Pushed to limit, top-seeded Boys’ Latin edges St. Paul’s for MIAA B Conference baseball championship (VIDEO HERE!)
2021 MIAA B CONFERENCE
BOYS’ LATIN SCHOOL LAKERS
by Joe DiBlasi
Only 24 hours removed from an 11-0, 5-inning shellacking at the hands of rival St. Paul’s School, the Boys’ Latin School baseball team rebounded to pull out a 7-6 win over the same Crusaders, Tuesday on St. Paul’s home field in Brooklandville, to capture the 2021 MIAA B Conference baseball championship by prevailing in the conference’s double-elimination tournament.
It was the fourth title in the last five seasons for the Lakers and their fifth overall in the MIAA B Conference.
In the sixth meeting of the year between the old rivals (split 3-3), BL (14-6,overall) scored the winning run in the top of the seventh inning when Ian McAslan alertly raced home from third, following a dropped third strike as St. Paul’s catcher John Padousis elected to throw to first to retire Peter Makris. The relay back to the plate was not in time to catch McAslan.
“I took off,” said McAslan, who also made a gutsy move when he advanced from second to third on a grounder to third. “It was all instinct. The play before was similar. You have to make sure the guy throws the ball before you start running and they made a mistake by throwing that ball (to first).”
Pitching on fumes after a long post-season run, Charlie Godin, who worked the final two innings for the Lakers, retired St. Paul’s in order in the seventh on three fly balls to center, all tracked down by centerfielder Kaden Lymon. The Lakers also got two web gems from left-fielder Braeden Hammett, who scaled the fence for leaping catch that robbed Matt Meck of extra-bases and later made a terrific sliding catch in foul territory.
“It was a fun day,” said Lymon. “We lost yesterday and we knew we had to get them back today and we showed up. We performed today.”
Early on it looked as if Boys’ Latin might have their way with the Crusaders as they scored single runs in the first three innings and then got a 3-run, bases loaded double from catcher JT Windle in the top of the fifth inning to build a 6-1 lead.
“I was looking for a fast ball, got one on the first pitch, and I didn’t miss it,” said Windle, who also praised his teammates.
“Charlie Godin is a grinder. He has been our closer all year. Liam (Karey) is a fighter and we leaned on him all year, And heads up base running by Ian got us the win.”
St. Paul’s stormed back, however, with four runs in their half of the fifth and tied the game with a run in the sixth.
In the Crusader fifth, Zach Felton delivered an RBI single in advance of a two-run triple by Padousis. Charlie Konkolics then plated Padouis with a sac fly to right. Olu Kopano scored the tying run in the sixth after drawing a one out walk and later coming around on a two out single by Jack Van Valkenburgh.
In the top of the first, Felton staked Boys’ Latin to a 1-0 lead with an RBI single, but Henry Genth stroked an RBI double to even the game for St. Paul’s, in the home half of the inning. The Lakers also got RBI singles from Hammett, in the second, and Antonio Akaterinidis, in the third.
Karey gave veteran coach Bill Greenwell five gutsy innings as the Lakers starter. The Crusaders got to him in the final inning of his appearance as he left the game having allowed five runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts, but he got a tired staff to the later stages of the game.
Godin, who was the winning pitcher, did give up the tying run in the sixth, but limited the damage with a pair of strikeouts before getting the three fly balls in the seventh.
“We got our closer in there,” said Greenwell. “Charlie Goodin. He did a good job and our defense made some great plays behind him. We got some heads-up base running by Ian McAslan to score the winning run. They are a good team. We split six games with them this year.”
St. Paul’s coach Brandon Taylor, who guided his team to a 19-3 record this season, felt both teams left everything on the field.
“We battled back-and-forth, and we knew it was going to be a dog fight,” said Taylor. “I am proud of my guys for not giving up. I can’t say enough good things about Boys’ Latin, the way they fought and battled today.”
MIAA B CONFERENCE BASEBALL FINAL
at St. Paul’s School
BOYS’ LATIN SCHOOL 7, ST. PAUL’S 6
BL 111 030 1 – 7 10 0
SP 100 041 0 – 6 7 0
BL-Liam Karey, Charlie Godin (6) and JT Windle; SP-Matthew Meck, Cameron Nelson (3), Charles Konkolics (5) and John Padousis.
2B: BL-Harry Genth, JT Windle, Charlie Godin, Antonio Akaterinids; SP-Charles Konkolics.
3B: SP-John Padousis.