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Baseball: 'Nothing like it in the world' for Carroll's MIAA all-stars

Gerstell's Matthew Szedlock and Matthew Nowakowski, and Chapelgate's Ryan Jordan, played in the President's Cup all-star high school baseball game June 5, 2018, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

Matt Nowakowski didn’t need words to describe where playing in Tuesday afternoon’s President’s Cup ranked among his career baseball moments.

Nowakowski, standing alongside Gerstell teammate Matthew Szedlock and Chapelgate Christian Academy’s Ryan Jordan, a fellow Carroll County native, raised his right hand and held it parallel to the brim of his cap, almost in a saluting motion.

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“No. 1,” said Nowakowski, who played with Szedlock and Jordan on the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association’s all-star team against a squad made up of Baltimore City Public Schools players at Camden Yards.

The MIAA team included players from the B and C conferences, and it put together a no-hit shutout against the BCPS team — Nowakowski and Jordan shared some of the pitching duties in an 11-0 victory.

“It was fantastic. A dream come true,” said Jordan, a Finksburg resident, who struck out four batters in two relief innings. “Everything just fell into place.”

MIAA All-Stars' Matthew Szedlock hits against Baltimore City Public Schools All-Stars in the fifth inning of the President's Cup all-star game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
MIAA All-Stars' Matthew Szedlock hits against Baltimore City Public Schools All-Stars in the fifth inning of the President's Cup all-star game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

All three Carroll representatives contributed in the MIAA all-stars’ victory. Szedlock had a single and an RBI in the fifth inning, part of his team’s six-run frame that gave MIAA a 7-0 lead. Nowakowski added a double and an RBI in the inning, and each Falcons player scored a run.

Szedlock, a Westminster resident, said not having played a competitive game in a few weeks led to some jitters early in the all-star game, but once the MIAA team started hitting Tuesday it became contagious.

“It was just about seeing the baseball after a long layoff,” he said. “And getting a good pitch to hit and driving it.”

The MIAA squad got triples from Cole Jarrett (Boys’ Latin), Jordan Mathis (Severn), Jake Rainess (Friends), and Matt Luterman (Boys’ Latin). AJ Javitt (St. John’s Catholic Prep) pitched the sixth and seventh innings and posted six strikeouts to help him earn Most Valuable Player honors for his side.

The MIAA team used four different pitchers in its no-hitter.

“It was fun to get to play with a lot of the kids we’ve been playing against for the past few years,” Szedlock said.

The MIAA team dominated with its pitching — Baltimore City struck out 16 times Tuesday.

Nowakowski, also from Westminster, posted two strikeouts in the fifth inning in relief of Jordan, who said he was relaxed on the mound during his two innings of work.

“Just throwing fastballs, hitting your spots,” Jordan said. “And then on the off-speed [pitches], just kind of make them dance a little bit.”

MIAA All-Stars' Matt Nowakowski pitches against Baltimore City Public Schools All-Stars in the President's Cup all-star game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
MIAA All-Stars' Matt Nowakowski pitches against Baltimore City Public Schools All-Stars in the President's Cup all-star game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

The all-star game was created by Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and held its inaugural game in 2011. Young was on hand Tuesday, and he presented the championship trophy to the MIAA squad after the game.

The players and their coaches posed with the hardware, then took turns dividing into the represntatives’ schools and holding the cup for more photographs. Each player also received medals for their performance.

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Nowakowski and Szedlock helped Gerstell make a run in the MIAA B playoffs this season. The Falcons (12-11) qualified for the postseason with a late surge, then reached the semifinals in the double-elimination tournament before losing in extra innings.

Jordan earned all-MIAA honors playing for Chapelgate (3-9) in the C Conference.

But the three Carroll players likely weren’t thinking Tuesday about accolades from their high school season. They did their best to take in as much of the President’s Cup experience as they could.

“Incredible. Speechless. Nothing like it in the world,” Nowakowski said. “When we were all walking out here in the first place, everyone had a smile on their face.”

MIAA 300 163 0 — 11 11 0

BCPS 000 000 0 — 0 0 1

M-Zach Barberich, Ryan Jordan (3), Matt Nowakowski (5), AJ Javitt (6) and Michael Fagan, Zeke Texter (5); B-Tyler Louis, Isaac Spokes (3), Xylan Morris (5), Spokes (5), Tyreek Carroll (6), Bryson Ziman (7) and Brandon Humphrey, Jace Geiger (3), Humphrey (7). 2B: M-Nowakowski. 3B: M-Cole Jarrett, Jordan Mathis, Jake Rainess, Matt Luterman.

MIAA All Stars' Ryan Jordan pitches against Baltimore City Public Schools All-Stars in the President's Cup all-star game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
MIAA All Stars' Ryan Jordan pitches against Baltimore City Public Schools All-Stars in the President's Cup all-star game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)
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