MILLTOWN — Zach Frame settled down after a rough start, and Saint Mark’s offense got hot in the middle of the game as the Spartans downed Delaware Military Academy, 5-4, in a battle between two of the top baseball programs in Delaware on April 28. Saint Mark’s entered the game ranked fourth by Delaware Live, while the Seahawks were sixth.
The Spartans trailed by three after Mason McCloskey’s double to the wall in center field brought home courtesy runner Henry Kuratle in the top of the fourth. Saint Mark’s avoided further damage, however, as they were able to cut down Tyler Leech at the plate to keep the DMA lead at 4-1. That would prove to be a crucial play.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth, James Baffone singled to short right field off DMA starter Tyler August. After a strikeout — August’s ninth in fewer than four innings — Frame worked a walk, and Tyler Satterfield followed with a run-scoring single.
Drew Simpson relieved August, who was near the pitch limit. Garrett Quinn walked to load the bases, and Kyle Reader tied the game with a two-run single to center.
Frame worked out of trouble in the fifth, when the Spartans committed two errors, and Saint Mark’s went to work on offense. Andrew Wenger was hit by a pitch to open their half of the inning. After a fly out, Baffone reached on an infield single, and Jameson Summerill walked to load the bases. Logan Wiley came in to pitch for the Seahawks, and Frame, the first batter he faced, lofted a sacrifice fly to deep center field, scoring Wenger with the eventual winning run.
Quinn spelled Frame on the mound for the final two innings, and his defense — which committed three errors on the afternoon — helped out immediately. A leadoff runner was erased by a 4-6-3 double play. Quinn pitched a perfect seventh, closing it out with a called strike three.
That brought to an end an emotional game between the two rivals. Last year, the Seahawks rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat the Spartans. Thursday’s game drew a large crowd to Saint Mark’s, including a number of students from both schools. The dugouts were loud the entire game, with players coming up with a variety of creative (and clean) barbs.
The Seahawks were playing with heavy hearts. A former Delaware Military baseball player Louis Oronzio, a 2020 alumnus, died several days after suffering injuries in a motor vehicle accident in Newark on April 23. His No. 14 jersey hung in the DMA dugout during the game.
The Seahawks got their offense going in the first inning. Simpson singled with two outs, and August, the cleanup hitter, was next. He hit a high fly ball to left-center, and it just kept going over the fence on the blustery day for a home run. They added an unearned run in the second on an RBI single by McCloskey. Another runner was thrown out at home by rightfielder Steve Mann to limit the damage.
Saint Mark’s got one run back in the third on a double by Reader that scored Tyler Satterfield.
August was literally unhittable for the first two innings. He struck out the side in both the first and second, but he also walked five batters. After Reader’s RBI double, August struck out the next two batters to get out of trouble.
Baffone was on base three times for the Spartans with two hits and a walk, and he scored one run. Satterfield and Quinn also both reached thrice each. On the mound, Frame went five innings, allowing six hits and striking out three. Saint Mark’s (10-2) is at Frawley Stadium on Saturday night at 7 against Unionville (Pa.).
For the Seahawks, McCloskey had two hits and two RBI, as did August. DMA is now 10-3 and stays on the road at Hodgson on Saturday at noon.
All photos by Mike Lang.