Wednesday, March 12, 2014 5:55 AM
Published on: Thursday, April 25, 2013
By Holden Wilen
GAITHERSBURG – The Seneca Valley High School baseball team sent a message to the rest of Montgomery County it is a force to be reckoned with notching a 7-4 road victory against Quince Orchard.
Thanks to 12 hits, including four extra-base bits, and a strong pitching performance from junior Calvin Reighard, Seneca Valley was able to pull off the upset. Reighard pitched five innings in notching the win, struck out four batters, gave up four hits and allowed two earned runs. He did not give up a hit until there was one out in the fourth inning.
“Calvin Reighart has been our rock the whole year and we are going to ride with him for the rest of the year,” said Seneca Valley assistant head coach T.J. Changuris. “He is capable of that kind of outing. If he can continue to improve little things in his games I really think we can ride him through the playoffs. I’m just really happy for him to get this win against a good team.”
Quince Orchard, a regional semifinalist last season, suffered a setback early in the game when its starting pitcher, senior Alex Thoms, was hit in the knee by a line drive and had to leave the game after facing the second batter of the game. Junior Eddie O’Neill came in to relieve Thoms.
“It is a tough situation getting a guy ready like that but those things happen and you have got to be ready to go,” said Quince Orchard head coach Jason Gasaway.
The game started off as a pitchers’ duel with both teams scoreless through three innings, but in the fourth inning Seneca Valley took control of the game. Junior third baseman Steven Costa began the inning with a double to deep leftfield. Senior shortstop Colin Thatcher drove in Costa with a double of his own down the leftfield line for the first run of the game.
“I was looking first-pitch fastball but I think (O’Neill) gave me one on the corner that was not mine, so I waited for it and got two strikes on me,” Thatcher said. “He threw a curveball inside and I picked it up out of his hand and took it down the line.”
Seneca Valley added four more runs in the inning after two more doubles to take a 5-0 lead. Thatcher led the Seneca Valley offense going 3-4 with two runs scored and one RBI.
Quince Orchard scored a run in the bottom of the fourth inning and added another run in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 5-2, but Seneca Valley would extend the lead back to five runs thanks to an RBI single by junior outfielder Keon Adams.
O’Neill took the loss for Quince Orchard. He pitched four innings, allowed 10 hits, gave up five runs and struck out three batters.
Down 7-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Quince Orchard tried to put together a rally but it came up short after the team was only able to score two more runs.
Changuris said he was thrilled the team picked up the win and he thinks it gives the Seneca Valley team momentum as it looks forward to long playoff run.
“We came in playing great team baseball lately and to put together a full seven-inning game against one of the best teams, best coached teams in the state really feels good,” Changuris said. “It is going to boost the level of confidence our guys have for the rest of the year.”