Men's Softball

Schedule and Results

Final Regular Season Record: 13-9-2 (5th of 13 teams)


Saturday, April 16 vs. Friendship United Methodist

Game 1: L 6 - 11

Game 2: T 19 - 19

Saturday, April 23 vs. First Lutheran

Game 1: L 11 - 13

Game 2: W 9 - 5

Saturday, June 4 vs. Dunkirk Baptist

Game 1: L 4 - 9

Game 2: L 6 - 11

Sunday, June 5 vs. Jesus the Divine Word #1

Game 1: W 7 - 0 (Forfeit)

Game 2: W 7 - 0 (Forfeit)

Sunday, June 12 vs. Emmanuel Church

Game 1: W 18 - 8

Game 2: W 18 - 9

Sunday, June 12 vs. New Life Church

Game 1: W 29 - 9

Game 2: W 23 - 22

Saturday, June 18 vs. Our Lady Star of the Sea

Game 1: W 9 - 2

Game 2: W 8 - 2

Saturday, June 25 vs. Grace Chapel Ministries

Game 1: L 6 - 8

Game 2: L 2 - 15

Sunday, July 17 vs. First Baptist

Game 1: W 12 - 6

Game 2: T 11 - 11

Sunday, July 17 vs. Calvert County Baptist

Game 1: W 10 - 4

Game 2: W 11 - 0

Saturday, July 23 vs. Grace Brethren

Game 1: L 1 - 11

Game 2: W 6 - 4

Sunday, July 24 vs. JDW #2

Game 1: L 12 - 20

Game 2: L 3 - 12


YEAR END TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Game 1 vs Jesus the Divine Word #1: Win 7 - 6

Game 2 vs Grace Chapel Ministries: Win 13 - 2

Game 3 vs Dunkirk Baptist: Loss 2 - 10

Game 4 vs First Lutheran: Win 10 - 7

Game 5 vs Grace Brethren: Win 5 - 2

Game 6 vs Jesus the Divine Word #2: Loss 5 - 6


3rd place out of 13 teams


Tournament Bracket

Year End tournament

The Saint Nicholas softball team had a tough act to follow when the 2016 post-season tournament started. The past two years, Saint Nicholas finished in the middle-to-lower part of the regular season standings. But, the team got hot in the tournament both years - hot enough to finish tied for 5th place in both the 2014 and 2015 tournaments. This year, the team came into the tournament as the #5 seed. Finishing tied for 5th in the tournament was at least as good as the team expected to do.


The tournament started Friday night July 29 with Saint Nicholas taking on #12 seed Jesus the Divine Word #1. JDW1 forfeited both games to Saint Nicholas during the season. If you are familiar with the #5 vs #12 match-ups in the men's NCAA basketball tournament, you know this match-up is prone to upsets. In fact, Saint Nicholas has won this match-up as the #12 seed on more than one occasion, the most recent being 2015. So, the team expected nothing less than JDW1's best effort. And they got it. JDW1 started quickly, getting 2 runs in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead. With two outs, Josh Smith singled and advanced to second on a poor throw. Greg Bandelow promptly singled home Josh. Keith Williams moved Greg into scoring position with a single. Then, Jerry Wood singled home Greg to tie the game at 2-2. JDW1 bounced right back with 1 run in the top of the second to go back in front, 3-2. Saint Nicholas didn't score in the bottom of the second nor did JDW1 score in the top of the third. Austin Owens led off the bottom of the third with a double and scored one out later on Greg Bandelow's single to tie the game at 3-3. Neither team scored in the fourth inning. JDW1 went back in front in the top of the fifth inning with 1 run to take a 4-3 lead. Dave Hickin walked to start the bottom of the fifth. After one out, Josh Smith singled. Greg Bandelow followed with a double to clear the bases and give Saint Nicholas its first lead of the game. Keith Williams followed with a double to score Greg and give Saint Nicholas a 6-4 lead. JDW1 scored 1 run in the top of the sixth to cut their deficit to 6-5. Saint Nicholas did not score in the bottom of the sixth. JDW1 got a two-out homerun in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 6-6. David Buffin led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk. Andrew Wood pinch ran for David. Dave Hickin and Austin Owens walked to load the bases with nobody out. Josh Smith smashed a groundball that the first baseman snagged, tagged Austin out for the first out, stepped on first base to get Josh for the second out, and threw home. The throw was a little wide and Andrew Wood slid home with the winning run, giving Saint Nicholas a 7-6 win.


Saint Nicholas went back to work late Saturday morning to play #4 seed Grace Chapel Ministries. Grace Chapel won both games when the two teams met during the season. However, this was another day. Dave Hickin walked to start the top of the first. One out later, Josh Smith also walked. Greg Bandelow singled to load the bases. Andrew Wood's sacrifice fly was dropped, scoring Dave and leaving the bases loaded. Matt Taby's fielder's choice scored Josh. Then, Keith Williams singled home Andrew and Saint Nicholas held a 3-0 lead. Grace Chapel went scoreless in the bottom of the first. Austin Wood and David Buffin walked to start the top of the second. Travis Kendall singled to load the bases. Tom Blatt's sacrifice fly scored Austin. Dave Hickin singled to score David. After the second out, Josh Smith walked to load the bases again. Greg Bandelow walked to force home Travis. Andrew Wood singled to score both Dave and Josh and Saint Nicholas suddenly had an 8-0 lead. Grace Chapel scored 1 run in the bottom of the second to cut the lead to 8-1. Neither team scored in the third inning. With one out, Tom Blatt and Dave Hickin singled in the top of the fourth. After the second out, Josh Smith drove in both Tom and Dave to give Saint Nicholas a 10-1 lead. Grace Chapel did not score in the bottom of the fourth. Andrew Wood reached base to start the top of the fifth and eventually scored to push the Saint Nicholas lead to 11-1. Grace Chapel scored 1 run in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 11-2. Neither team scored in the sixth inning. Austin Owens and Greg Bandelow singled with one out in the top of the seventh. Austin scored on Andrew Wood's single and Greg scored on Keith Williams's single and Saint Nicholas held a 13-2 lead. Grace Chapel failed to score in the bottom of the seventh. Final score: Saint Nicholas 13 Grace Chapel 2


