CLARKSBURG – After beating fourth-seeded Northwest on May 9, the Quince Orchard High School baseball team traveled to No. 1 Clarksburg for a Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association second-round matchup in the 4A West Section II bracket on May 11.
Unfortunately, the Coyotes proved too much for the Cougars, as Clarksburg hung on for the 8-3 victory to advance to the next round to face No. 2 Wootton.
QO did jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, as shortstop Griffin Snyder singled up the middle to drive in outfielder Luke Evans.
However, Clarksburg got going in the bottom of the first as their first four batters were walked by Quince Orchard pitcher Bryan Gurcan. It allowed a run to be scored by third baseman Nathan Proctor, which tied the game at 1-1.
The momentum immediately swung in favor of the home team as outfielder Bailey Arensmeyer (top left) and designated hitter Chase Robinson (top right) hit two consecutive RBI singles. It allowed Clarksburg to extend its advantage by two runs.
“It’s whatever the team needs,” said Robinson. “Just trying to put the ball in play, give us a chance. That’s what it’s all about.”
Those back-to-back hits led to another bases-loaded walk with outfielder Andrew Abrams at the plate, followed by outfielder Connor Devine hitting a sacrifice groundout that extended the lead to 5-1.
Quince Orchard cut the deficit to 5-3, thanks to an outfield error that allowed a runner to cross home plate in the fourth, as well as an RBI double from outfielder Brennan Ellis.
However, the Coyotes added three more runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Catcher Morgan Bragg doubled to deep left field and drove in shortstop Taye Robinson (bottom right); that was followed by two consecutive runs scored on dropped third strikes.
“That was really needed,” said Bragg, “because we needed to get back on our horse and put some more points on the board, so we can get a bigger lead in front of QO.”
Despite the loss, Cougars Head Coach Jason Gasaway said he was proud of how far his team had gone during this postseason.
“We were the No. 5 seed,” said Gasaway. “So beating Northwest on Thursday was very positive in a way that we beat them, and that it was something we didn’t necessarily expect.”