Monday, March 10, 2014 6:08 AM
Published on: Thursday, May 23, 2013
By Zach Rimkus
BETHESDA - The Winston Churchill High School baseball team continued its Cinderella playoff run, using the efforts of two pitchers to advance to the state semifinals with a 10-5 victory over Wootton High School.
Senior Michael Albers started on the mound for the Bulldogs and pitched the first three innings, allowing only one hit. Junior Eric Brodkowitz came out of the bullpen in the bottom of the fourth. Brodkowitz struck out three batters, allowed eight hits and gave up five runs.
Churchill Coach Scott Blackwood said he changed pitchers in an attempt to keep the Wootton hitters off balance.
“Just try to change it up, I know he was throwing well, Brodkowitz is our number one,” Blackwood said. “If we’re going to go out, we’re going to go out with our best on the mound. He pitched earlier in the week, six innings, so we just tried to get him a little bit of leeway to finish the game.”
Although Brodkowitz allowed five runs, the Bulldogs bats carried the team to victory. They jumped out to an early lead, scoring five runs in the top of the first inning. Wootton senior and pitcher Andrew Craig would walk junior Zach Thibodeau and junior Nick Cohen to set up the start of the Bulldogs’ run in the first inning. Junior Ryan O’Carroll hit a double to deep right-centerfield to bring Thibodeau home and move Cohen to third.
The Bulldogs would score two more times with one run in the top of the second and another in the top of the fourth, setting up a monumental task for the Patriots to come back.
The Patriots fought to close the gap, scoring five runs of their own late in the game, but it would prove to be too little, too late as the Bulldogs answered back with three runs of their own in the top of the seventh. In total, seven Bulldogs scored to lead the team to the 4A West Regional title.
During its run, Churchill has won four straight games, including victories against Kennedy High School, third-seeded Walt Whitman High School and second-seeded Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.
Churchill will face Catonsville High School, the 4A North Region champion, in the state semifinals.
Blackwood said the playoff run is a result of the players coming together as a team.
“Just belief, believing in each other, trusting that the other guys are going to get it done, I mean that’s the key just believing in each other” Blackwood said.