Facing the biggest game of the season, Glenelg Country School coach Chris Garber handed the baseball to one of his youngest players, and the kid delivered.
Glenelg Country School won its first MIAA B Conference championship Sunday afternoon at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, shutting out Boys' Latin, 7-0, behind a complete game three-hitter by sophomore Dylan Farnella.
“Dylan has been doing it for us all year. He is a gamer. He's the type of kid who wants the baseball in a big situation, so we knew that we had a guy out there that was going to keep us in the game, that was going to fight and do everything he had to do,” Garber said of Farnella, who struck out six and walked two.
The Dragons loaded the bases with only one out in the second inning, but Lakers starter Harris Lipinski worked out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts.
In the fifth inning, though, Glenelg Country (19-2) broke through.
Logan Smith drew a leadoff walk, Cameron Clifton bunt singled, Miguel Flores hit an RBI triple, Colby Manekin and Will Seiferth hit back-to-back singles, Max Godwin drew a walk, Farnella hit an RBI groundball, Smith hit a two-run single and Clifton collected his second single of the inning before Boys Latin reliever Corey Gaines finally stopped the bleeding.
"It was everybody doing their own job ... I was telling Logan and Cameron just get on base, that's your job. And they did and I followed it up with a hit and I brought them in, it's everybody doing their job and we all came together," said Flores, one of only three seniors on the Dragons along with Clifton and Jack Dougherty. "Logan started it off with a big walk, Cameron came down with a big bunt to put base runners on base and put the pressure on them and then he left one over the plate and I drilled it. We just built off of that one after another, we just kept getting hits after that."
Glenelg Country sent 12 batters to the plate in the fifth, collecting six hits and two walks, and forcing Boys' Latin pitchers to throw 44 pitches.
“We had a rough inning where we walked the leadoff batter, didn't make a play on a bunt and then they hit some balls hard and that was the game,” said Boys' Latin coach Bill Greenwell, whose team won three elimination games, including a 6-5 upset of regular season champ St. Mary’s (25-3), to get to the championship round.
The Lakers got runners on first and second with one-out in the top of the seventh — on a walk by catcher Parker Yablon and a single by Peter Argo — but Farnella coaxed a double play ball to junior third baseman Will Seiferth to ignite the Dragons' celebration.
"I'm thrilled with the way I pitched today but I'm more satisfied with the team coming in, in the fifth inning with seven runs, giving me great run support, giving me confidence," Farnella said. "I knew we had a defense behind me ... we've been working since January in a warehouse to get here."
Glenelg Country School lost only twice this season: to Severn, 3-1, in March, and to St. Mary's, 6-5, on May 6.
Three sophomores and three juniors played for the Dragons in Sunday's win.
"I'm really excited for the future of the team ... hopefully we can build the program even more and get back here next year, that's what we're working toward," said Godwin, a junior.
BL (13-12) 000 000 0 – 0 3 1
GCS (19-2) 000 070 x – 7 7 1
Lipinski, Gaines (5) and Yablon.
Farnella and Godwin.
2B: BL — Smith.
3B: GCS — Flores.