In just its second year in the Maryland Collegiate Baseball League, the Maryland Monarchs made their mark.
Cam Clark (Towson), the 2018 Capital Player of the Year for Severna Park, tossed a complete-game four-hitter and Ed Nottingham (Mount St. Joseph, Shepherd) doubled and tripled as the Monarchs took the second game of a Best-of-Three series against defending champion Putty Hill, 10-1, to claim their first MCBL title.
The win completed a spectacular postseason run for the Monarchs, who finished 27-8 overall. They swept BCC Big Train in the semifinals before taking a 10-6 victory over Putty Hill in the finals opener. In that game, Cullen McAuliffe (Broadneck, Salisbury), Mack McKisson (Arundel, Cabrini) and Nottingham all had three hits. Nottingham had two doubles and drove in three runs. Starting pitcher James Wiercinski (Stevenson) struck out seven in six innings to pick up his fifth win of the summer. The 6-foot-4 left-hander posted a 1.48 ERA and recorded 64 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings.
“Both teams — Bethesda and Putty Hill — are very good teams,” Monrachs Manager Steve Doherty said. “Bethesda 10-run ruled us a week before the playoffs. It is just a matter of pitching and, with college guys, you can run out of depth real quick.”
Doherty and assistant coaches Neil Herrick and Brooks Miller are all Arundel grads who played for and coached under Bernie Walter. The Monarchs program made a decision a couple years ago to have an older team that would give more high school graduating seniors and local college players the chance to play some competitive baseball in Maryland. The Monarchs went 16-15 in league play in their first season last year before becoming the first team to win the MCBL in its first playoff appearance.
“This league is composed of primarily D-II and D-III players, with a handful of D-I players sprinkled in,” Doherty said. “There are no host families, no stadium requirements and good players get to play good baseball close to home. This is a highly competitive league with no team winning back-to-back championships since its inception more than a decade ago.”
Nottingham was the team’s biggest bat, hitting .389 with a team-high five home runs, eight doubles and 35 RBIs. Will Pyne (Crofton resident, Catholic) led the Monarchs with a .389 average, to go with six doubles and 20 RBIs. McKisson tied for the team lead in hits with 32 while batting .314. He added two home runs and 18 RBIs. Michael Prosperi (Arundel, Shenandoah) went 4-0 with 20 strikeouts and a 1.29 ERA. Nottingham, Pyne, McKisson, Prosperi and Wiercinski were all named league All Stars.
“Our coaches did a great job getting these players ready, especially the pitchers,” Doherty said. “These kids are not on scholarship; they are hustling to play the game they love at the next level, with everything else going on. We love working with them.”
Below are notable former Anne Arundel County players and their 2018 summer statistics with the Maryland Monarchs.
Nick Benitez (Archbishop Spalding, Shippensburg): 3 doubles, 11 RBIs
Brendan Diluca (Arundel, Catonsville CC): 5-0, 34 strikeouts
Tyler Green (Northeast, Catonsville CC): 3-0, 2.87, 16 Ks
Scott Huntley (Severna Park, USC-Aiken): 2 3Bs, 17 RBIs, 10 stolen bases
Cullen McAuliffe (Broadneck, Salisbury) .308, 6 doubles, 2 HR, 13 RBIs
Will Schubert (Arundel, Virginia Tech): 3-2 record
Jackson Slotterback (St. Mary’s, Stevenson): 1-1, 1.9 ERA, 4-for-4 in save opportunities
Tayvon Smith (Old Mill, Stevenson): 2-for-2 in save opportunities
Brady Ward (Arundel, Stevenson): .299, 2 HR, 13 RBIs