Severna Park Post 175 returning to state tourney

A year after being denied a seventh straight Jim Carey League crown because of an inadvertent rule violation, the Severna Park Post 175 American Legion baseball team claimed the 2018 title and a trip to the Maryland State American Legion baseball tournament with victories over the weekend.

Through the weekend’s sweep of Annapolis Post 7 and with three inconsequential league games remaining as of Monday, Post 175 cruised to the Jim Carey League championship with an 18-4 overall record to go with a 7-2 mark in league play. Severna Park will now play in the state tournament, which tips off July 31 at Parker Sports Complex in Salisbury.

“We are carried by a nucleus of kids from Severna Park High School,” Post 175 manager Bob Hallet said. “It’s a combination of young kids and graduates. It is a good kind of mix; I just fill out the lineup card.

“They are good kids from a good program. I’m blessed to get kids from (Severna Park’s) program. They always have great pitching. They’re a bunch of good baseball kids. Now, we’re branching out to see what they can do in the states.”

Not surprisingly, Severna Park’s deep pitching staff is guided by Capital-Gazette Player of the Year Cameron Clark, who has five wins on the summer season. He went 5-1 with a 2.63 ERA and 63 strikeouts while hitting .440 with six home runs as Severna Park High School won 21 games and its third region title in four years.

“We are absolutely blessed with pitching depth,” Hallet said. “Cam Clark has extended his high school year. He’s been so dominant. He’s been unhittable at times.”

The rest of Severna Park’s dominant pitching staff includes John Iaquinta, Matt Gladly and Brendon Simonds. Offensively, Jake Hallet, Luke Guy and Josh Horgan were hitting over .400 for the season; Hallet was the team’s top run producer.

Severna Park Post 175 was poised to play in last year’s state tournament as well but it was declared ineligible because of an inadvertent American Legion rules violation.

Manager Hallett said the rule affected the eligibility of Severna Park High graduate Spencer Dietrich, who made the Severna Park legion roster the year before but sat out because of a sore arm. Legion rules state that a player who has graduated high school must continue playing on the same team without a break to remain eligible.

"If you don't play, you are deemed ineligible," said Manager Hallett at the time. "They gave us seven days to get a doctor's note but we couldn't get one in time so we had to forfeit every game (Dietrich appeared in)."

Severna Park still had enough league wins to earn the state playoff nod, but any team that forfeits twice in the same season is not eligible for postseason play.

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