Denis Ahearn has known for a couple years that his 2021 Centennial baseball team could be “special.”
But after the 2020 season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ahearn didn’t know if the Eagles — stacked with both excellent pitchers and mature hitters — would get the chance this spring.
The difficulty of last year and the doubt of whether there would even be a season, Ahearn said, made his team’s county championship-clinching victory over Howard on Tuesday that much sweeter.
“This is every coach’s dream. You want to put together a complete squad, and we have that,” Ahearn said. “To do it coming out of COVID is something that’s even more special. When these seniors were sophomores, I knew they were going to be special. To be able to come out here and have the season we’ve had and to have the young guys come up to add to the effort has been awesome.”
On the backs of a five-run two-out rally in the fourth, a gutsy start from senior Conarie Steinbach and the calm relief of freshman Zachary Harris, Centennial (10-1) beat the Lions 7-5 to claim the Eagles’ first county crown since 2007.
This story will be updated with more information.
Centennial 7, Howard 5
…..... 123 456 7 — R H E
Ho — 100 004 0 — 5 6 1
C —002 500 x — 7 8 2
W: C — C. Steinbach; L: Ho — V. Switzer; SV: C — Z. Harris.
2B: Ho — T. Saunders.
3B: C — C. Betler.
SB: C — D. Watson, C. Betler, Q. Ahearn; Ho — B. Fader.
OTHER BASEBALL SCORES:
Long Reach 3, Wilde Lake 0
Brandon Bartolotta delivered a sparkling effort both at the plate (3-3, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, run) and on the pitcher’s mound (7 innings, 8 strikeouts, 4 hits, 2 walks, 0 runs) to help lead the Lightning (5-6) to the road win over the Wildecats (1-8).
It’s the first time this spring that Wilde Lake has been held to fewer than two runs.
Long Reach struck in the top of the first with a RBI groundout from J.P. Tennant and then got additional runs on RBI hits from Bartolotta in the third and fifth innings. Other standout on the day were Cole Bosley (2-3, run) and Cole Fleischer (1-3).
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
LR 101 010 0 3-6-0
WL 000 000 0 0-4-0
River Hill 9, Marriotts Ridge 4
After a back-and-forth first few innings, which saw the visiting Mustangs (5-6) take a one-run lead in the third inning and then tie the game at 4-4 in the top of the fourth, River Hill (8-2) took the lead for good with a five-run bottom half of the fourth inning.
The Hawks’ Ryan Pickus led all hitters with three hits to go along with 2 RBI, while Ehi Okojie added a 2-RBI day as well.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
MR 003 100 0 4-10-1
RH 112 500 x 9-12-0
Wilde Lake 12, Long Reach 1
The Wildecats (6-4) snapped a three-game losing skid by earning the five-inning win over the visiting Lightning (3-8). Heather McQueeney reached base four times (2-2, home run, two walks, 4 RBI, 3 runs) to lead the way for a Wilde Lake offense that scored five times in both the first and fourth innings. Morgan Baird also added a 3-3 day with 2 runs and 1 RBI.
Lauren Jascewsky (1-2, 2 RBI, run) and Erin Conover (2-3, double, 2 RBI, run) were the other Wilde Lake players to have multiple RBI.
Justyce Richard threw a complete game for the Wildecats, finishing with eight strikeouts while allowing just three hits and a single unearned run in the third inning.
.. 123 45 R-H-E
LR 001 00 1-3-3
WL 511 5x 12-8-1
Glenelg 6, Hammond 2
Trailing the Golden Bears (4-7) by two runs going to the bottom of the fourth, the Gladiators (8-3) scored twice to tie the game and then added four more runs in the sixth to create the separation needed to pull out the win.
Megan Ortwein (7 innings, 8 strikeouts, 6 hits and 2 runs allowed) got the win at pitcher, while Serafina Tinio registered a game-high 4 RBI. Sage Huber and Lily Oakes were among the Glenelg players with multiple hits.
Samara Lenz had a two-hit day for Hammond.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
Ha 010 100 0 2-6-0
G 000 204 x 6-8-0
Howard 13, Centennial 0
Katie Green pitched the no-hitter for the Lions (9-2) against the Eagles (2-9), striking out nine and issuing just a couple walks. Green also was one of three Howard players, joined by Lindsey Smith and Angie Tyler, to finish the game with 3 RBI. Tyler and Maddie Coleman had three hits apiece, while Coleman, Green and Kaylee Delosantos all had triples.
