The Dover Senators are headed to the DIAA Baseball State Semifinals for the third year in a row after taking care of no. 4 Hodgson Vo-Tech 9-7 in the quarterfinals Tuesday afternoon.
In a long and strange game, Dover was able to withstand several Hodgson rallies while taking advantage of some Silver Eagle mistakes to advance.
Dover and Hodgson were knotted at 1-1 after the first inning before the Senators exploded for a 6-run top of the second to take an early commanding lead. Dakota Graham, Aven Purnell, and Tuesday’s starter on the mound for Dover, Kendall Small, all had RBI’s in the inning chasing Hodgson starter Nick Sayers.
After two in the bottom half of the second for Hodgson, the Senators responded in the third thanks to a passed-ball that scored Tevin Thomas who had doubled earlier in the inning. The passed-ball was just one of many Silver Eagle miscues, including six balks. After two and third, Dover led 8-4.
Hodgson continued to chop away at the Dover lead in the bottom half of the third; scoring two more runs to cut the Senator lead to 8-6 heading into the fourth.
After a scoreless fourth and top half of the fifth, the Dover lead continued to dwindle when a Senator passed-ball scored a Hodgson run to make it 8-7 Dover after five innings.
Dover managed to tack on an insurance run in the fifth when Small, who had since left the mound, earned another RBI on a single to give the Senators a 9-7 lead.
Hodgson would threaten in the sixth, bringing both the tying and go-ahead runs to the plate in the inning, though, Senator hurler Austin Johnson was able to find his way out of a base-loaded jam to preserve the lead.
The Silver Eagles would get no closer in the seventh, and the Senators held on for the 9-7 win to advance to the semifinals.
Dover is one step closer to the state title game, but no. 8 Appoquinimink now stands in their way. The Jags shocked the no. 1 seeded St. Mark’s Spartans 3-1 on Tuesday afternoon with some early runs and a lights-out pitching performance from starter Ryan Steckline who threw six innings allowing just one run to the perennial contenders.
Thursday's semifinal will be held at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington, first-pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.
Polytech moves onto softball semifinals, topping Appo 5-1 in quarterfinals
Polytech’s Shaina Reed pitched a complete-game allowing a run on just one hit to help the Lady Panthers advance to the state semifinals, defeating Appoquinimink 5-1 on Tuesday.
The Lady Panthers struck early, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first innings thanks to hits from Kailey Perry, Morgan Dodge, and Amanda Waishes. Perry finished with a game-high three hits, while Dodge and Waishes each finished with two hits apiece.
Shelby Tennant registered Appo’s only hit of the day, going 1-for-2.
Sophomore Mackenzie Short pitched a strong game after allowing the four runs in the first, keeping Polytech to only one run the rest of the way. However, it wasn’t enough to top the pitching performance from Reed who finished with 13 punch-outs on the day.
Polytech will take on Delmar in the semifinals Thursday afternoon at Indian River starting at 4 p.m.