Mount St. Joseph's could have lost its composure in the fourth inning Saturday afternoon at Oriole Park, but the Gaels withstood a six-run Gilman barrage and roared back to win the second annual President's Cup final, 12-11.
It was the second year the two teams met in the tournament's championship game. No. 2 Gilman won last year, but this time Mount St. Joseph would not be denied.
"When Gilman got that lead, we knew we needed to step up our game," said senior catcher Nick Payne, who had two doubles, a single, walked twice and scored twice. "We knew it was going to be this kind of game. And in the end, I guess we outplayed them."
The setting only enhanced the experience for the teams. There was Oriole Park and all the trappings of a Major League game. There was organ music, the Oriole's rally bugle call, and the big screen that displayed each player's picture , just like it's done in the majors .
Gavin Sheets, the son of Gilman coach and former Oriole Larry Sheets, said "It's really cool to play here, like Dad did."
Gaels first baseman Stephen Hostutler was named the game's most valuable player after he had three singles, a walk and scored twice.
"Getting up to bat, looking up and seeing yourself up there; I loved it," he said.
The game included a controversial call at first base with two outs that gave Gilman renewed life in the fourth and set it off on a six-run outburst and an 8-2 lead. But the Gaels answered with seven runs in the fifth to take a 9-8 lead.
"I was a little perturbed by the course of events," Mount St. Joseph coach Dave Norton said. "I absolutely thought [Gilman's Matt Collins] was out, but it was a judgment call and I had to accept it. I told the kids we've got three more at bats, let's see what's going to happen. But I would never have expected this."
The two teams used a total of nine pitchers. They totaled 30 hits and 23 runs. The Gael's Jordan Crawford scored the winning run and pitcher Peter Solomon got three straight outs, including two strikeouts, in the bottom of the last inning to seal the win.
Archbishop Curley's Zack Ridgely was name pitcher of the tournament. Ridgely threw a no-hitter against Friends in the second round and Digital Harbor's catcher Mike Corn won the heavy hitter award for his double against Gilman in the semifinal that gave his team the early lead in a 3-2 loss.