Avalon baseball headed back to State Title Game

Senior shortstop Billy Lennox batted 3 for 4 with 2 runs batted in.

Senior shortstop Billy Lennox batted 3 for 4 with 2 runs batted in.

Senior pitcher Tommy Sanchez struck out six batters in five innings of work and an offensive explosion in the second inning led the Avalon Black Knights defeated St. Maria Goretti Gaels 11-3 to advance to the Maryland State B Championship game.

After striking out his first two batters, Sanchez escaped a tough first inning allowing only one run as Goretti left the bases loaded.

He cruised though the second and third innings retiring six straight batters but the Gaels challenged the right-handed pitcher and scored another run in the fourth.

In the second inning, Goretti pitcher Adam Blenckstone loaded the bases by hitting senior Mike Brunvoll, and walking sophomores Paul Jackson and Dan Searles.

After a brief mound visit from the Goretti pitching coach, junior Conor Sloan laced a line drive to right field scoring Brunvoll. Outfielder Khamaal Barrett-Ricks followed with another line drive to the outfield, this time scoring two runs.

Lennox followed with a sac fly to center and then junior Mark Searles doubled to right to score Barrett-Ricks. Sophomore Pearce Howard singled home Searles to complete a seven-run inning.

The Black Knights added four more runs late in the game to extend their lead, and eventually won 11-3.

Avalon will play in Tuesday championship game and await the winner of the elimination game between St. Maria Goretti and The Heights.

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