FREDERICK – Pikesville High’s baseball team was giving Clear Spring fits Tuesday evening in a Class 1A state semifinal.
The Panthers were even with the defending state champ Blazers from Washington County through four innings. Then came the fifth, and Pikesville’s championship hopes began to fade.
Clear Spring took advantage of a pair of errors by Pikesville to plate three runs in the bottom of the fifth, along with tough pitching Dawson Kerr, and relievers Hayden Muir and Hutson Trobaugh, the Panthers’ season concluded with a 4-1 loss at McCurdy Field in Frederick.
Clear Spring (17-2 overall) will play Colonel Richardson of Caroline County, Saturday afternoon at 1 at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. Colonel Richardson defeated Garrett County’s Northern in the first 1A state semifinal.
Clear Spring is on the verge of the first repeat in Class 1A since 2015-16 (Brunswick from Washington County) after shaking off a tenacious Pikesville squad.
“We had our hands full with Pikesville,” Clear Spring first-year coach Brandon Glazer said. “Their pitcher (starter Jack Millman) pitched a great game. He located the fastball well. He mixed in the slider. He had great command of the zone.”
Millman pitched through the fifth, allowing two earned runs with five strikeouts before being pulled in the sixth in favor of Isaac Garonzik, who finished out the game.
“Jack is a junior,” Pikesville coach Dominic Peters said, adding he thought both Millman and sophomore Garonzik pitched well.
The Panthers (16-6) had put together a string of seven straight wins to reach Tuesday’s 1A state semifinal game. They struck early against Clear Spring.
An RBI single from Michael Hagan gave Pikesville a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Clear Spring answered in the bottom of the inning, scoring a run on a sacrifice fly by Logan Helser, which tied the score at 1.
Both teams remained deadlocked at 1 until the bottom of the fifth. Lane Poffenberger hit a grounder to third, but a throwing error made him safe at first. Trobaugh followed with a triple to deep center, which brought Poffenberger around third. He started for home, but a good throw from the outfield caused him to slow down.
With the speedy Trobaugh already standing on third, Poffenberger was hung up between third and home, but a throwing error allowed Poffenberger to score. The Blazers tacked on two more runs on RBI singles by Helser and Damien Pittsnogle, which wrapped up the game’s scoring.
Millman, a junior finished with two hits for Pikesville, and sophomores Michael Hagan and Ian Davis each had a hit. The Panthers graduated only three seniors off their roster.
“We knew what we had ahead of us in this game,” Peters said. “We were aware of the challenges we were facing. We were mentally prepared. We were locked in. We knew we had to get through this game. We knew Clear Spring, being defending state champions, was going to be a tough out.
We played a good game, but at the end, the errors we made cost us the game.”
CLASS 1A STATE SEMIFINAL
at McCurdy Field
CLEAR SPRING 4, PIKESVILLE 1
Pikesville 100 000 0 - 1 4 3
Clear Spring 100 30x - 4 5 0
Millman, Garonzik (6) Lichter; Kehr, Muir (5), Trobaugh (6) and Pitsnogle
2B: Clear Spring - Trobaugh, Pitsnogle