Dover falls to DMA 8-0 in baseball tournament first round

MIDDLETOWN — Hardly anybody expected Dover High’s baseball team to be contender this spring.

So the fact that the Senators won their second Henlopen Conference title in the last four years was a big accomplishment.

But making another run in the DIAA state tournament proved to be much more difficult for Dover as the 13th-seeded Senators went down quietly, 8-0, to No. 19 Delaware Military in the tourney’s first round on Saturday afternoon.

The loss ends a streak of four straight appearances in the state semifinals for Dover (13-6), which was shut out for only the second time this season.

Seahawk pitchers Matthew Danz (6 innings) and Matthew Kohan (1 inning) limited the Senators to just three hits. Dover beat Danz and DMA, 4-3, in the first round of the tournament in 2015.

“He threw well,” said Dover coach Dave Gordon. “He had us guessing a little bit and his fastball got up on us. He did well. Hats off to him.”

Dover pitcher Cameron Turner (left) Òhigh fivesÓ with his infield before throwing the first pitch in game Saturday against Delaware Military Academy. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

“The kid threw well but we just didn’t come out and hit,” said senior Cameron Turner.

The Senators’ four pitchers — Turner, Hiram Davis, Andrew Carney and Michael Carrington — did pretty well themselves, limiting DMA (10-9) to just four hits. But the Seahawks found ways to manufacture runs and take control early.

Diver first baseman Michael Carrington looks for a call from the umpire after pickoff attempt in game with Delaware Military Academy Saturday. Seahawk Jacob Hudson was ruled safe on the play.

After scoring twice in the first inning, DMA erupted for five runs in the third to open up a gaping 7-0 advantage. The Seahawks sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning while taking advantage of two hits, an error, two walks, a hit batter and a fielder’s choice.

“The ball bounced the wrong way a couple times for us,” said Turner. “We got some tough breaks. (But) it bounces our way sometimes.”

“It’s just unfortunate,” said Gordon. “We talked about it. In a tournament, you can’t make mistakes like that and we made them. They capitalized.”

Even if the Senators had beaten DMA, they faced a big challenge on Saturday.

Under the new tourney format, the winner had to turn around and play third-seeded Appoquinimink on its home field 45 minutes later. The formast was put in place so four more teams can make the tournament.

Considering Dover pitcher Davis had to leave Saturday’s game because of an injury, Gordon said the Senators really would have had their hands full if they had to play again.

“I’m all for getting more teams in because I think there’s a lot of good baseball teams in the state,” said Gordon. “I think they could tinker with it a little bit.

“I mean, look, they beat us,” he said, gesturing towards DMA’s bench. “They don’t get to celebrate. They’ve got to play again.”

Dover third baseman Jared Hickox was unable to get high enough to pull down a throw trying to nail DMAÕs Michael SerafinÕs advance to third in the first inning.. Scarfin scampered home after the ball went out of bounds.. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

Of course, that was something the Senators didn’t have to worry about on Saturday.

Still, all things considered, Dover couldn’t walk away from the season too disappointed. This was the Senators’ eighth straight state tournament appearance.

“I’m very proud,” said Gordon. “At the beginning of the year, it was all about carrying the torch and keeping this momentum going. I felt like we did that. We were Henlopen Conference champs in a very tough conference.

“I think I come back with an excellent group of kids again next year. We’re going to get healthier and I’ve got some good kids down on JV. We’ll get it all together and try it again.”

“That’s big,” Turner said about the Henlopen title. “Everybody said we lost everybody. We proved some things. We wanted to prove more but things happen.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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