While the weather may not look promising for Memorial Day Weekend, it was a beautiful at Frawley Stadium for the Thursday semi-final of the 2021 DIAA Baseball State Tournament.
The 4 p.m. game saw 10th seeded Appoquinimink Jaguars — the 2019 champion — take on 3rd seeded and traditional powerhouse St. Mark’s Spartans.
This one was hyped up to be an epic pitchers’ duel as UD commit and first team All-State pitcher Christian Colmery took the mound for the Spartans and honorable mention All-State pitcher Evan Bouldin took to the bump for Appo.
And, boy, did these two young men live up to the hype.
Both pitchers went the full seven innings.
Colmery was efficient, giving up only three runs (two unearned) on five hits while throwing only 84 pitches.
Bouldin was a magician on the mound. He scattered five hits over the seven innings, had seven punch-outs, and had all three of his pitches on a string. He was able to throw any pitch he wanted, at any point in the count and it kept Spartan hitters off balance all game.
The game was scoreless through 3 innings of play. The pace of play was amazing, as the first 3 innings took around 45 minutes of real time, because of efficient pitching and great defense by both teams.
In the top of the fourth, the Jags struck first. Delaware Player of the Year Lorenzo Carrier stroked a lead-off single up the middle. He then proceeded to steal second base a few pitches later. Evan Bouldin grounded out to Spartan third baseman Reid Dalton and on the throw Carrier raced to third.
That type of aggressive base-running almost never works at the high school level, but the speed of Carrier is just magnificent. Austin Luszcz then hit a fly ball to left field that looked like a sure sacrifice. However, an injury to St. Mark’s left fielder Michael Clarke prevented him from getting to the baseball and Luszcz reached second with a RBI ground-rule double.
The score stayed that way until the top of the sixth inning. Then the Jaguars tacked on a few of unearned runs on a pop-up to shallow left field by Austin Luszcz that would fall. On the play, shortstop Garrett Quinn and new left-fielder Max O’neal collided in what was a close call for both players.
Bouldin cruised through the game until the seventh inning as the Spartan offense came alive as the bottom of the order. The bases were loaded after a double by Colmery, a single by Tyler Satterfield and a walk issued to Dan Keane.
With two outs, lead-off batter Garrett Quinn returned to the plate. Bouldin settled in and put Quinn away with a nasty changeup low in the zone for a swinging strike three.
The Jaguars reach their second consecutive State Championship game under manager Mike Torres. Appo was the 2019 champion after a perfect 22-0 season, and there were no championship games in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Appo is scheduled to take on rising program Delaware Military Academy Saturday, May 29, with the time to be determined. All eyes are on the weather, expected to be rainy Friday afternoon through Sunday.
Whenever they play, one thing to keep an eye on is who will take the mound for the Jaguars and Seahawks, as both aces for these programs hit their pitch limits in the semifinal round. Bouldin finished with 104 total pitches.
Perhaps we will see sophomore southpaw Chase Fleming or fellow lefty Aidan Deakins?
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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