Sussex Central saves its baseball season

GEORGETOWN — Playoff baseball technically doesn’t start for about a month.

But to have any hope of reaching the postseason, the Sussex Central baseball team knew it had to play well last week.

Sussex Central picked up three wins last week and moved back to .500. (Sussex County Post/Jeff Mitchell)

Sussex Central picked up three wins last week and moved back to .500. (Sussex County Post/Jeff Mitchell)

It did.

Coming off a controversial loss to Polytech that included a blown call that likely cost Central a victory, the Knights entered the week on a four-game losing streak. They snapped the skid last Tuesday by defeating Milford 10-0.

Central followed the Milford win with another blowout victory on Thursday and then Saturday the Knights picked up their best victory to date – 3-2 over nonconference Salesianum. That win moved the team back to .500 at 5-5.

“The guys came to play today,” Central head coach Todd Brock said following the win over Milford. “That game (against Polytech), I was happy with the way they responded after that play even though we came out on the short end. And we’re hoping that lit a fire under us. Every game for us is a playoff game. That’s our goal, just to punch our ticket and get in (the postseason).”

Versus Milford, it was the Knights’ battery that paved the way for the victory.

Despite not having his best stuff on the blustery Tuesday afternoon, Trevor Collins scattered three hits through four innings of work and kept Milford off the board. Trey Toppin kept the Buccaneers scoreless in the fifth before Central plated four in the home half of the frame to end the game early.

The Golden Knights poured on the runs against Milford and Seaford and got timely hits versus Sallies. (Sussex County Post/Jeff Mitchell)

The Golden Knights poured on the runs against Milford and Seaford and got timely hits versus Sallies. (Sussex County Post/Jeff Mitchell)

“I didn’t have my best stuff today, but it was enough to get by,” Collins said. “You just have to make do with what you’ve got. Any little play helps.”

Two of those plays were by catcher DJ Doherty in the second inning of a then scoreless game.

Milford’s Holden Bailey led the inning off with a walk but Doherty gunned him down when he tried to steal second. Following a strikeout, Jimmy Kucharzyk drew a walk but during the ensuing at-bat he got a little too far away from the bag at first and Doherty’s snap throw led to a pickoff that ended the inning.

“Any time I see a runner getting too far off first, I’m going to throw it over there,” said Doherty, who hit a two-RBI double during a four-run Central rally in the bottom of the second.

“I’ve just been seeing the ball deep and trying to go the other way with it,” added Doherty, whose bat has been heating up along with the weather.

Toppin came through with a RBI double in the third and then later scored to put the Knights up 6-0.

Doherty singled and scored in the fourth during a four-run burst that led to the 10-0 final.

Sussex Central 16, Seaford 3: Austin Littleton, Brady Bowden and Toppin each had two hits for Central in a rout of Seaford that went all seven innings.

Dorin Emerick tossed a complete game, scattering six hits. Chris Harrison scored three times for the Knights in the win.

Sussex Central 3, Salesianum 2: Jake Brewington needed only 79 pitches for a complete game victory over Salesianum. Brewington allowed just three hits.

Collins broke a 2-2 tie in the home half of the sixth with a solo home run that proved to be the game-winner. Jacob Swift’s two-RBI double in the fourth provided the Knights’ other runs.

The loss was just Sallies’ second of the season.

Only one game is slated for Central this week – Friday at home versus Woodbridge.

From the Sussex County Sports Desk

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