Saint Nicholas's "reward" for defeating Grace Chapel was to immediately play #1 seed Dunkirk Baptist. Dunkirk won two hard fought games over Saint Nicholas during the season. Saint Nicholas did not score in the top of the first. Dunkirk took the lead 2-0 with 2 runs in the bottom of the first. Andrew Wood scored on Matt Taby's sacrifice fly in the top of the second to cut Dunkirk's lead to 2-1. Dunkirk got that run back in the bottom of the second to push their lead to 3-1. Neither team scored in the third inning. Dunkirk added single runs in both the fourth and fifth innings while Saint Nicholas went scoreless resulting in a 5-1 Dunkirk lead after five innings. Saint Nicholas again failed to score in the top of the sixth. Dunkirk, aided by a couple Saint Nicholas errors, scored 5 runs in the bottom of the sixth to open up a 10-1 lead. Nick Demme walked to start the top of the seventh and scored on an Austin Owens single. But, that was the only run Saint Nicholas could manage. Dunkirk prevailed 10-2.


Dropping into the loser's bracket, Saint Nicholas's next opponent was First Lutheran, the #7 seed. The team got a break (thanks to the schedule and to a 45-minute rain delay) after playing two straight games. The team responded well to the break. First Lutheran got on the board first with 1 run in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead. With one out in the bottom of the first, Austin Owens singled and advanced to second on an outfield error. Keith Williams singled home Austin to tie the game at 1-1. First Lutheran did not score in the top of the second. Jerry Wood singled with one out in the bottom of the second. Andrew Dangin then tripled to score Jerry. Travis Kendall singled home Andrew to give Saint Nicholas a 3-1 lead. First Lutheran answered with 5 runs in the top of the third and took the lead, 6-3. Dave Hickin, Austin Owens, and Keith Williams walked to load the bases in the bottom of the third. Greg Bandelow and Andrew Wood also walked to score Dave and Austin. Matt Taby's single scored Keith to tie the game. Jerry Wood followed with a sacrifice fly to score Greg and give Saint Nicholas the lead back, 7-6. First Lutheran tied up the game at 7-7 with a run in the top of the fourth. Nobody scored until the bottom of the fifth. Dave Hickin walked and Austin Owens followed with a single. After Keith Williams forced Austin at second, Greg Bandelow singled home Dave to give Saint Nicholas the lead. Later, Matt Taby's sacrifice fly scored Keith extending Saint Nicholas's lead to 9-7. First Lutheran did not score in the top of the sixth. Andrew Dangin walked to start the bottom of the sixth and came home on Austin Wood's single to push the lead to 10-7. That was the final score as First Lutheran did not score in the top of the seventh.

Next up in the loser's bracket was #3 seed Grace Brethren. the two teams split their doubleheader just one week earlier. Saint Nicholas got off to a fast start. Dave Hickin, Austin Owens, and Keith Williams all singled to load the bases to start the game. Greg Bandelow walked to force home Dave with the game's first run. Two consecutive fielder's choices cut down Saint Nicholas runners at the plate and left the bases loaded with two outs. They didn't stay loaded long. Jerry Wood's single scored Greg and Andrew Wood and Andrew Dangin's single scored Matt Taby and Saint Nicholas suddenly had a 4-0 lead. Both team's offenses then completely disappeared. Grace Brethren finally broke the scoring drought with 1 run in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 4-1. Neither team scored in the fifth inning. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Greg Bandelow, Andrew Wood, and Matt Taby walked to load the bases. Jerry Wood singled in Greg to boost Saint Nicholas's lead to 5-1. Grace Brethren did not score in the bottom of the sixth nor did Saint Nicholas in the top of the seventh. Grace Brethren's first batter in the bottom of the seventh homered. But, the next three batters made out and Saint Nicholas emerged with a 5-2 win.


Saint Nicholas advanced to the loser's bracket final with that win. The opponent between Saint Nicholas and the championship game was #2 seed Jesus the Divine Word #2 who had swept a doubleheader from Saint Nicholas the Sunday before the tournament. Given that this was to be Saint Nicholas's third game in a row and fifth of the day and that JDW2 (and Dunkirk Baptist) were considered by most people in the league to be a cut above the rest of the teams, most observers felt JDW2 would win this game and most likely win easily. It was anything but easy. Dave Hickin and Austin Owens singled to start the game. After a double-play left Dave at third with two outs, Greg Bandelow's clutch single scored Dave to give Saint Nicholas a 1-0 lead. Nobody scored until the bottom of the second when JDW2 scored twice to jump in front 2-1. Neither team scored in the third inning. JDW2 got a solo homerun in the bottom of the fourth to up their lead to 3-1. Jerry Wood singled to start the top of the fifth. Keith Williams reached base on an error moving Jerry to second. Andrew Dangin singled to load the bases. David Buffin singled home Jerry and Keith to tie the game. Travis Kendall singled home Andrew to give Saint Nicholas the lead. Tom Blatt singled home David and Saint Nicholas held a 5-3 lead. JDW2 went scoreless in the bottom of the fifth. Neither team scored in the sixth inning. Saint Nicholas failed to score in the top of the seventh. JDW2 scored 1 run and had a runner on second with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. JDW2 came through with a double and a single to win the game in heart-breaking style, 6-5.


