Team Maryland, a group of high school senior baseball players, have finished as semifinalists in the Perfect Game/EvoShield National Championships in Glendale, Ariz.
One of 56 teams competing, Maryland emerged as the No. 1 seed out of pool play, with a 5-0 record, before losing Monday's semifinal, 2-1, to Southern California.
"It was a great tournament and we can be proud of finishing as [one of the top] teams in the country," said Sean O'Connor, the team's general manager. "No Maryland team in the history of this tournament has done what we did. It's the highest finish by a Maryland team at any level ever at the Perfect Game Nationals."
The team, based in Baltimore, lost its semifinal game, 2-1, when the Southern California Bombers Black broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the seventh inning with a two-out triple to score what turned out to be the winning run.
"We have great pitching and great chemistry," O'Connor said. "They've bonded very well and we had the right draw and a little luck. It was a great opportunity for these guys to show who they are."
Maryland was one of just three teams from east of the Mississippi River.
Made up of rising seniors and juniors from around the state, the greater Baltimore area was represented on the team by pitchers Eli Ginsburg (Hereford), J.D. Caulkins (Archbishop Curley) and Toby Overstreet (North County); outfielders Greg Hauck (North County) and Andy Szamski (Eastern Tech); catcher Brian Parreira (Broadneck) and first baseman Nick Fisher (Chesapeake-AA).
A total of nine pitchers were used during the tournament. Together they compiled a 0.80 team ERA with 47 strikeouts in the first five games.
In the game that nailed down a semifinal spot, Ginsburg, a right-hander, threw six shutout innings, against Team California and then gave the ball to Overstreet, who completed the 4-0 shutout. Third baseman Carl Colbert (DeMatha) drove in three of the team's four runs, while Hauck had two steals and scored twice. Fisher contributed two singles in the victory.