The Carroll County Rangers Blue 15- to 16-year-old baseball team claimed the Smoky Mountain Baseball Classic title for a second straight year by going a perfect 5-0 earlier this week in Jefferson City, Tenn.
The Rangers, who went 33-3 in winning the Baltimore Metro League, outscored their opponents by a combined score of 35-5 in the five tournament games. Fifty-six teams competed in the 15-16 age bracket.
Westminster High's Mike Peters got the Rangers off to a good start with a complete-game, 8-0 win over Commerce Federation (Mich.) in the opener Thursday. He then provided much of the offense in the second game, going 3-for-3 with two doubles, as the Rangers nipped the Indiana Bulls, 3-2.
In the third game on Friday, Dennis Keruly (Loyola) broke a 2-2 tie with a two-out double in the fifth that scored two to lead the Rangers past Alpharetta, Ga. North Carroll's Mike Huller pitched five strong innings to claim the 4-2 win.
A pair of Westminster High standouts led the way in the Rangers' 8-0 win over the Summitt County (Ohio) Smashers in the fourth game Saturday. Chris Cash pitched the complete game, allowing just one hit, and Ryan Starliper went 2-for-2 with three RBIs.
The Rangers finished the tournament with an 8-1 win over East Cobb, Ga. Peters pitched five innings to get his second win.
The Rangers will next play in the National Amateur Baseball Federation Regional Playoffs in Pikesville, beginning July 28, in pursuit of a berth in the NABF World Series in August.