Being one out away from pulling off a huge upset and getting to the championship game and then seeing the lead and the game slip away was devastating. But, after allowing some time to pass, the reality of what the team had accomplished settled in. We beat the two teams in the tournament the seedings said we were supposed to beat. We knocked off the #3 and #4 seeds. And we gave the #1 and #2 seeds, the teams everybody said were a cut above the rest, all they could handle and then some. Finishing the tournament with a 4-2 record and in 3rd place is a tremendous feat. I am very proud of what the team accomplished this year, both in the regular season and in the tournament. It truly was a total team effort as everybody who played made a significant contribution at some point during the year. THANKS GUYS for a GREAT 2016!! Hope to see you back on the field in 2017!!

July 24 vs Jesus the divine Word #2

The last doubleheader of the 2016 regular season and the second tough doubleheader of the weekend was against second place Jesus the Divine Word #2. JDW2 had only lost 2 games coming into the doubleheader. They did not add to that loss total as they swept both games of the doubleheader 20-12 and 12-3.


JDW2 got a run in the top of the first inning of game one to take a quick 1-0 lead. Dave Hickin walked and Austin Owens and Thad Bowman singled to load the bases with nobody out to start the bottom of the first. Cliff Price's groundball scored Dave to tie the game. After Andrew Wood walked, Jerry Wood singled home Cliff to give Saint Nicholas a 2-1 lead. The lead didn't last long as JDW2 scored 6 times in the top of the second to go back in front 7-2. While Saint Nicholas went scoreless for a few innings, JDW2 added 2 runs in the fourth and 1 more run in the fifth to stretch their lead to 10-2. Brian Owens and Tom Blatt scored on Austin Owens's double in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to 10-4. JDW2 answered with 4 runs in the top of the sixth to increase their lead to 14-4. Needing one run to keep the game going, Saint Nicholas pounded out 5 hits and picked up a walk and a couple JDW2 errors to score 8 runs and make the score 14-12. Not phased at all by the Saint Nicholas explosion, JDW2 promptly scored 6 runs in the top of the seventh to open the lead to 20-12. Saint Nicholas could not score in the bottom of the seventh and JDW2 won 20-12.


Saint Nicholas did not score in the top of the first of game two. JDW2 punched across 2 runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead. Saint Nicholas failed to score in the top of the second. JDW2 added 2 more runs in the bottom of the second to double their lead to 4-0. With one out in the top of the third, Tom Blatt and Dave Hickin walked. Austin Owens followed with a double to score Tom and make the score 4-1. JDW2 did not score in the bottom of the third. Neither did Saint Nicholas score in the top of the fourth. JDW2 exploded for 7 runs in the bottom of the fourth to increase their lead to 11-1. Tom Blatt and Dave Hickin singled and scored in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to 11-3. JDW2 didn't score in the bottom of the fifth nor did Saint Nicholas in the top of the sixth. JDW2 added 1 more run in the bottom of the sixth to push their lead to 12-3. That was the final score as Saint Nicholas failed to score in the bottom of the seventh.


Everybody in Saint Nicholas's 10-man lineup scored at least one run during the doubleheader. Dave Hickin and Tom Blatt scored 3 runs each and Brian Owens added two runs scored.

July 23 vs Grace Brethren

The Saint Nicholas softball team had a tough schedule on this last weekend of the regular season. First up was third place Grace Brethren, who had only 3 losses coming into the weekend. Grace Brethren ended Saturday of that weekend with 4 losses as the two teams split the doubleheader. Grace Brethren won the first game 11-1. Saint Nicholas prevailed in the second game 6-4.


Saint Nicholas was the away team in game one and did not score in the top of the first. In the bottom of the first, Grace Brethren sent 13 batters to the plate, scoring 8 runs to explode to an early 8-0 lead. Jerry Wood led off the top of the second with a single and advanced to third on Austin Wood's single. Jim Felbinger's sacrifice fly scored Jerry to get Saint Nicholas on the board. Unfortunately, that was the only run Saint Nicholas could muster. Grace Brethren added a single run in the third and two more in the sixth to coast to their 11-1 win.


Grace Brethren picked up right where they left off in game two, scoring 3 runs in the top of the first to grab a quick 3-0 lead. Dave Hickin singled to lead off the bottom of the first. Thad Bowman reached on an error. Jerry Wood followed with a double to score Dave. One out later, Andrew Wood singled home Thad and Jerry to tie the game at 3-3. Grace Brethren did not score in the top of the second. Nick Demme, Cliff Price, and Tom Blatt singled to load the bases to start the bottom of the second. Dave Hickin's groundout scored Nick and one out later Jerry Wood singled home Cliff to give Saint Nicholas a 5-3 lead. Neither team scored in the third or fourth innings. Grace Brethren scored once in the top of the fifth to cut their deficit to 5-4. Some poor Grace Brethren fielding led to a Saint Nicholas run in the bottom of the fifth to push the lead back to two, 6-4. Neither team scored the rest of the way and Saint Nicholas held on for the 6-4 victory.

Jerry Wood banged out 5 hits to easily lead Saint Nicholas on a day where offense was hard to come by. Jerry also scored 3 of the 7 runs Saint Nicholas scored in the doubleheader.


July 17 vs Calvert County Baptist

Doubleheader number two on this hot and humid July 17 featured Calvert County Baptist as the opponent. Though drained by the sun and heat, the Saint Nicholas team of twelve (with no substitutes!!) performed well in sweeping the doubleheader 10-4 and 11-0. The two wins pushed Saint Nicholas's record to 12-6-2 for the 2016 regular season with 4 games to go.


