May 21, 2018
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  • Cam Clark was outstanding against Arundel in the 4A East Section I final on Tuesday, allowing only four hits and one run as the Falcons defeated the Wildcats 4-1 to advance to the region final once again.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Cam Clark was outstanding against Arundel in the 4A East Section I final on Tuesday, allowing only four hits and one run as the Falcons defeated the Wildcats 4-1 to advance to the region final once again.

Playoff Baseball: Falcons Defeat Arundel 4-1 To Advance To 4A East Region Final

Colin Murphy
View Bio
May 15, 2018

The Falcons got the job done in every way on Tuesday.

Starting pitcher Cam Clark threw a four-hit gem, Severna Park was sharp defensively, and the lineup produced enough run support for the Falcons to defeat Arundel 4-1 and advance into Friday’s 4A East region final.

“We didn’t make a lot of mistakes, which we did in the last game against Old Mill, we played solid defense, and Cam pitched great,” said Severna Park coach Eric Milton, whose Falcons played Arundel four times this year, going 3-1 in those games, including a win on the first day of the season, a win in the county championship game last week, and the biggest of all, Tuesday’s playoff victory. “It’s tough beating a team three times in one season, [Cam] stepped up big time, pitched his heart out, and put us in position to win, which is great.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Severna Park baseball vs. Arundel, 4A East playoffs, 5.15.18

Following Saturday's crazy win over Old Mill in which Severna Park trailed for the entire game, the Falcons took the opposite approach Tuesday, immediately putting pressure on Arundel starting pitcher Will Schubert. In the top of the first, Clark walked and was substituted out for pinch runner Corey Bodnar, and Bodnar was doubled home by Kody Milton for a 1-0 Severna Park lead:

Milton advanced to third on a single by Brendan Simonds and tagged up to score on a sacrifice fly by George Lesher to make it 2-0 Severna Park just minutes into the game.

Clark took the mound with a 2-0 cushion and didn’t relinquish it. Arundel scratched out a run in the first without getting a hit; Garrett Stanard walked and got to second on a hit-and-run with Moises Aristy at the plate. Aristy grounded out to short, and Stanard rounded second and headed to third, forcing a throw from first. The throw was in the dirt and got past Milton at third, and Stanard headed home to pull one back for the Wildcats.

But that was all they were going to get against Clark, who mixed fastballs and curveballs to keep the Wildcats in check all day. Clark ended up throwing 107 pitches over five and two-thirds innings, getting defensive support throughout. He struck out Aristy with two breaking balls and a called high fastball in the third, then ended the inning by getting Noel Aristy to ground out. In the fourth, Clark loaded the bases but escaped by inducing a fly-out to protect the 2-1 lead. In the sixth, Clark bare-handed the leadoff batter’s excellent bunt attempt and made the throw to first for the out, then got a lineout to Drew Jeffries and a fly-out to Kevin Kobosko in the outfield for a one-two-three inning.

Severna Park got some insurance in the top of the sixth. Lesher singled, and senior Cullen Figlioli came in to pinch run for Lesher, Severna Park’s catcher. Figlioli promptly stole second, and Luke Guy singled him home. Josh Horgan followed with a single to push Guy to second, and Guy took advantage of two wild pitches to come around and score. The Falcons led 4-1.

Clark reached the maximum pitch count of 105 in the sixth inning before finishing the batter by getting an out. Junior lefty Logan Harris came on in relief and induced a fly out to close the inning.

After the Falcons failed to score in the top of the seventh, Harris came back out to close. He hit the first batter of the inning, but then induced a grounder to Milton at third, who initiated a Milton-Clark-Guy, 5-4-3 double play. The next batter ripped a hard grounder down the line at Milton, who went to the dirt to glove it, came up firing to first and made the final out.

It was sharp baseball played at a crucial time against a heated rival, and the Falcons put it all together for a massive playoff win and a well-earned spot in the 4A East region final for the fourth consecutive year.

They will find out Wednesday morning where Friday’s region final will be played. Leonardtown, who beat North Point on Tuesday, has the same qualifying win percentage as Severna Park, and a coin flip will determine which team will get home field advantage.

Leonardtown defeated Severna Park at Severna Park in the 2016 East region final.

Clark says focusing on playing mistake-free baseball will keep the season on the road to the state tournament.

“If we play mistake-free baseball, we’re tough to beat,” said Clark. “And we keep the bats rolling. If we hit with two outs, and get the clutch hits, we’ll be in good shape.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Severna Park baseball vs. Arundel, 4A East playoffs, 5.15.18

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