Sparrows Point baseball takes down defending Class 2A state champion Glenelg, 7-3, to advance to state semifinals

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The Sparrows Point baseball team upset defending Class 2A state champion Glenelg in Friday's quarterfinals.

In the biggest game of its season, Sparrows Point coach Marc Kline knew exactly who he was giving the ball to on the mound.

Senior Logan Deene pitched against each of the Pointers’ toughest opponents this season and Glenelg, the defending Class 2A state champion, was next on that list.


He was the right man for the job.

Deene consistently got ahead of hitters and opened Friday’s 2A quarterfinal with five straight scoreless innings. He ultimately threw 6 1/3 innings, striking out eight and allowing three runs in the No. 7 seed Pointers’ 7-3 win over No. 2 Gladiators, clinching the program’s sixth state semifinal berth and first since 2018.


“Whatever college is getting him is getting a good one because he doesn’t flinch,” Kline said of Deene. “He cares about the team. He’s probably one of the best teammates on his team. You tell him that you’re sitting down today and not hitting and he says, ‘Whatever you need me to do.’ He’s been a pitcher only all year and has played maybe five innings. That was all for this moment right here. This is incredible.”

On the road in front of a large crowd, the Pointers (14-5) struck first with three second-inning runs, fueled by the bottom of the lineup. No. 8 hitter Cody Burkman delivered an RBI single, quickly followed by a double from Mason Funkhouser that drove in a run. Burkman also scored on the play on an errant throw that landed out of play.

With an early lead, Deene continued to build confidence, silencing the explosive Gladiators’ lineup.

“It feels amazing just not letting the pressure get to me,” Deene said. “The biggest key is drowning out all the things that they’re saying to me. I wouldn’t say it’s easy to block out the noise, but after hearing it for a while you got used to it.”

Nick Duvall settled in for the Gladiators and kept the Pointers off the board in the middle innings. Glenelg mounted its best rally in the bottom of the fifth. Attempting a hit-and-run, Alfonse Dello Russo hit a grounder near where Josh Hull was attempting to steal. The umpires gathered together and ruled that Hull interfered on the play. It brought an end to the inning and also halted the Gladiators’ momentum.

“We respected the heck out of them and we thought that if we could get up early, that was our shot to put them away,” Glenelg coach Steve Tiffany said. “The flip side happened and we were down three. I was confident that our kids would battle and grind. Trailing by three, it’s hard to give away outs and it’s hard to do some things when you’re chasing runs.

“Then, what happened in the fifth inning, I tried to tell our kids, ‘You’ve just got to live in the moment and keep grinding, regardless of what you think of the call.’ We’ve ultimately got to respect what they decide and continue playing.”

They were unable to recover as Sparrows Point added to its lead in the sixth. Glenelg (18-3) reliever Jackson Kelley struggled with his command, hitting three batters and also throwing a wild pitch. The Pointers took advantage with four runs in the frame as Funkhouser’s suicide squeeze was their lone hit, scoring the other three runs on a hit-by-pitch, wild pitch and sacrifice fly.


Down by seven, Glenelg mounted a brief rally in the sixth with a pair of runs on RBIs from Ben Pearcy and Nick Bilotto. However, Deene quickly buckled down and struck out Riley Suszkiw and Nick Emig to get out of the jam. After Deene retired the opening batter in the seventh, the Gladiators strung together three consecutive singles.

That ended his strong outing, but fellow senior Ryan Zickefoose came in to shut the door. He immediately got back-to-back outs, striking out Duvall to put the finishing touches on the win.

“I couldn’t even tell you, just being able to play at least one more day,” Zickefoose said. “That’s what we live for, no matter what. Any day on the baseball field is great. You can’t beat it.”

Deene added: “It’s just unmatchable, an amazing feeling.”

The Pointers then gathered on the first base line around Kline where the coach excitedly informed them “Guess what we’ve got on Monday? Practice,” which was quickly followed by a rousing applause.