A few years ago, it probably would have been a bit harder to convince DeMatha‘s Bradley Keith and Justin Morris to play at Maryland. Seemingly stuck at the bottom of the loaded ACC, the Terrapins were often overlooked by the top in-state talent — as was the case in 1998, when Maryland native Mark Teixeira headed south for Georgia Tech.
Keith, a senior outfielder and right-handed pitcher, and Morris, a junior catcher, have been the catalysts behind No. 5 DeMatha’s 6-2 start.
Both are tied for the team-lead in RBI with nine. In the Stags’ 14-0 rout of No. 8 Paul VI, Morris smashed a home run and had four RBI. In their next contest against North Davidson (N.C.) on Saturday, Keith struck out six batters in a winning effort and added a RBI.
“Both kids are incredibly hard workers and have earned the reputations they have,” DeMatha Coach Sean O’Connor said of the duo that earned MSBCA preseason all-state honors. “The nice part about them going to Maryland is that now you see that program locking down some of the area’s top kids, like Justin and Bradley.”
Keith is a key senior addition for the Stags after transferring from Severna Park last year. The lefty hit .440 with 15 runs, 14 RBI and 12 stolen bases as a junior.
Meantime, Morris was named to the Perfect Game second team preseason underclassmen all-American team after hitting .304 with 18 RBI and seven doubles for the Stags as a sophomore.
“You almost can’t get the bat out of Justin’s hands because he’s always working to get better with that competitive spirit of his,” Keith said of Morris. “We got to play together over the summer and it’s great to have someone who I know is always going to push me to do my best.”
This attitude along with an elevated level of play will be necessary for the Stags during the next couple weeks. On Friday, they will face nationally ranked power Don Bosco (N.J.) before playing WCAC contender McNamara on the following Tuesday.
NUMBER CRUNCH: 2
The number of hits, triples, runs and RBI that Sherwood alum Justin Maxwell had for the Houston Astros in their opening night win against Texas on Sunday.
-No. 2 Landon defeated No. 3 Paul VI, 10-8, in a boys’ lacrosse matchup on Saturday.
-Madison’s boys’ and girls’ crew teams cruised to victory in Regional Park Regatta on the Occoquan River.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
Opening day, all day
The hometown Washington Nationals will host Miami at 1:05 p.m. for the second contest in a full opening day slate, commencing a highly anticipated season in which many are picking the Nats to win it all.