By Lynn Schofer

The Sussex Tech Ravens’ 2021 baseball season came to end in a DIAA state tournament game played against Appoquinimink last Tuesday in Georgetown. The Ravens gave up five runs in the first inning then silenced the offense of the Jaguars for the next six innings but fell short, 5-4, in the quarterfinal game. 

The Ravens’ Grant Allen pitched five innings and after a first inning struggle, settled in to hold Appoquinimink to two hits through the next four innings. The damage in the first inning was initiated with an opening walk to Colby Niggebrugge followed by an RBI triple by Keegan Miller. The Jaguars’ Lorenzo Carrier reached base on a throwing error by the Sussex Tech infield, scoring Miller for the 2-0 lead. Allen threw two wild pitches moving Carrier to third base and Prestin Leinbach singled him home. A throwing error by Sussex Tech moved Leinbach to second base and Aidan Fleming’s double scored two runs for the 5-0 lead. 

Sussex Tech senior Alex Adams drives the ball to the outfield in his at-bat for the Ravens. Photo by Lynn Schofer

Sussex Tech remained calm in its approach to the plate and the patience worked two opening walks to Conor Ellingsworth and Landon Ruark. Freshman Brock O’Day collected an RBI on his infield ground ball out for the first run of the game for the Ravens. 

The Ravens scored in the bottom of the third inning, opening with a single by Ellingsworth whose hustle beat the throw from third base. Ellingsworth wasted no time stealing both second and third base. Jonathan Stokley walked and on his steal to second base, Ellingsworth stole home for the 5-2 score. 

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Malikye Wells singled up the middle and Landon Ruark doubled to the center field fence. Allen laid down a perfect suicide squeeze to score Wells. A sacrifice fly ball by Conor Ellingsworth brought the Ravens to within one run at 5-4.  

In the fifth inning, Allen pitched his way out of a jam, leaving two runners on base. In the bottom of the inning the Ravens’ Jason Shockley opened with a walk and Stokley singled. A pinch runner was caught stealing and a fly out left Stokley, representing the tying run, stranded at third base.

Alex Adams came on as relief for Allen in the top of the sixth inning and in two innings of work gave up one single which kept the door open for the Ravens. In the bottom of the seventh inning and with two outs Jaryn Sample singled but a ground ball back to the pitcher was the final out of the game and season for the Ravens.