To win a championship, preparation has to meet opportunity. If you call Jerry Torrence anything, call him prepared.
Torrence used his opportunity to hit a bases-loaded triple in the bottom of the fifth to give Gerstell its first baseball title with a 6-4 win over three-time defending champion Boys’ Latin in the MIAA B Conference Championship Tuesday at Harford Community College.
“All year, we’ve preached throw strikes and defense, throw strikes and defense, and today they paid off for us,” Gerstell coach Cap Poklemba said. “I told our freshman that, at sometime during the playoffs, they would have to grow up and stop being freshmen. Today they did, and Torrence in particular did.”
After leading 1-0 on a run they scratched out in the first, the wheels seemingly began to come off the cart for the Falcons in the top of the fifth inning. After a Vaeth strikeout opened the inning, the Lakers got singles from Harry Genth and Jackson Fishel. The next batter, Josh Butler, singled up the middle, which allowed both Genth and Fishel to score to give Boys’ Latin a 2-1 lead, and chased Vaeth from the mound.
Logan Satti entered the game for Gerstell and, after a ground out, allowed a single to Charlie Godin to give the Lakers a 3-1 lead.
“We are very resilient,” Poklemba said. “I knew we had a few more runs in us.”
They sure did.
Vaeth and Reece Early singled to begin the inning, and a walk to Chris Hagan loaded the bases. Lakers starter Sam Grace looked like he may get out of the inning when he struck out Satti and Tyler Stuck.However, the bats really came alive for Gerstell at that point.
Elias Rimel singled to score Vaeth, and the bases remained loaded. On the first pitch, Torrence tripled to right center, scoring Early, Hagan and Rimel forge a 5-3 lead. With Daniel Burns up, Grace threw a wild pitch, which scored Torrence and ran the lead to 6-3.
Boys’ Latin began the top of the seventh inning with a double by Fishel, and then moved him along to third on a Butler popup to right field for the first out. Fishel scored on a ground out to short, to cut the margin to 6-4, with two outs. After singles by Charlie Godin and Ian Mcaslin, Poklemba decided to make a change. He called for senior Reese Early, who won yesterday’s do-or-die game for the Falcons.
“I had talked to Reece before the game, and he told me he still had an inning in him,” Poklemba said. “I knew that if there was anyone I wanted to have in that situation for us, it was Reece.”
Early threw five pitches to Eric Gazin, before striking him out on a fastball to end the game, and set off a wild celebration.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Early of the title. “We have such a small school, and they were all here for us. I’m glad we got to share this with them.”
BL; 000; 030; 1; - 4 10 1
GA; 100 050 x; –; 6 8 0
Grace and Windle; Vaeth, Satti (5), Early (7) and Hagan. 3B: GA – Torrence. 2B: BL – Grace; GA – Vaeth.