Matt Bosse was about 5 feet from having the perfect first at-bat at Camden Yards.
The Calvert Hall graduate's ball sailed over the center fielder's head and landed just shy of the wall, 410 feet from the plate, for a double as Bosse helped the North squad to a 5-0 win over the South in the 30th annual Brooks Robinson All-Star Game of Maryland.
Bosse, a Calvert Hall graduate and self-proclaimed "huge" Orioles fan, said he didn't even get all of the ball.
"I was a little in front of it," he said. "I hit it on the end of the bat."
Bosse went 1-for-3 with a run and a walk, and starting pitcher Bobby Ruse — a C. Milton Wright senior who, like Bosse, is headed to Maryland — threw two scoreless innings to lead the North.
"I thought it was going to be a lot more high-scoring than that," Ruse said, "but I had a great defense behind me, so I wasn't too surprised."
The North scored the first run when right fielder Justin Fratantuono (Calvert Hall) came home after an error. The team pushed the lead to 2-0 in the fourth.
A two-out, two-run single by catcher Cody Harman (Westminster) during the North's three-run fifth inning put the game out of reach. Center fielder A.J. Lardo (Loyola) and left fielder Patrick Rogers (Mount St. Joseph) scored on the play.
Ruse wasn't the North's only standout pitcher, as T.J. Pipik (Reservoir), Shane Campbell (Kenwood) and Ryan Redinger of Mountain Ridge High in Allegany County were stellar as well, allowing a total of four hits in the shutout. South second baseman Ryan Metzler (Archbishop Spalding) went 2-for-2 with two singles and a walk in the loss.
But the festivities weren't all about the score. Many players were all smiles after the game.
"I was just trying to have a lot of fun out here. It was a good time," said Bosse, who added that it was special to play on the field of his favorite team. "It's my first time playing here. It's a great feeling. It was amazing to do it."
K.J. Hockaday, who starred at John Carroll and was the Orioles' 14th-round draft pick last week, was scheduled to play but sat out with a sprained ankle. He said the injury, which he suffered while rounding first in a game, is "not that bad" and should sideline him 3-5 weeks.
Hockaday wasn't worried about missing his first chance to play at the stadium he could someday call home.
"That day will come," Hockaday said. "I have a lot of friends out here I go to school with or play summer ball with. I was just out here to watch them play."