The patience stood out above all.
In the third inning, after it appeared Laurel Post 60 was going to make it a long evening with five hits in the first, Gaithersburg Post 295 slowly bludgeoned its opponent.
The result was an eventual 13-4 victory in five innings by Post 295, which improved to 10-5 with the victory Wednesday.
Nine consecutive batters reached base in the third before Laurel recorded an out. Pitcher Karter Seamonson started the inning for Post 60, but allowed a single, a double and walked four before being lifted from the game. Seamonson, a left-hander, walked three consecutive batters before he was pulled. Upon his exit, he walked to Seneca Valley’s football field and ran sprints. Tony D’Asto relieved Seamonson and walked two of the first three he faced before wriggling out of the inning.
But, that patience. In the bottom of the third, Post 295’s batters walked six times. Seven straight batters recorded one RBI, making the inning all the more painful for Laurel’s defenders.
“I think sometimes hitters, they don’t like to walk. They try to force a swing,” Post 295 coach Steve Cononie said. “But we definitely stress the patience part of the game because we don’t want these guys free swinging. Especially if the pitcher’s having trouble.”
Post 295 starter Austin Steele had his fair share of trouble in the first inning. Laurel smacked the ball around the field, delivering a double, a triple and three singles to take a 3-0 lead. Despite batting around, Post 60 (8-6) left the bases loaded. Steele, who finished five innings with 66 pitches, recovered with a five-pitch second inning and was economical the remainder of the way.
“We were sitting there and I was thinking, ‘Man, somebody’s got to get down there and warm up.’ He didn’t have the curve in the first inning. They were sitting back on that fastball,” Cononie said.
But Steele recovered nicely and was staked to a seven-run lead following Post 295’s big third inning. He finished having allowed four runs on nine hits, struck out two and walked one.
In the second, Gaithersburg catcher Jeffery Ta hit one of the more bizarre home runs of the season. He launched a deep fly ball to left field that Post 60 left fielder Christopher Frande tracked to the wall. Frande jumped and had the ball in his glove, but slammed into the fence immediately after. The ball flew out of his glove and over the fence for a two-run home run. When Frande returned to the dugout, he brought back with him a pair of sunglasses, snapped in half at the nose.
“As much as I hate to jinx myself, I think things are coming together fairly well,” Cononie said. “At the beginning of the season, we were trying to figure out how and where people can play. Now it’s starting to come together and we’re starting to see what we really hoped we would see.”
Gaithersburg Post 295 13, Laurel Post 60 4 (5 inn.)
Laurel Post 60 (8-6) 300 01 -- 4 9 0
Gaithersburg Post 295 (10-5) 028 03 -- 13 9 1
WP: Austin Steele. LP: Karter Seamonson. 2B: Post 60 -- Paul Burmester, Christopher Frande, Zachary Stup. Post 295 Steve Damato, Nick Pak, Quoc Tran. 3B: Post 60 -- Richie Lancashire. HR: Post 295 -- Jeffery Ta