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SILVER SPRING – April 6 was a perfect day for a high school baseball game. Spring’s warmth broke through the chill and the sun shone down on the field at Kennedy High School, where the Cavaliers were scheduled to face the undefeated Bethesda-Chevy Chase.
By the time the game was over, though, the Cavaliers were probably wishing for a different day and a chance to do it all over again as the Barons (7-0) extended their undefeated streak with a tremendous 27-0 shutout on Kennedy’s home field.
The game only lasted for five innings as opposed to the seven innings that are usually played in high school baseball. The afternoon started to spiral out of hand early for Kennedy (1-6) as the Barons, who were at bat first, jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first inning alone.
The B–CC dugout was lively throughout the entire afternoon, cheering and shouting for their teammates at bat. Head Coach John Schmidt commended his team for their enthusiasm and stated that the encouragement from the dugout helped the Barons keep its focus.
“It’s easy to lose focus when the score gets up there but I thought our guys did a great job of staying in the game all five innings,” said Schmidt.
Perhaps another element to that team focus comes from Schmidt’s mentality of taking each game one at a time.
“For example, Monday we’ve got (Walter Johnson High School). That’s our next goal,” said Schmidt. “To put forth a good effort and show our best, that’s kind of what we’re doing well at, taking it one game at a time. So that’s our next goal.”
B–CC freshman Beck Urofsky struck first for the Barons when he registered two of his four RBI at the top of the first. The Cavaliers scrambled to make plays, but defensive mistakes ensured that the Barons kept clicking on offense.
Kennedy’s opportunities at bat didn’t provide much of a reprieve, as Barons sophomore pitcher Charlie Braverman struck out Cavalier after Cavalier in quick succession. In fact, Kennedy’s offense stayed off the field for most of the game as the Barons continued to pour on the points.
Two home runs for B–CC at the top of the second inning helped bring the score to 15-0. Junior outfielder Joe Eisenberg sidled up to the plate and slammed the ball over the fence as his teammates in the dugout rejoiced. Senior infielder Nils Townsend replicated Eisenberg’s home run a few minutes later when he too lobbed the ball over the fence and into the bushes as two more Barons rounded the bases.
The scoreboard read 19-0 in B – CC’s favor at the bottom of the fourth. According to high school rules, if a team is leading by 10 or more runs before the fifth inning, then the game will end after the fifth. The Cavaliers were running out of time to get something cooking offensively.
Barons senior pitcher James Pfaff replaced Braverman on the mound at the bottom of the fourth, but the result was the same for Kennedy as Pfaff struck out three Cavaliers one right after the other.
Even though a B–CC victory was all but guaranteed, the Barons didn’t let up on offense and earned eight runs in the fifth inning alone.
Urofsky mentioned that a dominant shutout win is a perfect motivator for the Barons as they head into a week where they have to play both Walter Johnson (3-4) and Walt Whitman, who have only lost one game this season.
“It felt good to have a statement win today. All of our confidence got a big boost today,” said Urofsky. “We knew that if we came in today and hit well that we would get a lot of runs.”
Kennedy Head Coach Josh Creighton stated that the Cavaliers are in a rebuilding year and that many of his players are underclassmen or haven’t been playing baseball for very long.
Before the season started, the Cavaliers looked at their schedule and circled seven games that they felt they could win. Creighton has made that 7-9 record a goal for the Cavaliers to achieve this year.
“We just faced a team that’s amazing, and we’re very young. We’re just trying to rebuild the program and improve day by day and game by game,” said Creighton. “We still have some games that we feel that we can win.”