Dave Hickin and Austin Owens both singled to start to the top of the first of game one. Andrew Wood hit a fly ball to left center that was dropped and the bases were loaded. Josh Smith singled to right to score Dave and Austin. Andrew came home to score on the right fielder's error and Saint Nicholas jumped in front 3-0. Calvert County Baptist did not score in the bottom of the first. Neither did Saint Nicholas score in the top of the second. Calvert County Baptist tied the score at 3-3 with 3 runs in the bottom of the second. Tom Blatt singled to start the top of the third and scored on an Austin Owen's hit to put Saint Nicholas back in front 4-3. Calvert County Baptist did not score in the bottom of the third. Neither team scored in the fourth inning. Saint Nicholas erupted for 6 runs in the top of the fifth to increase their lead to 10-3. Calvert County Baptist did not score in the bottom of the fifth. Neither team scored in the sixth inning. Saint Nicholas failed to score in the top of the seventh. Calvert County Baptist scored 1 run in the bottom of the seventh. The game ended with a 10-4 Saint Nicholas victory.


Calvert County Baptist did not score in the top of the first inning of game two. Dave Hickin and Austin Owens singled to start the bottom of the first. Andrew Wood cleared the bases with a triple and scored when Josh Smith followed with a double. Greg Bandelow singled to score Josh and Saint Nicholas had a quick 4-0 lead. Calvert County Baptist failed to score in the top of the second. With one out, Cliff Price walked and Tom Blatt singled. Dave Hickin's fielder's choice left runners on first and third. Austin Owens doubled home Cliff and Dave. Andrew Wood followed with a singled to score Austin and Saint Nicholas held a 7-0 lead. Once again, Calvert County Baptist came up empty in the top of the third. Saint Nicholas tacked on 2 runs in the bottom of the third and 2 more in the bottom of the fourth to take an 11-0 lead. Calvert County Baptist did not score in the top of the fifth and Saint Nicholas completed the doubleheader sweep with an 11-0 win.


Austin Owens led the team with 4 runs scored. Dave Hickin and Andrew Wood scored 3 runs each.

July 17 vs First Baptist

Sunday July 17 was sunny, hot, and humid - definitely NOT the ideal day for back-to-back doubleheaders. Nonetheless, that's what the Saint Nicholas softball team had in front of it as its task for this day. The opening doubleheader featured First Baptist as the opponent. Though First Baptist was handicapped by having just 9 players, they battled Saint Nicholas tooth and nail. In the end, Saint Nicholas emerged with a 12-5 win and an 11-11 tie.


Saint Nicholas struck right away in the top of the first of game one. Dave Hickin singled, Austin Owens walked, and Andrew Wood singled to load the bases. Greg Bandelow drove in Dave with a sacrifice fly. One out later, Andrew Dangin singled home Austin and Saint Nicholas had a 2-0 lead. First Baptist did not score in the bottom of the first. Neither team scored in the second inning. With one out in the top of the third, Greg Bandelow, Jerry Wood, and Andrew Dangin drew consecutive walks. David Buffin walked to force home Greg. Then, Nick Demme's ground out scored Jerry giving Saint Nicholas a 4-0 lead. First Baptist again went scoreless in the bottom of the third as did Saint Nicholas in the top of the fourth inning. First Baptist finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth scoring 3 runs to make it a one run game, 4-3. Andrew Wood, Greg Bandelow, and Jerry Wood all singled to load the bases to start the top of the fifth. Andrew Dangin's ground out scored Andrew Wood. David Buffin followed with a single to score Greg and boost Saint Nicholas's lead to 6-3. First Baptist immediately answered in the bottom of the fifth with 2 runs of their own to again pull within one run, 6-5. Cliff Price reached base on an error to start the top of the sixth. Dave Hickin followed with a single. Then, Austin Owens cleared the bases with a triple. Andrew Wood's single scored Austin. Greg Bandelow followed with a single and Jerry Wood singled home Andrew. Andrew Dangin's ground out scored Greg and Saint Nicholas now had an 11-5 lead. First Baptist failed to score in the bottom of the sixth. Bryan Mullins led off the top of the seventh with a walk and eventually scored on Andrew Wood's two-out single to increase Saint Nicholas's lead to 12-5. That's the way the game ended when First Baptist failed to score in the bottom of the seventh.


First Baptist got off to a much faster start in game two scoring twice in the top of the first to jump in front 2-0. Dave Hickin, Austin Owens, and Andrew Wood drew consecutive walks to start the bottom of the first. Josh Smith then singled to score Dave and Austin to tie the game. Greg Bandelow's ground out scored Andrew and gave Saint Nicholas a 3-2 lead. The lead didn't last long as First Baptist scored 4 runs in the top of the second (aided by 4 Saint Nicholas errors) to jump back in front 6-3. Saint Nicholas did not score in the bottom of the second nor did First Baptist score in the top of the third. Cliff Price walked and Tom Blatt singled to start the bottom of the third. After a fielder's choice, Austin Owens doubled to score Cliff and send Dave Hickin to third. Andrew Wood's single scored Dave and sent Austin to third. With two outs, Andrew Dangin singled home Austin and Saint Nicholas had a 7-6 lead. First Baptist answered those 4 runs with 4 of their own in the top of the fourth to retake the lead, 10-7. Saint Nicholas did not score in the bottom of the fourth. First Baptist scored 1 run in the top of the fifth to push their lead to 11-7. Saint Nicholas failed to score in the bottom of the fifth as did First Baptist in the top of the sixth. Jerry Wood and Andrew Dangin walked to start the bottom of the sixth. After a fielder's choice, Nick Demme singled home Jerry. Bryan Mullins walked to load the bases. Cliff Price and Tom Blatt both walked, each forcing home a run. Then, Dave Hickin's ground out scored Bryan to tie the game. At that point, the umpire announced that this would be the last inning because the game's time limit had been exceeded. Austin Owens walked to load the bases again. But, Saint Nicholas couldn't get one more run home and the game ended in an 11-11 tie.


