— One thing that has been clear over the years is the organizers of the Brooks Robinson All-Star Game do a good job of picking the teams to increase the likelihood of a close game.
This year was no different, as the teams were tied until the North scored a pair of runs in the top of seventh inning and held on for a 3-1 victory over the South in the 36th installment of the game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Sherwood's Brendan Collins singled in the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh and the North added an insurance run on a delayed steal of home. The South put a pair of runners on with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Sherwood's Josh Seils recorded the final two outs for the save.
Mark Lopez of Boys' Latin tripled and scored a run and was on base all three times and was named the Most Outstanding Hitter for the North.
"This was an incredible experience. It's like no other. You're at the best ballpark in the country," Lopez said. "There was a lot of Division I baseball players out here. It was great."
North starter Ryan Bywaters (Smithsburg) was named the Most Outstanding Pitcher for the North, which snapped a two-game losing streak in the series. Bywaters pitched two hitless innings and struck out four.
Arundel's Mack McKisson was one of just two players in the game who recorded a pair of hits and was named the Most Outstanding Hitter for the South. He tripled and scored the South's only run and added a single later in the game.
"My first at-bat, I was really nervous. Playing at Camden Yards really blew my mind," McKisson said. "In my second at-bat, I got a fastball down the middle and just swing as hard as I could. Playing Camden Yards, you might as well try."
The North opened the scoring in the top of the third. Lopez hit a one-out triple and scored on a single by Garrett Matheny (Calvert Hall).
The South answered in the bottom of the fourth when a pair of Anne Arundel County products teamed up to tie the game. McKisson led off the inning with a triple and scored on a Dillon Oxyer (Chesapeake) sacrifice fly to right.
The game remained tied at 1 until the top of the seventh when the North pushed across its two runs to secure the win.
For the most part, though, it was the pitchers' day. Each team used four pitchers and they helped the game moved along at a quick pace after it took the Orioles and the Red Sox a little more than three hours to finish their game.
Matt Glady of Severna Park, the only Anne Arundel County product on the North team, gave up one run on one hit and struck out three in his two innings.
"It was awesome coming out here," Glady said. "Especially after the Orioles game and Chris Sale was out on the mound. I've been to Orioles games before, but this was completely different."
Good Counsel's Ronnie Orie pitched a pair of hitless innings and earned the win for the North, which increased its advantage in the all-time series to 19-14-2. One of the games was rained out.
River Hill's Kieran Garner gave up a pair of hits in his two shutout innings, Archbishop Spalding's Jordan Geber gave up a run on three hits and Parkside's Sean Fisher pitched two shutout innings for the South. Arundel's Matt Moon threw out a runner trying to steal second for the South.
Sunday's game was one of the lowest-scoring in the series marked just the fifth time the teams combined for four runs or fewer.
"You have a lot of intelligent players out there who know what they're doing," said Chuck Gast (AACS), one of the coaches for the South. "We don't call any plays. They know the game well enough to know what to do in certain situations. It's a pleasure just to watch them make plays and think on their own."
WP: Orie; LP: Goron. SV: Seils. 3B: NO - Lopez, Bossi ; SO - McKisson. RBI: NO - Matheny, Collins; SO - Oxyer.