It was a little different for me this weekend watching Baltimore sports from afar. Before I start my countdown I want to congratulate my cousin Christine and her new husband Eric on getting married over the weekend. More details on the trip to Pittsburgh are below my top three events of the weekend. It was an incredibly busy weekend so let’s countdown the top three events.
Congratulations to the Maryland Terrapins and Loyola Greyhounds for advancing in the NCAA Quarterfinal lacrosse match-ups at Navy. I was able to catch the first quarter of the Hopkins vs. Maryland game and I knew that Hopkins was in trouble from the opening face-off. The Terps had much more energy and really took it to the Blue Jays. Maryland played their slow down style to a tee and really frustrated the Jays. The Terps defense held the Blue Jays to just 16 total shots and won the ground ball battle 28-16. The Blue Jays were plagued by turnovers and converted just 14-21 clears. Maryland lulled the Hopkins defense to sleep and then picked perfect times to go to the cage. The result was an 11-5 win and second consecutive trip to the Final Four.
Loyola jumped out to an early lead and then held on against a pesky Denver team. The Greyhounds got five goals from Eric Lusby and five other goal scorers in the win. The Greyhounds shared the ball well recording eight assists on 10 total goals. Loyola outshot Denver 48-31, won 17 of 22 face-offs and were a remarkable 4-10 on extra man opportunities. Maryland draws a rematch with Duke in Boston, while Loyola battles Notre Dame.
Our runner up this week is the Baltimore Orioles. The O’s took two of three from the Nationals down in D.C. Nick Markakis was the hero on Friday night when he blasted a game winning 11th inning Home run to the second deck in right field. It was great to see Nick come through in the clutch. Markakis went deep again, helping the O’s build a 6-0 lead on Saturday. Washington made it interesting when Jason Hammel faltered in the middle innings, but the O’s held on for the 6-5 victory. It was the first time since 2011 that a Nationals starting pitcher had given up six runs in a start (John Lannan Sept. 10th 2011). Meanwhile Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel were on their games against the Washington hitters. Arrieta bounced back from a couple of subpar starts to dominate the National hitters on Friday night. Arrieta’s curve ball was unhittable. Hammel breezed through his first four innings on Saturday night before the Nationals scratched across a run in the fifth, and then made it interesting by pushing three runs across in the sixth. Hammel only went 5 1/3 innings but after Luis Ayala allowed a couple of inherited runners to score the Oriole bullpen was able to hold on for the victory. Jim Johnson gave up a solo Homerun to Ryan Zimmerman in the ninth, but still picked up his American League leading 15th save. The Oriole bullpen has been great at holding leads and Pedro Strop and Johnson have been lights out in the eighth and ninth innings. It looked like the Orioles would sweep the series early on Sunday. Baltimore built a 3-0 lead on Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals would get to Wei-Yin Chen though as he made his worst start as an Oriole. Bryce Harper drove in two runs in the third on a triple that hit off the glove of right fielder Nick Markakis. Harper scored on a fielder’s choice two batters later to tie the game at three. Washington would take their first lead of the entire series in the fourth inning. Jesus Flores and Strasberg went back to back to give Washington a 5-3 lead and they cruised from there to a 9-3 victory. Give Strasberg some credit. His defense let him down for a second straight start when they failed to field a fly ball and helped the O’s build their 3-0 lead. Strasburg bared down however and shutout the Orioles the rest of the way. Overall it was a successful weekend for the Birds.
I’ll have another wins the 2012 Preakness. I didn’t get to watch the race until Sunday but it was well worth the wait. My cousin’s wedding was going on when the race started and I totally miscalculated the exact start time of the race. My whole family was planning on heading to the bar to watch the race and because of my miscalculation they ended up missing it. I am an early nominee for the Buzzhole of the week for that one. When I watched the race, even though I knew the outcome, I got goose bumps. What a race! I wasn’t even sure that I’ll Have Another was going to catch Bodemeister when I was watching the replay. It was a great performance by the California Colt and it will be a great three weeks leading up to the Belmont. How great would it be to see the first Triple Crown Winner since 1978? I posted the race below in case you missed it.
Best non sports event:
Of course it’s my cousin’s wedding. It was a fantastic ceremony and it was the longest reception that I have ever attended. It was a total of 5 ½ hours, and we did what we do best as you can see in the picture below.
The Ravens were well represented even though there were no brawls over the tie issue. The official count at the wedding was two Steeler ties and three Ravens ties.
How many times do you think you can say that at a Pittsburgh wedding? I can tell you that my relatives did have the DJ frustrated by saying Go Ravens every chance they could get on the microphone. It was an awesome trip and I can’t wait to get back in the studio on Monday. Until next time…