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Carroll County Times
Carroll County High School Sports

Liberty baseball posts 12-run second inning to beat Century, 15-2, for regional championship

On paper, the Class 2A West Region I championship game between neighbors Century and Liberty looked like a classic battle. The teams entered the game with identical 15-4 records and split their two regular-season matchups. Both were named Carroll County co-champions.

Unfortunately for the Knights, somebody forgot to tell Liberty this was supposed to be a battle.

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The Lions banged out 10 hits in a 12-run second inning to overwhelm Century, 15-2, to win the regional title.

Joe Glass led Liberty with three singles, while winning pitcher Dominic DeBlasi contributed a double and a single.

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The Lions now wait to see who and where they will play in Thursday’s 2A state quarterfinals, as the state reseeds the eight remaining teams after the regional championships.

“We have the capability to do that and just explode,” said Liberty manager Travis Inch, who won his first regional title in 11 years at the school. “We tell them just to keep it simple [at the plate], and to put the ball in play. That’s what we did.”

After Century starter Ryan Von Stein faced the minimum three batters in the bottom of the first, the Lions wasted little time getting to him in the second. Glass led off with a single and advanced on a walk to Quinn Petroski. Cam Hodges singled, scoring Glass and giving Liberty a 1-0 lead.

The Lions got another run when Petroski scored on a double steal with an overthrow into the outfield. Then Matthew Becker doubled, plating Hodges for a 3-0 lead. The Lions used singles by Ryan Smith and Anthony Zombro and an error to score three more runs, chasing Von Stein off the mound.

He was replaced by John Kasten, but he didn’t fare much better. He faced seven batters, giving up hits to five of them, walking another and recording one out. By the time the dust settled, Kasten was also removed and the Lions had an 11-0 lead.

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Century’s next pitcher, Jacob Naill, allowed another run when he hit a batter with the bases loaded, but then recorded the final out in the 18-batter inning.

Century managed to score two runs to cut the lead to 12-2 after the top of the third, but the Lions added three more in the bottom of the inning for the final margin.

“That was really crazy,” said DeBlasi, who left the mound after the top of the second in a 0-0 tie, and then returned in the third with a 12-0 lead. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that. I just couldn’t believe it. Century is a good team, so I never expected that. I knew I just had to stay within myself and keep throwing strikes.”

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Inch was more than pleased with DeBlasi’s effort on the mound.

“Dom is just one of those gamers,” Inch said. “He just goes about his business out there, and he never gets rattled. We talk about what he wants to throw and what’s working, and he just goes out there and executes.”

The Lions acknowledged that winning the title was a big accomplishment, but they also know that they are hungry for more.”

“Our motto is ‘We ain’t done yet,’ and I feel like there’s a whole lot more baseball left for us to play,” Inch said. “We don’t know what the future holds, but I told them let’s just go make some more noise like we did today.”


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