The Rockville Storm left Montgomery County Monday for a Maryland Collegiate Baseball League game against the Maryland Mad Dogs. They returned home from Clarksville with a loss largely because of the play of some former county players.
With the score tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth, Our Lady of Good Counsel graduate Kyle Porter doubled off the right field fence. He then reached third base on a sacrifice bunt by the Winston Churchill graduate Bryce Shemer and later scored on a single by Christian Laidley, who once starred for Laurel American Legion Post 60 of the Montgomery Division, to regain the lead for good.
Laidley then scored on a double to center field by Dwight Wilcox to account for the final 6-4 victory for the Mad Dogs (2-1), who used a perfect ninth inning by left-handed pitcher Brandon Estrain to close out the contest that see-sawed back and forth most of the way.
“Today, we just didn’t execute,” said Storm coach Nick Sussman, whose squad hit into three double plays, including with two on and one out in the top of the eighth inning, and had an interference call derail another potential rally in the fifth inning. “We gave up outs and that’s a tough way to beat a pretty decent ballclub so we’re hoping to build from that, play a little cleaner baseball and keep swinging the bats the way we’ve been and hope for a better result.”
Despite the loss, which dropped the Storm to 1-2-1, Sussman has set some lofty goals for this year’s squad, which is entering its second year of existence.
“Last year, I think we missed the playoffs by one game so our definite goal is to make the playoffs and once you’re there, you have a chance of doing something big,” Sussman said. “Our expectations are to make the playoffs and make some noise there.”
The Storm rallied from deficits of 2-0 and 4-2 to forge the eighth inning tie; they fell behind 2-0 after one inning of action but tied the score on a run-scoring triple to center field by Bethesda-native Dillon Rudnicki to bring Avalon graduate John Brunvoll home. Rudnicki later scored on a passed ball.
Maryland answered those two runs with two of its own in bottom of the second for a 4-2 lead but run-scoring singles by Jeremy Walter in the fifth inning and Alex Lenovitz in the eighth knotted the score again.
Rudnicki doubled in the fifth and scored on Walter’s hit and finished a home run short of hitting for the circle after singling in the seventh and striking out in the ninth.
“I was trying to think not to hit a home run [in the last at-bat] because I always pop out; I mean it was too bad I struck out,” Rudnicki said. “The triple was a curveball and the double was a fastball. I definitely think we can make noise. I think every team we’ve played so far, I think we’re better than them.”
Maryland Mad Dogs 6, Rockville Storm 4
Rockville Storm (1-2-1) 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 -- 4 0 1
Maryland Mad Dogs (2-1) 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 x -- 6 13 2
WP Brandon Estrain. LP Tyler Roth. 2B: Rockville Dillon Rudnicki, Jake Barnes. Maryland Kyle Porter, Dwight Wilcox, Ian Shemer. 3B: Rockville Dillon Rudnicki. RBI: Rockville Jeremy Walter, Alex Lenovitz, Dillon Rudnicki. Maryland Christian Laidley 2, Dwight Wilcox 2.