WALDORF — A disastrous first inning — both at the plate and in the field — was the Severna Park baseball team’s undoing in Saturday’s Class 4A state championship game.
The Falcons had two runners on base with just one out in the top half of the first and failed to score. Severna Park then allowed four runs on three hits, an error, a passed ball and a wild pitch in the bottom half of the frame, staking Sherwood to an early lead it would only build on.
Starting pitcher Mac Crismond shut out the Falcons through five innings, while third baseman Ryan Bouma and first baseman Amari Allen led an opportunistic offense as Sherwood routed Severna Park, 11-0, at Regency Furniture Stadium.
Allen went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Bouma went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs for Sherwood (24-1), which became the first Class 4A school to repeat as champions.
“Just a great performance. We want to be playing our best baseball in May, and I think we certainly did that today in all phases,” Sherwood coach Sean Davis said. “Mac did a great job on the mound, we swung the bats well top to bottom, and as always we played clean defense. It was just a really well-rounded baseball game.”
Leadoff hitter Niko Pernie drew two walks and scored two runs, while No. 2 hitter Brian Scott singled, walked and scored three runs for the Warriors, who had eight of nine offensive players reach base at least once.
Designated hitter Josh Hollowell had an RBI single then came around to score, while outfielder Alex Escanilla drove in two runs with a single and sacrifice bunt. Sherwood scored seven runs in the first and second innings off Severna Park starter Colton Adams then tacked on four runs in the fourth inning off reliever Michael Bowles.
The Falcons needed to score at least twice in the top half of the fifth inning to extend the game and failed to do so. Second baseman Kody Phillips lined out to shortstop Jack Andre, who then threw to first base to complete a game-ending double play as center fielder James Henson was caught between first and second.
“We picked the wrong day to play our worst game of the season,” Severna Park coach Eric Milton said. “We lost an opportunity to get on the board in the first inning, then everything went their way in the bottom of the first and it kind of snowballed from there.”
It was the second straight season Sherwood beat Severna Park in the Class 4A state final. Bouma drove in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning last year as the Warriors edged the Falcons, 5-4.
Severna Park senior first baseman Luke Herz said this loss to Sherwood wasn’t quite as painful as what happened a year ago.
“Last year was the tougher one since we got walked off in extra innings. This year, they destroyed us in every way,” Herz said. “They hit the ball and we couldn’t, they fielded the ball and we couldn’t, they pitched well and we couldn’t. They just outplayed us today.”
Crismond hurled a one-hitter with six strikeouts to improve his season record to 7-0. The sophomore right-hander allowed just five base runners, also issuing two walks and hitting a batter.
Allen, a 6-foot-3 left-hander, was the starting and winning pitcher in Tuesday’s state semifinal against Winston Churchill. Sherwood’s lone loss this season came to its Montgomery County rival and Davis decided to use his ace in that contest. Crismond, who earned the save in that 3-1 victory, easily took care of business in the final.
“Mac is a strike-thrower — a tough, mature kid who can handle this moment. We were confident he was going to throw strikes,” Davis said. “When I told Mac he was getting the ball, I had no second thoughts about it. He went out there, was all around the zone and it worked out.”
What happened in the visitor half of the first inning was an omen of what was to come. Designated hitter Angel Santiago-Cruz reached base via a passed ball after striking out and Herz followed with a single. Severna Park could not capitalize as cleanup hitter Seamus Patenaude flew out to center and right fielder Brooks Harris struck out.
Adams had control problems in the home half of the inning, walking the leadoff hitter before throwing a wild pitch. The left-hander made another mistake when he tried to get the lead runner at third on a sacrifice bunt that came right back to the pitcher’s mound.
Adams threw at the feet of Patenaude and the ball skidded into foul territory, allowing the first run to score. Scott, who reached second thanks to the throwing error following his sacrifice bunt, moved to third because of a passed ball. Scott then scored off a single by Bouma, whose sharp ground ball bounced over the head of Patenaude.
Sherwood scored another run off a double steal and a fourth as a result of a sacrifice bunt that blooped over the pitcher’s mound, just beyond the outstretched glove of Adams.
Adams was charged with seven runs (six earned) on six hits and two walks through 1 1/3 innings.
“He’s not a real strike-thrower, so I give him a little bit of leash,” Milton said of Adams, a Bryant signee. “A ground ball bounced over the third baseman’s head, the bunt went over [Colton’s] head. Things went their way and definitely didn’t go our way.”
It was more of the same in the bottom of the second with Adams once again walking the leadoff batter then giving up three straight one-out hits. Bouma and Allen both delivered RBI singles during that three-run frame.
“The middle of our lineup, Ryan and Amari, came up big today. You want guys like that in the box in big situations. That’s a formula for success,” Davis said.
Henson drew a leadoff walk in the top of the third inning and reached third base on a throwing error by the catcher. Herz walked to put runners on first and third, but Patenaude struck out swinging to end the threat.
“Not getting a run in the first inning hurt and the mood went down. Not getting a run in the fourth when we had a man on third… we were done after that,” Herz said.
The Class 4A state championship game was supposed to be played Friday night but was postponed because of rain. Herz jokingly blamed the loss on having to play Saturday morning, but said it was more about having so many sophomores and juniors who were first-year starters in the lineup.
“We have so many young players and they’ve never experienced a championship before. We were tight, tense and nervous,” Herz said. “You could see that with the strikeouts on balls above their heads and the errors. Our inexperience showed today.”
Severna Park 000 00 0R, 1H, 1E
Sherwood 430 4x 11R, 9H, 1E
WP: Crismond (7-0). LP: Adams (4-1).