J. Armiger and Boys' Latin both hit it big yesterday.
Armiger went 5-for-5 with four RBI to pace a 20-hit Boys' Latin attack as the Lakers defeated host Lutheran, 17-10, for a 2-0 sweep of the best-of-three Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference championship series and their first title since 1983.
Boys' Latin, which made the championship round for five straight years from 1983 to 1987, finished 12-3. Lutheran ended up 8-6.
Armiger sizzled throughout the championship series, batting .875 (7-for-8) with two home runs and eight RBI. He hit both LTC home runs in the Lakers' 9-2 victory in Game 1. Yesterday, Armiger chipped in with three singles, two doubles and two runs.
DThe senior catcher struck the big blow in a five-run first inning, a two-run single that gave the Lakers a lead they never lost.
"I felt like I could get the barrel [of the bat] on the ball and drive it," said Armiger. "It got me fired up personally."
Boys' Latin used a quick start to put Lutheran into a deep hole. The Lakers scored five runs on four hits before making an out in the first inning.
"That was the difference," said Boys' Latin coach Jack Blinke. "That's the way we've played all year."
The Lakers knocked out Lutheran starter Rob Klarman after five batters. Klarman struggled with his control, walking two and giving up three hits before coach Tom Kolb relieved him with Curtis Miller.
The Lakers kept swinging, scoring two in the second and eight in the fourth for a 15-2 lead.
In the fourth, the Lakers sent 11 batters to the plate, and Phil Booker (two hits, four runs, two RBI) had two hits. He started the inning with a single and capped the scoring with a booming two-run homer over the fence in center field.
All nine Boys' Latin starters had at least one hit. No. 2 hitter Kraig Conley (three hits, three runs) scored a run with leadoff hitter Booker in the first, second and fourth. Alex Hill finished with three hits and two RBI, and Brian Devaney, who dedicated the season to his recently deceased grandfather, added two hits and two runs.
The Lakers also kept the pressure on by running aggressively. Boys' Latin finished with eight steals, including a double steal that brought in a run. Hill led the way with two steals.
Despite Boys' Latin's strong showing at the plate, Lutheran rallied. The Saints kept chipping away, cutting the lead to 15-10 at one point.
"We don't have guys who are going to crush the ball," said Kolb. "We only had one home run all year. We're a scrappy team. It's a testament to them that they could come back."
Miller led the Saints with four RBI. He hit a two-run single in the third and a two-run double in the fourth. Mike Coons added two hits and two RBI and Kevin Gundell had three walks and three runs. A strong relief effort from Joel Davis also kept the Saints within shouting distance.
"I just wanted to make sure we got the [victory]," said Armiger. "I wanted to make my mark on Boys' Latin."