Austin Owens had 3 hits and 4 walks to lead Saint Nicholas for the doubleheader. Andrew Wood had 5 hits and 1 walk and Dave Hickin had 4 hits and 2 walks. Dave Hickin, Austin Owens, and Andrew Wood led the team with 4 runs scored each. Greg Bandelow scored 3 runs. Andrew Dangin and Austin Owens each had 4 RBIs and Andrew Wood chipped in 3 RBIs. After a frustrating start to his season, Nick Demme came through with a pair of clutch singles for Saint Nicholas.

June 25 vs Grace Chapel Ministries

Saint Nicholas's 8-game winning streak came to an abrupt end at the hands of Grace Chapel Ministries on June 25. Lack of offense was the primary culprit as Saint Nicholas only managed to plate 8 runs in the entire doubleheader, losing 8-6 and 15-2.


Game one got off to a slow start with neither team scoring in the first inning. Jerry Wood singled, Travis Kendall walked, and Austin Wood singled to load the bases to start the top of the second. David Buffin's fielder's choice scored Jerry to give Saint Nicholas a 1-0 lead. Jim Felbinger followed with a single to score Travis. With two outs, Tom Blatt scored David with a single to give Saint Nicholas a 3-0 lead. Grace Chapel bounced right back with 3 runs of their own to tie the game at 3-3 after two innings. Neither team scored in the third inning. Saint Nicholas failed to score in the top of the fourth. Grace Chapel picked up 1 run in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-3 lead. Tom Blatt singled with one out in the top of the fifth. Dave Hickin followed with a single and then Matt Taby doubled to score Tom. One out later, Josh Smith drove home both Dave and Matt and Saint Nicholas held a 6-4 lead. Grace Chapel added 1 run in the bottom of the fifth to cut Saint Nicholas's lead to 6-5. Saint Nicholas did not score in the top of the sixth. Grace Chapel scored 3 runs in the bottom of the sixth to go back in front 8-6. Saint Nicholas could not score in the top of the seventh and Grace Chapel pulled out an 8-6 win.


Game two started out the same way as game one with neither team scoring in the first inning. Grace Chapel exploded for 8 runs in the top of the second to take an 8-0 lead. Andrew Dangin led off the bottom of the second with a walk and later scored to make the score 8-1. Grace Chapel scored two runs in the top of the third to increase their lead to 10-1. Saint Nicholas failed to score in the bottom of the third. Grace Chapel picked up another run in the top of the fourth to make the score 11-1. Travis Kendall walked to lead off the bottom of the fourth and eventually scored to cut the deficit to 11-2. Grace Chapel added 4 insurance runs in the top of the fifth to make the score 15-2. Saint Nicholas again failed to score in the bottom of the fifth and the game ended with a 15-2 Grace Chapel victory.


Tom Blatt had 3 hits and a walk and Jerry Wood had 2 hits and 2 walks to lead Saint Nicholas's offense. Matt Taby added 3 hits. Dave Hickin and Josh Smith both had 2 hits and a walk. Travis Kendall was the only player to score more than one run.

June 18 vs Our Lady Star of the Sea

On Saturday June 18, the Saint Nicholas softball team traveled south to Lusby and Cove Point Park for the first games away from Hallowing Point Park since the season opener in April. Our Lady Star of the Sea was the opponent for this doubleheader. Both teams agree - this doubleheader is one of the most looked forward to doubleheaders of the season. The reason - these two teams simply enjoy each other's company immensely. This night, Saint Nicholas would up on the plus side for the evening, winning the two games by scores of 9-2 and 8-2.


Our Lady Star of the Sea failed to score in the top of the first of game one. With one out in the bottom of the first, Matt Taby and Keith Williams both singled to put runners on first and second. After the second out, Andrew Wood singled home Matt and Keith scored on the right center fielder's error and Saint Nicholas held a 2-0 lead. Neither team scored in the second or the third innings. Our Lady tied the game at 2-2 with 2 runs in the top of the fourth. With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Dave Hickin's hit scored Bryan Mullins to put Saint Nicholas ahead 3-2. Matt Taby followed Dave's hit with a blast over the drawn-in outfield that went for a 3-run inside-the-park homerun pulling Saint Nicholas further ahead, 6-2. Our Lady did not score in the top of the fifth. Travis Kendall's ground ball scored Andrew Wood and Dave Hickin later singled home Travis to increase Saint Nicholas's lead to 8-2 after five innings. Our Lady went scoreless again in the top of the sixth. Jerry Wood singled home Andrew Wood in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 9-2. That became the final score as Our Lady Star of the Sea did not score in the top of the seventh inning.


Saint Nicholas got off to a quick start in the top of the first of game two. With one out, Matt Taby singled. Matt reached second when the second baseman dropped the throw on Keith Williams's ground ball. After the second out, Andrew Wood singled home Matt. Jerry Wood followed with a bases clearing triple to give Saint Nicholas a 3-0 lead. Our Lady Star of the Sea went scoreless in the bottom of the first. Just like game one, neither team scored in the second nor the third inning. Cliff Price reached via an error to lead off the top of the fourth. Andrew Wood and Jerry Wood singled to load the bases. Then, Travis Kendall hit a ground ball to the pitcher who promptly threw wildly to home. Keith Williams, pinch running for Cliff, and Andrew scored, Jerry wound up on third and Travis wound up on second. Austin Wood hit a sacrifice fly to score Jerry and give Saint Nicholas a 6-0 lead. Our Lady again went scoreless in the bottom of the fourth as did Saint Nicholas in the top of the fifth. Our Lady Star of the Sea finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth with 1 run making the score 6-1. David Buffin's 2-out, 2-run double in the top of the sixth scored Travis Kendall and Austin Wood to push Saint Nicholas's lead to 8-1. Our Lady did not score in the bottom of the sixth. Saint Nicholas did not score in the top of the seventh. Our Lady pushed 1 run across in the bottom of the seventh. But, the game ended with a Saint Nicholas 8-2 win.


