Bruins, Falcons Jockey For Position Atop County Baseball Standings


Broadneck, Severna Park and North County are in a three-way race for two spots in this year’s baseball county championship game and only a few games remain to decide which two will earn a chance for bragging rights heading into the playoffs.

The Bruins made a statement April 19 by beating the Falcons 8-7. With that, they avenged an 11-3 loss to the Falcons earlier in the season and snapped Severna Park’s 12-game win streak.

With clutch hits and loud support from fans of both teams, the rivalry game was chock full of playoff-like moments.

After Severna Park’s Nathan Clarke smashed a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game at 7-7, Broadneck answered in the eighth inning as Zach Palmer hit an RBI single up the middle to score the go-ahead run.

Broadneck varsity baseball head coach Matt Skrenchuk said his team, full of younger players, was nervous in the first game between the teams but did not back down this time.

“Yes, Severna Park is a great team, and when they claw back in, you can obviously lose confidence in yourself,” he said, “but those guys didn’t. They believed that they could still win, and they found a way to win.”

Sophomore Noah Forman had a timely hit in that game with a three-run home run, and Nick Cicale added a two-run bomb.

Despite being a young team, the Bruins have learned to stay poised.

“I think the team has been so successful this year because we have had a lot of people step up and take charge after losing almost a full lineup of seniors last year,” Forman said. “We also have great resilience. We understand that the game of baseball is not easy. We know how to bounce back after one bad at-bat, error, or even a bad game. Also, we carry ourselves with a lot of confidence. These other teams that we play are not easy games, but the little things are what give you the edge.”

Severna Park varsity baseball head coach Eric Milton attributed the loss to walks surrendered and his team’s bats going cold at inopportune times.

“We’ve battled back before, but we should never have been in that position with eight walks and two hit-by-pitches, so we gave them 10 runners,” he said.

The “beauty of baseball” is that the Falcons had a chance to rebound. Although they suffered another close loss, this time to South River the following day, they rebounded with wins over Crofton and Northeast.

Sean Williams had 10 strikeouts in six innings to earn the win against the Eagles. Offensively, Clarke led the Falcons with four RBIs.

Severna Park and Broadneck may get the chance to play for a third time this year.

“I would say probably the two best teams in the county played each other today and they came out on top,” Milton said following the game against Broadneck.

When asked what he attributes Broadneck’s success to, Cicale said, “Our connection. We play baseball like a family.”

That bond is strengthened during team dinners and gatherings after every practice, and it has paid off on the field.

His team continued their dominance with a 5-2 win over Old Mill, a 19-1 victory against Meade and a 2-0 shutout over Southern.

Forman pitched a complete game against Old Mill and got support from the offense, led by Cicale’s three hits and two RBIs. Senior Sean Murphy and junior Devin McGowan each added a hit and one RBI.

Against Meade, eight of the team’s runs were driven in by McGowan (five RBIs) and senior Jack Barber (three RBIs).

Broadneck shut out Southern behind a complete game from Murphy, who notched the 17th win of his career, a school record. He also contributed to his cause with two hits.

The Bruins then suffered a minor setback with a 10-4 loss to North County.

“We may have lost last night, but it humbled us in a way and the fire to win is stronger than ever,” Cicale said after the loss. “We never give up. We’re never out of a game.”

The Bruins entered May with a 13-2 record and are confident they can regain their form as long as they stay focused.

“We’ve had a lot of success and we can’t let that distract us from the final goal,” Murphy said. “My job is to just continue to perform and keep the rest of the guys working day in and day out.”

Their coach agrees, but he’s not looking beyond the next game. That approach has serviced him well over the last few years.

“In 2019, we were the No. 1 team in the region and then COVID hit, and we graduated 10 guys in 2020,” Skrenchuk said. “That year was definitely rebuilding. Last year, we won 16 games. Each year, we are building off that, just a little more momentum as we go.”


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