The most highly anticipated Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association 'B' Conference game of the season was worth the wait.
Originally scheduled for April 19, the game between Red Division leader Glenelg Country and Black Division leader St. Mary's was rescheduled until late April, and then rescheduled a second time due to rain.
When the two powerhouse teams did eventually meet on the diamond, May 6 at Glenelg Country, St. Mary's won, 6-5, to clinch the B Conference title and the top seed in the upcoming conference tournament.
"It got rained out the first time and it got rained out the second time so we've been looking forward to this game for awhile," said junior Will Seiferth, who was 2-for-3 with a walk, a run and a stolen base. "It was a good, hard-fought game. We knew we needed this to be ready for the playoffs and we'll come back strong."
The Dragons took an early 3-0 lead behind the strong pitching of sophomore Dylan Farnella, who struck out seven batters and allowed only four baserunners on two walks and two hits through the first four innings.
"We came out a little flat from the get-go ... we've played a lot of games in a lot of days and our guys have been tired and beat up a little bit," St. Mary's third-year coach Johnny Poss said. "And with the goal at hand today they stepped up after they got knocked down and showed me what kind of character they have."
The Saints came alive in the top of the fifth, scoring four runs to take the lead on singles by outfielders Ryan Davis and Michael Abbott, a big two-run triple by shortstop Christian Bloesl, a throwing error and a solo home run by designated hitter Kenny Armiger.
"We like to put pressure on teams," said Poss, whose team has now won 19 games in a row after a 5-1 loss at Pallotti on March 22, the same day that Glenelg Country sustained its only loss, against Severn. "It's tough to do when you're behind, but we had that big inning which gave us an opportunity to put some pressure back on them."
And just like St. Mary's, Glenelg Country showed why it is a division leader, immediately answering the Saints' rally.
In the bottom of the fifth, Dragons catcher Max Godwin hit a leadoff single, stole second and scored on an RBI single by second baseman Logan Smith to tie the game back up at four.
Then, in the bottom of the sixth, Glenelg Country reclaimed the lead when sophomore shortstop Colby Manekin hit a leadoff single, advanced to second on Seiferth's single, then scored on a clutch two-out base hit by Farnella.
"We were very happy to play a very good baseball game against a very good team, it gave us an opportunity to see if we could stand up against a really good team with pressure, and when they came back and took the lead we answered the call and went back ahead," said Glenelg Country coach Chris Garber. "I was proud of the guys for not giving in and not giving up at that point, and just continuing to battle."
But unfortunately for the Dragons, St. Mary's still had one rally left.
In the top of the seventh, Saints leadoff hitter Michael Abbott drew a walk, stole second, stole third and then scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Then Armiger drove in Jimmy Hegarty with a base hit to push St. Mary's back ahead.
Glenelg Country senior Cameron Clifton got on board in the bottom of the seventh, but was stranded at first after a pair of pop outs.
The conference playoffs begin on May 10, and both coaches anticipate a rematch.
"They're a great ball club, and they're on top of their division for a reason as well," Poss said. "I have a funny feeling we may run into each other again."
And while Garber regretted the missed opportunity to clinch the conference title on senior day, he and his Dragons still have bigger goals ahead.
"The record goes back to 0-0 here real quick and then it's what you do in the playoffs," he said. "I told the guys, that one we can put in the history books now, now let's start rewriting the future, and taking care of what's in front of us."
SM (12-1) 000 040 2 - 6 6
GCS (12-2) 101 111 0 - 5 11
Gorski, Whitehead (6) and O'Neil.
Farnella, Dougherty (6) and Godwin.
2B: SM — Hegarty.
3B: SM — Bloesl.
HR: SM — Armiger.
Seiferth's big day
In a 13-4 win at Lutheran last week, Glenelg Country junior Will Seiferth had the kind of game that 99.99 percent of players can only dream of: four at-bats, four two-run home runs, one intentional walk.
"It was fun. The guy in front of me kept getting on base so that inspired me to hit the ball," said Seiferth, who also plays travel ice hockey. "I wasn't trying to hit home runs, I was just trying to hit the ball up the middle and it was carrying that day and it just kept going."
County title still on the line
Despite losing three of its last four games, Oakland Mills still had a shot at its first county title after defeating Glenelg on May 6, 4-1, to improve to 12-4 in the league.
The win, combined with Atholton's 8-5 loss to Reservoir, forced a tie between the Scorpions and Raiders atop the county standings.
On May 7, too late for this edition, Atholton played at Wilde Lake (4-12) and Oakland Mills played at Reservoir (11-5), weather permitting, in a pair of regular season finale games to decide the county champion.