Wednesday’s win kept South River tied atop the county standings with North County. However, there are four teams looming just one game back at 7-4 in the county, and several others within striking distance.
“Everything’s bunched up in here,” Dunn said.
South River will next play Arundel on Friday at Joe Cannon Stadium. Old Mill will host Chesapeake.