Saint Nicholas did not have a great offensive night, but did get a very strong defensive effort in both games of the doubleheader. Dave Hickin, Matt Taby, Andrew Wood, and Jerry Wood all had 4 hits for the doubleheader. David Buffin, Bryan Mullin, and Tom Blatt chipped in 3 hits each. Andrew Wood led the team with 4 runs scored. Travis Kendall, Bryan Mullins, Matt Taby, and Keith Williams each scored twice. Matt Taby and Jerry Wood had 3 RBIs each. David Buffin, Dave Hickin, and Andrew Wood had 2 RBIs each.

June 12 vs New Life Church

The second of the back-to-back doubleheaders on June 12 was against New Life Church of LaPlata. This is New Life Church's first year in the Calvert County Christian Men's Softball League. Saint Nicholas kept the offense rolling following the Emmanuel doubleheader with a 29-9 win in game one. Game two featured a "comeback for the ages" by Saint Nicholas. Down 18-0 after the top of the second, Saint Nicholas pulled off a monumental turnaround to win 23-22.


Saint Nicholas got off to a good start in game one scoring 3 runs in the top of the first to jump in front 3-0. New Life promptly tied the game at 3-3 by scoring 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Saint Nicholas responded by putting its first 8 runners on base in the top of the second. All of them scored. Add in one more run during the inning and Saint Nicholas put up 9 runs in the top of the second to take a 12-3 lead. New Life did not score in the bottom of the second. Bryan Mullins walked with two outs to get the top of the third started. David Buffin followed with a single. Dave Hickin's single scored Bryan and Austin Owens's double scored David to boost Saint Nicholas's lead to 14-3. Once again, New Life did not score in its half of the inning. A 3-run top of the fourth featured Andrew Dangin's 2-run triple and pushed Saint Nicholas's lead to 17-3. New Life picked up 4 runs in the bottom of the fourth to close the gap to 17-7. In the top of the fifth, Saint Nicholas sent 17 batters to the plate. The first 12 batters reached bases. Eleven of them scored. After the dust settled, Saint Nicholas scored an even dozen runs in the top of the fifth to make the scored 29-7. New Life scored twice in the bottom of the fifth to make the final score 29-9. Special note: all 12 Saint Nicholas batters in the line-up scored at least 1 run AND had at least 1 RBI!


It became quickly obvious that New Life did not like getting clobbered in game one and meant to see that game two would have an entirely different result. New Life sent 18 batters to the plate in the top of the first. Thirteen of them scored to give New Life a 13-0 lead before Saint Nicholas came to bat. Saint Nicholas did not score in the bottom of the first. New Life tacked on 5 more runs in the top of the second to open up a commanding 18-0 lead. Saint Nicholas scored twice in the bottom of the second to make the score 18-2. New Life did not score in the top of the third. With two outs in the bottom of the third, hits by Matt Taby, Keith Williams, and Andrew Wood scored one run each, closing the gap a little to 18-5. New Life again failed to score in the top of the fourth. Saint Nicholas pushed 2 runs across the plate in the bottom of the fourth to again cut the lead a little, now 18-7. New Life got 1 run in the top of the fifth top increase their lead to 19-7. Saint Nicholas's first five batters got hits to start the bottom of the fifth. The first four scored to cut New Life's lead to 19-11. Again, New Life scored once in the top of the sixth to push their lead to 20-11. Then, Saint Nicholas exploded in the bottom of the sixth. The first seven batters reached base. All of the scored. Then, with two outs, pinch hitter Greg Bandelow singled to pull Saint Nicholas to with one run, 19-18. Pinch hitter Tom Blatt walked to load the bases. Then, Dave Hickin walked to force in the tying run. Austin Owens followed with a 2-run double giving Saint Nicholas a 22-20 lead. New Life promptly tied the game with 2 runs in the top of the seventh. They would have taken the lead except first baseman Keith Williams snagged a line drive and doubled the runner off first base of an unassisted doubleplay to end the inning. Cliff Price led off the bottom of the seventh with a single. After one out, Keith Williams singled pinch runner Josh Smith to second. Jerry Wood followed with a single to score Josh and give Saint Nicholas an incredible 23-22 comeback walk-off win.


Batting stars abounded up and down the line-up in these two games. Austin Owens and Keith Williams each banged out 7 hits in the doubleheader to lead the team. Matt Taby scored 6 runs. David Buffin, Josh Smith, and Keith Williams scored 5 runs each. Keith Williams had 7 RBIs in the doubleheader. Austin Owens and Josh Smith each had 6 RBIs. Jerry Wood added 5 RBIs.

June 12 vs Emmanuel Church

On Sunday June 12, Saint Nicholas opened the afternoon of back-to-back doubleheaders with two games versus Emmanuel Church. Saint Nicholas unleashed its best offensive attack for the season so far and defeated Emmanuel twice by the scores of 18-8 and 18-9.


The first game got off to a slow start as neither team scored in the first inning. The top of the second started well for Saint Nicholas when Matt Taby, Jerry Wood, and Andrew Wood all walked. Andrew Dangin's sacrifice fly was dropped allowing Matt to score and the bases to remain loaded. Andrew Wood's sacrifice fly scored Jerry. Then, Bryan Mullins hustled to beat out a potential doubleplay groundball to allow Andrew Wood to score, giving Saint Nicholas a 3-0 lead. Emmanuel did not score in the bottom of the second. Saint Nicholas exploded for 7 runs in the top of the third to increase the lead to 10-0. Austin Wood's bases loaded triple with two outs was the highlight of the big inning. Emmanuel again failed to score in its half of the third inning. Austin Owens led off the top of the fourth with a triple and scored on Josh Smith's sacrifice fly to give Saint Nicholas an 11-0 lead. Emmanuel finally got on the board with 3 runs in the bottom of the fourth to cut their deficit to 11-3. In the top of the fifth, Andrew Dangin doubled with one out and scored on Austin Wood's single to push Saint Nicholas's lead to 12-3. Emmanuel erupted for 5 runs in the bottom of the fifth closing the gap to just 12-8. However, Saint Nicholas bounced back scoring 6 runs in the top of the sixth to open up an 18-8 lead. Emmanuel did not score in the bottom of the sixth and the game ended in an 18-8 Saint Nicholas victory.


