Northern upsets No. 11 Leonardtown

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By Jerry Shank
Maryland Scouting Director

A three run fifth inning give the Northern Patriots a 5-1 lead and they hold off a late rally to beat No. 11 Leonardtown Raiders 6-5.

It was a contest where the Patriots would respond after every Raider scoring inning. Northern (6-7) got the scoring started in the third inning after third baseman Jimmy Gentry tripled to left center field on a well hit ball that got past a diving Leonardtown outfielder attempting to make a play to take a 1-0 lead. Both teams would trade a run in the fourth inning heading to the bottom of the fifth and a Northern rally.

Bryce Rogers-Black would get the big inning started, beating out a bouncing ground ball up the middle. Northern would get the bases loaded with one out after back-to-back singles by Kyle Kingsbury and Jake Fedorczyk. Mac Mcgrath would then knock the first run in after a well ball up the middle that Leonardtown’s second baseman knocked the ball down but couldn’t get the force at second. The second Northern run came after a suicide squeeze attempt and perfect bunt by Cody Fowler, who was able to reach base with no player covering the first base bag. The final Patriot run of the inning would come from a fielder’s choice after another ground ball up the middle from Connor Graham.

Leonardtown would rally back in the top of the sixth after loading the bases with no out and Bowen Plagge up at the plate. Plagge would battle in the count and then launch a well hit ball to deep left center, clearing the bases to cut the Patriot lead to 5-4. Northern added an insurance run in the bottom-half of the inning to get a two-run cushion heading to the top of the seventh.

The Raiders would again rally to start the top of the seventh, getting the first two runners on base and then moving them into scoring position after a passed ball. Northern would get a big double play off a ground out and base running miscue at second base, and Leonardtown would score one run during the play. Leonardtown’s Connor Cox laced a single to right and would advance to second after a bad hop in right center. Cox then stole third to get the Raiders tying run 90 feet away with two outs. Kingsbury, on the mound in relief for Northern since the sixth, would get the final out to hold off Leonardtown for the win.

Unsung for Northern was the start by Steve Flowers, who was able to keep the Leonardtown lineup quiet through five innings utilizing his secondary arsenal of knuckle-ball and breaking ball. Graham paced the Northern offense with two RBI.

Plagge led the Raider offense going 2-for-3 with three RBI.

The win marks the third in a row for Northern, who were able to avenge their loss against Leonardtown from April 11 where the Raiders won 15-4.