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MEAD — The playoff picture for Frederick’s baseball team boils down to the last week of the regular season.
FHS has to finish in the top three in the Tri Valley standings to qualify automatically. FHS is a game behind Erie High School, which occupies the last playoff spot in the conference, and 1 ½ games behind Skyline, which is in second place. FHS and Skyline play a home-and-home series this week.
Without an automatic berth, FHS would have to settle for its place in the wild-card point standings. FHS is in 29th place, and the top 32 teams from the wild-card point race advance to the district round of the state playoffs May 10.
If Frederick can get into the state tournament, it might just point to a pair of extra-inning wins over Mead High School last week. FHS needed nine innings to beat the Mavericks 6-5 April 24. Two days later, the Warriors pushed over a run in the eighth inning to cap a come-from-behind, 5-4 win over Mead.
In the first of the two games, Lane Hiser’s pool-cue shot to first base set up the events that led to the winning run. Matt Entrekin, who was the eventual winning pitcher, was able to score from second base after an infield error.
Mead’s Cody Beauer doubled to lead off the last of the ninth. But Entrekin picked him off second base, then proceeded to retire the next two batters to get the win.
Entrekin started the game in right field but came on relief in the seventh inning.
“I thought Josh (Josh Entrekin) was pitching great. He threw six strong innings,” Matt Entrekin said. “I was thinking ‘just keep him in there.’ I wasn’t real warm. But when I had to shut them down, I got pumped. I was excited to pitch my best.”
“That was a big win for us,” FHS coach Ted Clapp said. “That could be the difference in us making the playoffs. For us, that’s our goal. If we can get there, we can play with anybody.”
Part of Clapp’s reasoning is the number of close games this spring.
“We’ve been in a lot of one- and two-run games. That’s going to be a big deal for us in the long run,” he said. “We’re learning to play under pressure. It builds confidence and character. We’re slowly changing the mindset of everyone in the program. We’re building the expectation of winning.”
FHS was up 4-0 after 4 1/2 innings April 24. Eric Worley doubled and scored on an error in the third inning. Matt Entrekin and Mitchell Held drove in runs in the fourth inning. Michael Broz had an RBI base hit in the fifth inning.
The Mavericks scored three in the fifth and two in the sixth to send the game into extra innings. Bauer picked up all three of his RBIs with base hits in the fifth and sixth innings. Easton Adler singled home a run in the fifth inning as well.
“It happened to us before. We were up three runs in the seventh inning and lost it,” Matt Entrekin said. “We came back today and stayed in the game. We kept our heads. It’s great for this team.”
Matt Entrekin struck out three in three innings. His brother, Josh, pitched six strong innings. He struck out two. Broz, Worley and Brandon Schaa had two hits for the Warriors.
In the April 26 game, Mead had a 4-0 lead after three innings. The Warriors scored three in the fourth. Ryan Cawthra, Michael Broz and Tristin Montano had RBI base hits. Frederick tied it in the fifth on Hiser’s RBI triple.
Hiser started the eighth inning with a base hit. Ryan Cawthra’s single to left field brought Hiser home with the running run. Matt Entrekin held Mead scoreless for 5 1/3 innings. He struck out eight, walked one and allowed three hits.
Frederick’s series with Skyline starts at 4 p.m. May 1 in Frederick and concludes at noon May 3 at Skyline. Erie has a home-and-home set with Roosevelt to close out the regular season.
Contact Sports Editor Steve Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Sports Editor Steve Smith at email@example.com