Howard finishes alone in second place in the county standings.
.. 123 45 R-H-E
Ho 183 01 13-15-1
C 000 00 0-0-2
River Hill 6, Marriotts Ridge 5
The Hawks (7-4) held off the visiting Mustangs (7-4) to finish the regular season on a high note.
A three-run bottom of the fifth turned out to be the difference in a game that had three lead changes. In that decisive inning, Ella Wood and Ever Sheplee had big singles to go along with a bases loaded walk from Abby Shim.
Sara Emig (3-4, 2 RBI, run) and Kathleen Maiorana (2-4, 2 RBI, run) were the River Hill players to finish with multiple hits and multiple RBI.
Wood pitched the first five innings, striking out six, before Lux Sheplee came on in relief in the sixth and didn’t allow a hit over her two frames. Defensively, Allie Young made the play of the day when she made a catch in right field and then gunned down a runner at third that was tagging from second to end an inning.
Ashleigh Gerber (2-4, 3 RBI, run) got things going for Marriotts Ridge with a 2-run homerun in the first inning. Bridget Farrell (2-4, run) and Sarah Fan (2-4, 2 runs) added multi-hit days for the Mustangs, while Leah Chen added a RBI double.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
MR 201 011 0 5-11-2
RH 120 030 x 6-10-2
River Hill 5, Marriotts Ridge 0
The Hawks won the battle of undefeated teams with a sweep to wrap-up this year’s county team championship.
No. 1 singles: Alex Artazov, RH def. Pedro Arantes Gabriel, MR (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Sebastian Lair, RH def. Rafa Feldman, MR (8-3)
No. 1 doubles: Zach Lee and Ibrahim Khan, RH def. Shreyas Rath and Sai Charan Chodavarapu, MR (8-6)
No. 2 doubles: Jai Khanna and Aaron Liebskind, RH def. Revanth Bairi and Alex Wang, MR (8-4)
No. 3 doubles: Daniel Maiorana and Ansh Sawhney, RH def. Ethan Bernstein and Colin Wang, MR (8-2)
Glenelg 5, Hammond 0
No. 1 singles: Lukas Zukalskis, G def. Austin Uwimana, Ha (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Daniel Danko, G def. Colin Ward, Ha (8-0)
No. 1 doubles: Caleb Taylor and John Masterman, G def. Tyler Prudhomme and Hussain Masood Ha (8-0)
No. 2 doubles: Mitch Steinberg and Daniel Zheng, G def. Huy Tran and Brandon Nguyen, Ha (8-1)
No. 3 doubles: Will Sloan and Grady Cronkite, G def. Sohan Modi and Gabe Porter, Ha (8-5)
River Hill 3, Marriotts Ridge 2
In thrilling fashion, the Hawks remained undefeated and joined their boys counterparts as county champions this spring. At three doubles, the duo of Rebecca Ni and Ella Jido overcame an 8-4 deficit in the tie break to prevail 10-8 and win the deciding match by a score of 9-8 overall.
No. 1 singles: Adelaide Houston, RH def. Varsha Devireddy, MR (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Marine Malik, RH def. Amrutha Alibili, MR (8-5)
No. 1 doubles: Anna Ottman and Gabby Tseytlin, MR def. Siri Jale and Priyanka Ramulu, RH (8-3)
No. 2 doubles: Charita Sandoze and Hashini Amarasinghe, MR def. Riya Patel and Elinor Tu, RH (8-6)
No. 3 doubles: Rebecca Ni and Ella Jido, RH def. Srinidhi Arumugam and Megan Wagner, MR (9-8, 10-8)
Glenelg 3, Hammond 2
No. 1 singles: Shivaani Selvan, Ha def. Ava Stamatakis, G (8-1)
No. 2 singles: Janel McCray, Ha def, Ainsley Pursel, G (8-0)
No. 1 doubles: Ally Abruscuto and Kousalya Gaddam, G def. Ronia Agyeman and Megan Martin Ha (8-1)
No. 2 doubles: Arianna Moadeli and Kate Kim, G def. Olivia Ametewee and Mayuri Chakkara Ha (8-2)
No. 3 doubles: Meghana Puri and Rukmini Gaddam, G def. Cingh Cing and Emma Ukoh, Ha (8-0)