Baseball: 'Hoo-rah' for Century seniors in Brooks Robinson All-Star Game

Pat Stoetzer
Contact ReporterCarroll County Times

No school had more representation in Sunday’s Brooks Robinson High School All-Star Game than Century, which fielded four players playing on the North Team in the annual event at Camden Yards.

Each of the Knights got their share of action, but a long yet exciting day came to an end with the South Team winning 6-5. The result mattered little, however, to a group of teammates that accomplished quite a bit this spring.

“It felt like another ‘hoo-rah,’” said Jeremy Lapp, who pitched Century to the Class 2A state championship three weeks ago. “From states and then we’re playing an all-star game at Camden Yards, it feels … like a team.”

Century went 20-3 this season and won Carroll County Athletic League and 2A West Region titles before capturing its first state crown by beating La Plata 4-1 on May 26 at Ripken Stadium. The Knights had five players earn Times first-team all-county honors, and four of them were chosen to play in the Brooks Robinson game — Lapp, infielders Nathanael Hibbs (the Times Player of the Year) and Ethan Kiple, and catcher Michael Marrale.

All-stars from both teams were recognized in a ceremony before Sunday’s Marlins-Orioles game. Each player received a ceremonial bat and handshakes from Orioles outfielder Joey Rickard and Brooks Robinson himself — the 81-year-old Hall of Famer spent some of his Father’s Day at the ballpark.

The players watched the first few innings of the Orioles game while eating lunch indoors, then came out to catch a few more innings from the upper deck in right field.

“It was amazing coming out here,” Hibbs said. “I’ve never been on a field this nice. I definitely soaked it in.”

Hibbs and his North squad were the visitors and took over the third-base dugout. Hibbs, Kiple, and Marrale each started, with Lapp coming on to pitch the sixth and seventh innings.

Marrale walked twice and scored a run in the fifth inning to give the North a 3-2 lead.

Kiple went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. Hibbs had a single and reached base twice — he stole second base in the sixth and late scored to cut the South’s lead to 6-4.

Lapp entered with his team behind 6-5 and tossed two scoreless innings with three strikeouts.

The South side batted in the seventh despite being the home team with the lead, and each team fielded a 10-man batting order.

Marrale said he didn’t have too many jitters because the stands weren’t filled like they would be for a professional game, although the Old Dominion-bound catcher was supposed to be the North’s lead-off batter. But Marrale said he had to, well, be comfortable enough to bat.

He came up second instead, he said, because he was seated in the bathroom just before the game started.

“I wasn’t nervous at all,” Marrale said, smiling. “Hey, I’m just being honest.”

Marrale’s teammates laughed with him as they stood on the dirt outside the dugout following the game. The team photos had already taken place, and players were grabbing their equipment and heading for the concourse level of Camden Yards to meet with family and friends.

The game marked the last time Hibbs, Kiple, Lapp, and Marrale wore a Century uniform together. College ball comes next for each player — Eckerd College for Hibbs, Harford Community College for Kiple, West Virgnia for Lapp, and ODU for Marrale.

Kiple said the Knights have had some time to reflect on their achievements this year, and the Brooks Robinson game was a nice reward to mark the end of a successful spring.

“It was great. Our whole team got along and did stuff together,” Kiple said. “It was good to be out here one last time and play together.”

pat.stoetzer@carrollcountytimes.com

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