Rec Sports Spotlight: Hampstead Black takes 13-14 baseball title

Rec Sports Spotlight: Hampstead Black takes 13-14 baseball title
Hampstead Black. Front Row: Jacob Gouge, Jamison Gouge, Lance Castro, Matiyos Theilman. Second Row: Ethan Williams, Bradley Rodski, Hunter Martin, Blake Brooks, Justin Pfoutz. Third Row: Jason Gouge, Matt Pfoutz, Chris Rodski, Jeff Martin. Not pictured: Won Stewart, Dalton Frock. (Courtesy photo)

The Hampstead Lions Club Baseball organization had three 13-14 teams in the Carroll County Rec Baseball League this year. They went a combined 32-10.

Hampstead Black had 17 of those wins and none of the losses. And it was champion.


After a 14-0 regular season, Black swept three playoff games. It clinched the title June 15 with a 5-3 victory over Charles Carroll at Hampstead Lions Park.

Coach Chris Rodski had an inkling he’d be good this year. Five of his 11 guys had played on the Hampstead White league champion squad of the year before.

He knew he had good pitching headed up by his son Bradley Rodski.

“I knew he would give me a lot of innings, and I had a deep pitching group that I knew would really help us this season,” Chris Rodski said.

He turned out to be correct — his team gave up only 55 runs this year while scoring 224.

“We had a tough top five in the batting order, and it was hard to get through them without giving up runs,” Rodski said. “The bottom of the order contributed too. A couple of them could have batted in the top five on a lot of other teams.”

His team batted .390, with eight of its 11 players batting over .300.

Hampstead took most of its regular-season games pretty easily, winning by an average of 10 runs. It was challenged only once, and that was by Charles Carroll in a mid-season game.

Rodski had expected that.

“We were 6- or 7-0, and they’d lost only once. They were a good team, and we knew they’d be tough,” he said.

The Hampstead coach proved correct, and his team eked out a 6-5 win. But that tough verdict gave Rodski and assistants Jason Gouge, Jeff Martin, and Matt Pfoutz the feeling they were with a winner.

“Once we took Charles Carroll out, I saw we were a step above a lot of the teams,” Rodski said.

Hampstead cruised to to the top with its 14-0 record, finishing four games head of Charles Carroll.

Ten Hampstead players went to the postseason; one couldn’t.


Dalton Frock, a good hitter during the year, broke his wrist sliding into home plate during a mid-season game. The youngster had to sit out.

Hampstead opened its playoffs June 9 with a 12-5 in over the Finksburg Astros. Matiyos Theilman wielded a booming bat in that one.

He hit an inside-the-park grand slam, and a two-run shot over the left-center field fence.

Jamison Gouge had two hits; Jacob Gouge, Bradley Rodski, Justin Pfoutz, and Ethan Williams each added one.

Playoff game two was really one to remember.

Hampstead led 6-4 in the fifth inning, but Manchester scored seven runs over the final three innings. It led 11-7 in the seventh and would have had another run if Hampstead center fielder Blake Brooks hadn’t thrown a Manchester runner out at the plate.

That lost run would prove critical.

Still, it led 11-7 with Hampstead coming to bat in the home seventh.

A single and two walks loaded the bases. Rodski drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs, and Lance Castro doubled home two more runs to cut the deficit to 11-10.

Pfoutz then crushed a double to deep left, scoring the tying and winning runs. Hampstead had won 12-11.

The championship game of June 15 fittingly matched the league’s two top teams, and Chris Rodski expected another tight one.

Each team scored two runs in the first inning. But pitchers Bradley Brodski, Theilman, and Jacob Gouge held Charles Carroll to one run thereafter.

Hampstead won it in the fifth with three runs.

Theilman doubled, Jamison Gouge singled, Rodski doubled, and Castro and Pfoutz each singled to score the three.

For Rodski, Pfoutz, Williams, Brooks and Martin who played on the previous year’s Hampstead champ, this was their second straight first place trophy.

“(The boys) were elated to win, and I was happy to take the championship,” Chris Rodski said. “The absolute highlight was our win over Manchester with two out in the seventh. Everybody thought (my players) had thrown in the towel, but they had an ability that nobody had seen until then.”

Next year, the Hampstead kids move up to the Stallions 15-18 league, and Brodski will be back coaching them. Not too long afterward, the boys move on to Manchester Valley High School, whose baseball faculty is probably eagerly awaiting their arrival even now.