Top-seeded Glenelg (15-5) rallied for five runs in its final at-bat to defeat second-seeded Walkersville and win the Class 2A, Region I championship, 8-7, at Glenelg yesterday.
Glenelg advanced to Tuesday's state semifinals, where it will meet Wicomico at McCurdy Field or Dundalk Community College. Glenelg will be the No. 3 seed and Wicomico the No. 2 seed. Wicomico beat Fallston, 7-1, yesterday.
Jason Beall, who had only 16 at-bats and five hits this season, delivered the winning hit for Glenelg, an opposite-field single down the right-field line in his first at-bat that scored Mike Deming from second base.
"I was the seventh man up in the inning and didn't think I'd get a chance to bat," Beall said. "This is a little too much to take."
His hit, which touched off a victory celebration, came off Jason Rummel, Walkersville's third pitcher of the seventh inning and fourth of the game.
Rummel had three hits and three RBI for Walkersville (16-5) and played a spectacular defensive game at shortstop. Beall was the first batter he faced.
Glenelg coach Terry Coleman described his team as a "big-inning club" and was pleased with its comeback effort and Beall's clutch hit.
"Baseball is not Jason's best sport [he also plays basketball and football], but he is a special kind of kid
whom you can count on to make a contribution," Coleman said. "Mike Deming and Dave Gunter also gave us big hits today."
Deming drove in a run with a double in the third inning, and another run in the seventh with a bases-loaded walk. He also drove in three runs in Friday's semifinal win over North Carroll.
Gunter, a senior outfielder, drove in two runs in the seventh with a single to center that tied the score at 7. He also doubled in the fourth inning and was the winning pitcher in relief of starter David Lewis.
Gunter took over on the mound for Lewis with two outs in the sixth, and gave up a two-run single to Rummel, the first batter he faced. He walked the next hitter, but retired the final four batters he faced. Gunter is 2-0 with two saves.
Glenelg, which is batting .340 as a team and had 12 hits against Walkersville, started its winning rally with one out when Jamie Brinker was hit by a pitch. Brian Boteler, who was 3-for-3 with a walk, beat out an infield hit.
Mike Goldberg then hit a hard grounder to third that looked like a game-ending double-play ball. But it was booted for Walkersville's only error and the bases were loaded.
Kevin Curtin, who went 3-for-4, ripped a single to left to drive in Brinker. Then came Deming's walk and the singles by Gunter and Beall.