GREENBELT – A strong offensive outing backed by stellar pitching fueled the Eleanor Roosevelt High School baseball team to a doubleheader sweep, with 8-3 and 21-1 home wins over Charles H. Flowers on April 16.
In the first game, infielder Todd Murphy was 2-for-4, hit a triple and scored three runs while Josiah Parker and Damon Pigrom combined for two hits and three RBI to give the Raiders a five-run lead.
Tremayne Cobb Jr. led Flowers offensively, going 2-for-3 to drive in two runs and keep the Jaguars in the contest. Second baseman Jaydon Whitehead was 1-for-2, driving in Flowers’ third run.
Pitcher Brian Bailey came away with the win after yielding three runs on four hits to go with four walks and three strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings of work on the mound. Murphy, who is also a left-handed pitcher, relieved Bailey to close out their first win.
“We played two real good games. The most important guy is the guy on the mound, and we got two real good pitching performances,” said Roosevelt Head Coach Andrew Capece following the wins. “All day, we had good at-bats, were real patient. So overall it was just a pretty solid performance. I’m pretty happy with it.”
Later on, during the second game of the doubleheader, the Raiders capitalized on the Jaguars’ fielding and pitching errors to clinch a 20-run victory. Infielder Cejay Hopkins led the way two runs, two hits and five RBI, including a three-run double in the top of the third inning, while shortstop Derek Ohringer had two RBI and a triple.
Murphy continued pitching, throwing in all five innings for Roosevelt in the shortened contest. He finished with nine strikeouts and gave up only one hit and one run along with four walks for the win.
Flowers used eight pitchers, who gave up a combined 21 walks that led to 12 runs. The Jaguars finished utilizing a total of 10 pitchers for both games because of the state’s pitching restrictions. Keith Wallace threw for 2 1/3 innings and allowed six runs and three walks on three hits to take the loss.
“They didn’t come to play. They were here just dragging along,” Flowers Head Coach George Brown said. “Outfield dropping balls, infield couldn’t gather balls… They didn’t come to play. They’ve been off for five days; no excuses but they should have been working on getting ready for today.”
In the top of the third inning, Flowers used four pitchers, who allowed a combined eight walks, four hits and 13 runs.
In addition to losing its starting catcher, Brandon Bradshaw, due to academic ineligibility, Flowers’ subpar hitting performance and uncharacteristic fielding errors were contributing factors to the losses against Roosevelt, according to Brown. Freshman catcher Matt May filled in to score the Jaguars’ (9-4) lone run in the bottom of the third inning after he belted a line-drive triple to right field.
“We’re making some adjustments, but we’ll be alright,” Brown said, highlighting how he encouraged his guys to put the losses behind them and focus on upcoming matchups as the regular season wraps up in a few weeks. “They (Roosevelt) did exactly what they were supposed to do. I know Murphy, the lefty pitcher, I knew we were going to see him; he’s very, good very talented…Roosevelt played well.”
“Today we just didn’t have it. Our pitches could not find command, we had a lot of errors in the field, and didn’t really hit like we wanted to today,” said Cobb, a senior shortstop. “Fielding errors, pitching errors and mental errors; we didn’t have it mentally. And we didn’t have our skills and abilities on the field.”
Meanwhile, Murphy continued his dominating performance against last season’s county champions with his hitting by adding a triple and four RBIs to help his team remain undefeated at 9-0 on the season.
“It’s a really good win, like a really good team win. It’s really good for our morale, and I obviously couldn’t do it without my guys behind me. They made some great plays,” said Murphy, a junior. “Flowers is a team that we think about all year. This is a win that we want, and I think we (had) a pretty dominant performance leading into the playoffs.”
The Jaguars took two more losses on April 17 against defending 4-A state champions Howard High School, 8-7, in eight innings and Long Reach, 6-1. The Jaguars look to bounce back from a four-game losing streak when they host Northwestern on April 23 at 4:30 p.m.
The Raiders hope to stay unbeaten as they host DuVal on April 22 at 11:30 a.m.