Game two started exactly the same way game one did as neither team scored in the first inning. Emmanuel did not score in the top of the second. David Buffin drove home Andrew Wood in the bottom of the second to put Saint Nicholas in front 1-0. After again holding Emmanuel scoreless, Saint Nicholas went wild in the bottom of the third, scoring 11 runs to push the lead to 12-0. Saint Nicholas sent 18 batters to the plate in that third inning. Emmanuel finally scored in the top of the fourth, picking up 6 runs to cut the Saint Nicholas lead to 12-6. Andrew Wood scored in the bottom of the fourth to increase the lead to 13-6. Emmanuel added 3 more runs in the top of the fifth to narrow the margin to 13-9. The first five batters in the bottom of the fifth got on base and scored for Saint Nicholas pushing the lead back to nine, 18-9. Neither team scored in the sixth or seventh innings resulting in Saint Nicholas's 18-9 win.


Just about everybody in the Saint Nicholas line-up had a good doubleheader. Special mention needs to be made of Austin Wood and Bryan Mullins. Austin reached base 6 of his 8 plate appearances in the doubleheader. He had 5 RBIs in the first game alone. Bryan reached base 3 of his 8 plate appearances. But, his hustle on the bases extended several innings for Saint Nicholas resulting in very important runs being scored. Austin Owens and Andrew Wood scored 5 runs each to lead Saint Nicholas. Josh Smith, Matt Taby, and Jerry Wood scored 4 runs each.

June 5 vs Jesus The divine Word #1

Saint Nicholas picked up two forfeit wins from Jesus the Divine Word #1 when they failed to field a team for the June 5 doubleheader. Harris Cooper received the phone call from Divine Word's coach a little over an hour before game time. Thanks to Harris and Dave Hickin, most of the team found out about the forfeit before leaving for the field. Hopefully, this will be the only forfeit Saint Nicholas will be involved with this year.

June 4 vs Dunkirk Baptist

After a five week layoff because of rainouts and holidays, the Saint Nicholas softball team drew a formidable foe in league-leading and undefeated Dunkirk Baptist. Saint Nicholas battled Dunkirk tooth and nail for all 14 innings of the doubleheader. In the end, Dunkirk hit better and fielded better leading to a 9-4, 11-6 sweep over Saint Nicholas.


Dunkirk Baptist wasted no time getting started in game one scoring a run in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead. Saint Nicholas failed to score in the bottom of the first. Unfortunately, that trend continued until the bottom of the sixth inning. In the meantime, Dunkirk added 3 runs in the third, 2 runs in the fifth, and 1 more run in the top of the sixth to hold a 7-0 lead. Tom Blatt, Dave Hickin, Keith Williams, and Greg Bandelow scored in the bottom of the sixth to break up the shutout and pull Saint Nicholas to within 3 runs, 7-4. Dunkirk added 2 insurance runs in the top of the seventh and held Saint Nicholas scoreless in the bottom of the seventh to complete their 9-4 win.


In the second game, it was Saint Nicholas's turn to get off to a good start. Keith Williams and Greg Bandelow both scored in the top of the first to give Saint Nicholas a quick 2-0 lead. Dunkirk responded immediately with 2 runs of their own to tie the game at 2-2 after the bottom of the first inning. Saint Nicholas bounced right back in the top of the second. Nick Demme, Dave Hickin, Austin Owens, and Keith Williams scored to give Saint Nicholas a 6-2 lead. Dunkirk failed to score in the bottom of the second. Unfortunately, Saint Nicholas would not score the rest of the game. Dunkirk exploded for 6 runs in the bottom of the third to take an 8-6 lead. They scored 3 more runs in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 11-6. That became the final score as nobody scored from the fifth inning on.


Keith Williams had the best night offensively for Saint Nicholas reaching base 6 of his 7 times at bat and scoring 3 runs. Greg Bandelow reached base 4 of his 7 times at bat and scored twice. Dave Hickin also scored 2 runs for Saint Nicholas.

April 23 vs First Lutheran

On April 23, the Saint Nicholas softball team took to the field against another long time rival, First Lutheran. The games with First Lutheran are always played with great sportsmanship and are often close, nail-biting affairs. These two games were no exception. First Lutheran came from behind late in game one to pull out a 13-11 win. Saint Nicholas opened up a see-saw affair late in game two and held on for a 9-5 win.


Saint Nicholas got off to a good start in game one. Keith Williams's two out hit drove home David Buffin and Jerry Wood to give Saint Nicholas a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first. First Lutheran did not score in the bottom of the first. Neither team scored in the second inning. In the top of the third, Tom Blatt reached base on an error with one out. Consecutive hits from Dave Hickin and David Buffin scored Tom to give Saint Nicholas a 3-0 lead. First Lutheran struck back with a vengeance scoring 5 runs in the bottom of the third to jump in front, 5-3. Saint Nicholas came right back in the top of the fourth. Keith Williams, Andrew Wood, Cliff Price, Jim Felbinger, and Harris Cooper led off the inning with 5 straight singles to score 2 runs. After a fielder's choice left the bases loaded, Bryan Mullins drove home Jim with a sacrifice fly. With two outs, Matt Taby and Dave Hickin ripped back-to-back singles to drive home three more runs. When the dust settled, Saint Nicholas had scored 6 runs in the top of the fourth to go back in front, 9-5. First Lutheran closed the gap by scoring twice in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 9-7. Andrew Wood's sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth scored Jerry Wood to extend the lead to 10-7. First Lutheran failed to score in the bottom of the fifth as did Saint Nicholas in the top of the sixth. Then, First Lutheran put their first eight batters on base in the bottom of the sixth. Six of them scored and suddenly First Lutheran had a 13-10 lead. Consecutive two-out singles by Jerry Wood, Josh Smith, and Keith Williams scored one run, but that was as close as Saint Nicholas could get. Final score - First Lutheran 13, Saint Nicholas 11.


