WESTPORT – Giving up a home run to the Lions' Tanner Cassavaugh on the first at-bat of the game didn't phase Sam Earl. If anything, it motivated him to a spectacular game on the mound and at the plate as Westport/Keene raced past Elizabethtown-Lewis 18-8 in MVAC baseball April 29.
"I told him not to worry about it, that we would go out and get ours and to just throw his game," said Westport/Keene co-head coach Don Markwica. "He did a good job not getting rattled."
Earl went on to strikeout 10 batters and allow just two more hits through the next 3.1 innings, meanwhile leading the offense for Westport/Keene with two three-run homers in back-to-back at-bats.
"He went out and got his own," added co-head coach Chris Markwica.
Both homers came during the second inning when the home team drove home 13 runs. Senior Alan Ware, batting in the eight-spot, got his first varsity home run on a grand slam that helped fuel the onslaught.
Dylan Boyle went 5-for-5, James Bell got three hits, and Cody Whitney, Kevin Russell, Luke Andrews, and Jesse Stevens each had two for Westport/Keene.
"One of the things we've been doing is hitting the ball, and that's what we did right here," Don said, noting that he was pleased with his team's effort.
The Lions came roaring back in the fifth as three walks loaded the bases for Nate Rock, who launched a grand slam of his own. Elizabethtown-Lewis added two more runs in the sixth, but couldn't catch up.
Westport/Keene 18, Elizabethtown-Lewis 8
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
ELCS 1 0 0 1 4 2 0 - 8 4 5
WP/Keene 3 (13) 1 0 1 0 x - 18 22 3
WP- Earl. LP- Mowery. HR- Earl (WK), 2; Ware (WK), Cassavaugh (EL), Rock (EL). 3b- Ware (WK).