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St. Mary's baseball edges Boys' Latin to win MIAA B Conference championship

The good times ended Sunday for senior right-handed pitcher Dom Maggio against St. Mary¿s, a team capable of ruining anybody¿s baseball fun.

St. Mary's won its second consecutive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference baseball championship Sunday with a 6-4 victory over Boys' Latin at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.

St. Mary's coach Johnnny Poss handed the ball to a freshman to start the first championship game in the double-elimination tournament. Although some might have considered it a risky approach, Poss made the right decision.

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Right-hander Stephen Pelli picked up the victory by striking out eight batters and giving up two earned runs on five hits in six innings.

One of those hits was a solo run home by Boys' Latin senior designated hitter Robert Harchick.

"Stephen has been great all year,"  Poss said. "I have total confidence in all our pitchers. Stephen just happened to be the guy we went to today."

Boys' Latin senior right-hander Dom Maggio lasted only three innings. He yielded five earned runs on five hits, including a two-run homer to junior first baseman Max Hammond.

"I don't think Dom had his good stuff today," said Boys' Latin coach Bill Greenwell, whose players had their prom Saturday night. "He struggled a little bit, then we brought (ace) Skyler (Morris) in. He shut the door and we came back."

St. Mary's did all of its scoring in the first three innings.

The Saints (25-2) went ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning on the two-run homer Hammond hit over the right-field fence.

St. Mary's pushed across four more runs in the third on three singles, an error and a hit batsman. Hammond and Ben Rankin had run-scoring singles in the inning.

Morris, who will pitch at Towson University on a baseball scholarship next season, came on to pitch in the fourth and worked three scoreless innings. Only one batter reached base on him.

Boys' Latin's offense started to pick up in the fifth. Harchick smacked a ball down the left-field line over the 310-foot fence.

Then in the sixth, Boys' Latin pushed across two more runs on four consecutive singles to cut the advantage to 6-3.

"I have seen these kids for 25 games," Greenwell said. "I knew they were going to battle back. I knew they weren't going to quit."

Mark Lopez and Morris started off things with consecutive singles. The third batter, Maggio, who remained in the game at shortstop, singled to right-center field to bring home Lopez.

Josh Smith followed with a single to center field to score Morris.

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St. Mary's ace and junior right-hander Elliott Zoellner pitched the seventh, and he ran into some trouble.

Sam Bowen and Stephen Hill opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch.

When the next batter, Matt Purnell grounded out to third baseman Will Rankin, he threw home to get Bowen at the plate.

Lopez followed by popping up to short right field, but Hill scored on the play to make it 6-4.

Zoellner, however, ended the game by getting Morris to ground out.

"Boys' Latin showed what kind of team they are and just battled to the last out," Poss said.

It was the third loss to St. Mary's in four games this season.

"They are solid," Greenwell said. "They don't have any holes. They don't have any weaknesses. They have a lot of arms. Everybody in their lineup hits the ball."

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