CAMBRIDGE — It took around three hours, but Frank Whirley’s four weeks of doubt were erased when it was all over.
Dorchester American Legion Post 91’s head baseball coach had “been worried for a month” about his team’s suspended game against Wicomico Post 64.
That game on June 4 at Parkside High was suspended due to darkness in the bottom of the seventh with Wicomico batting, a man on first, and two outs.
In the end, though, Dorchester delivered Monday night, winning the suspended game 11-7 in eight innings, before crafting a 10-0 shutout of Post 64 in the regularly scheduled game at J. Edward Walter Jr. Park.
“We should’ve won that game a month ago,” Whirley said. “So, yeah, it bothered me. It bothered me a lot.
“We had the bases loaded, tie game, top of the seventh, and we had three guys, I think, come up,” Whirley recalled. “And I’m thinking, ‘OK, this is over.’ But — it wasn’t. We didn’t score.”
Wicomico didn’t score either, as it turned out, on Monday, as Dorchester right-handers Khalik Beasley and Ben Johnson shut the opposition down.
Dorchester improved to 9-1-1 overall, 5-1 in the Eastern Shore District’s South Division. Post 64 is now 4-6, 2-5.
Post 91 also clinched a berth in the divisional playoffs, which are slated to begin in about two weeks, against Worcester, which Dorchester visits at 7 p.m. in the teams’ last regular-season meeting.
Dorchester — 2-0 against Worcester — has two more divisional games against Somerset Post 94 left to play, as well as a tournament this weekend at Chesapeake College, against Laurel.
In the suspended game, Beasley got a quick grounder to third to end the Wicomico seventh, and in the top of the eighth, helped his team take a four-run lead.
Troy Turner led off the extra inning with a walk. One out later, Logan Middleton singled to left field. Beasley walked to load the bases, and Shamar Young followed with an RBI walk, putting Dorchester up 8-7.
It was all Post 91 needed, but Dylan Smith padded the lead with a single that scored Middleton and Beasley to make it 10-7. Noah Presley singled a moment later, scoring Young.
The four-run lead was more than enough for Beasley, who pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth to get the win.
In the nightcap, Beasley’s leadoff triple began a five-run bottom of the first which all but put the game out of reach. Young’s sacrifice fly to left made it 1-0. Presley’s two-run single four batters later put Post 91 ahead 3-0, before Ethan Peterman’s sacrifice fly made it 4-0. Middleton’s single brought in the fifth run and capped the rally.
Dorchester added a run in the second on a Ryan Teaman sac fly to left; a Jay Duey RBI ground out in the fourth made it 7-0.
Pinch-hitter Tommy Crain’s leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth started the final rally. Ryan Cheesman’s pinch-hit double put two in scoring position. Reliever Gene Williams almost got Wicomico out of the jam by retiring the next two hitters on strikes, but Young walked to load the bases. Smith walked, forcing in Crain, and a walk to Teaman scored Chessman for a 9-0 lead, putting Young, the potential game-ending run, at third.
He scored when Duey dropped a line drive into center field, ending the game by rout rule.
Dorchester’s sole loss was a 6-2 setback at Wicomico a week ago, thanks in large part to a five-run first inning.
“We just weren’t ready for that one,” Whirley said, “and we were missing about half our starting lineup. I don’t like to be that coach, who says, ‘well, we were missing a lot of guys,’ because you still have players. But tonight, you could see how well we play when we have everyone there.
“This is where I hoped we would be,” added Whirley, who’s now made the playoffs in each of his first three seasons at the helm. “It’s good. I knew we had some good ball players, and I knew we could win some games. We’ve just got to keep playing like we’ve been playing.”