First Lutheran struck first in the second game, scoring 1 run in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead. Saint Nicholas did not score in the bottom of the first. Neither did First Lutheran score in the top of the second. Andrew Wood and Cliff Price scored in the bottom of the second to give Saint Nicholas a 2-1 lead. First Lutheran picked up 1 run in the top of the third to tie the game at 2-2. David Buffin scored in the bottom of the third to put Saint Nicholas back in front, 3-2. First Lutheran came right back with 2 runs in the top of the fourth to go back in front, 4-3. Jim Felbinger led off the bottom of the fourth with a ringing double to left center. Jim didn't score, but Harris Cooper and Austin Wood did to put Saint Nicholas in front once again, 5-4. Neither team scored in the fifth inning. First Lutheran went scoreless in the top of the sixth. Andrew Wood, Cliff Price, Harris Cooper, and Austin Wood all scored in the bottom of the sixth to stretch Saint Nicholas's lead to 9-4. First Lutheran managed to score 1 run in the top of the seventh. But, it was too little, too late and Saint Nicholas got its first win of the season by the score of 9-5.


Harris Cooper, Andrew Wood, Austin Wood, and Jerry Wood led the team with three runs scored in the doubleheader. David Buffin and Cliff Price each scored twice.

April 16 vs. Friendship UMC

Saint Nicholas opened up the 2016 campaign with Friendship United Methodist, the first team Saint Nicholas ever played in the Calvert County Christian Men's Softball League. In game 1, Friendship UMC overcame an early Saint Nicholas lead and pulled out an 11-5 win. Game 2 ended in a 19-19 tie after six innings because we ran up against the night time curfew at Dunkirk Park.


Game 1 got off to a good start as Friendship was held scoreless in the top of the first inning. Greg Bandelow's sacrifice fly scored Dave Hickin, who led off the inning with a walk, to put Saint Nicholas ahead 1-0. Two batters later, Jerry Wood's single drove in Matt Taby to give Saint Nicholas a 2-0 lead after one inning. Friendship got one run back in the top of the second to cut the lead to 2-1. Saint Nicholas failed to score in the bottom of the second. Aided by several errors, Friendship picked up 3 runs in the top of the third to take a 4-2 lead. Josh Smith knocked in Dave Hickin in the bottom of the third to pull Saint Nicholas to within one run, 4-3. Friendship got that run back in the top of the fourth to extend their lead to 5-3. Saint Nicholas came up empty in the bottom of the fourth. Friendship added 2 runs in the top of the fifth to take a 7-3 lead. Bryan Mullins and Harris Cooper scored in the bottom of the fifth to close the deficit to 7-5. But, that was a close as the score would get. Friendship tacked on 3 runs in the top of the sixth and 1 run in the top of the seventh while holding Saint Nicholas scoreless the rest of the way to grab the 11-5 win.


Just like game 1, Saint Nicholas struck early in game 2. Dave Hickin singled, David Buffin walked, and Matt Taby singled to load the bases with nobody out. Dave Hickin scored when Greg Bandelow grounded into a double play. Then, Josh Smith's fly ball to right was dropped allowing David Buffin to score giving Saint Nicholas a quick 2-0 lead. Friendship replied quickly scoring 5 runs in the bottom of the first to go in front 5-2. Keith Williams led off the top of the second with a double. Two outs later, Jim Felbinger singled home Keith. After a fielder's choice and a Bryan Mullins single loaded the bases, Dave Hickin drew a walk to force home Jim and pull Saint Nicholas within one run, 5-4. Friendship scored 1 run in the bottom of the second to push their lead to 6-4. Helped by a number of Friendship errors along with three clutch hits in a row by Harris Cooper, Jim Felbinger, and Austin Wood, Saint Nicholas exploded for 7 runs in the top of the third to grab an 11-6 lead. Friendship bounced right back with 4 runs in the bottom of the third to pull within one run, 11-10. Not to be outdone, Saint Nicholas answered with 4 runs of their own in the top of the fourth to extend the lead to 15-10. Once again, Friendship scored 4 runs in the bottom of the fourth to again cut the lead to one run, 15-14. Saint Nicholas didn't score in the top of the fifth inning. Friendship scored one run in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 15-15. At that point, the umpire informed both teams that we were nearing the park's curfew and the sixth inning would be the last inning of the game. Josh Smith led off the top of the sixth by reaching on an error. Jerry Wood walked. Then, Keith Williams smacked his third double of the game to score Josh and put runners on second and third. Travis Kendall singled home Jerry. Then, Harris Cooper singled home Keith. Two batters later, Austin Wood beat out a potential double play ball to score Travis and Saint Nicholas took a 19-15 lead. With two outs and a runner on first, Friendship pounded out 4 consecutive clutch hits to tie the game at 19-19. Saint Nicholas finally got the third out and the game ended in a 19-19 tie.


Harris Cooper, Travis Kendall, Josh Smith, Matt Taby, and Keith Williams all had 4 hits for Saint Nicholas. Three of Keith's 4 hits were doubles. Dave Hickin added 3 hits and 2 walks. All 12 players in Saint Nicholas's lineup scored runs. Keith Williams led the way with 4 runs scored. Dave Hickin, Matt Taby, and Jerry Wood scored 3 runs each. Defensively, pitcher Harris Cooper had a very busy game one, ending up with 7 assists and putouts. In game two, David Buffin made a number of fine plays at second base.