Brien Hampton (St. Jane de Chantal) pitched five shutout innings and Kevin Woo (St. Elizabeth's) drove in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning as Montgomery County defeated Prince George's County, 6-5, in the fourth annual Catholic Youth Organization All-Star Baseball Game Friday night at Prince George's Stadium in Bowie.
"What a great game," said Montgomery coach Steve York (St. Jude's), whose team evened the series at 2-2. "Both teams played real hard and it was close game down to the wire. . . .We just won it on a clutch hit."
Prince George's trailed, 5-3, but got two runs in the sixth inning and had the bases loaded with no outs in the eighth as Matt Peterson (St. Pius X) singled and Brian Beal (St. Mary's) and Robert Granger (St. Mark's) walked. But Hampton retired the next three batters in a row, striking out Matt Berry (St. Joseph's) and Richard Jarin (St. Mary's) and getting Mathew Wenzel (St. Mark's) to hit a ground ball back to the pitcher.
"Brian pitched very well tonight, especially in that last inning," said York. "I could see the sweat rolling down off of his face as they loaded the bases, but he knuckled down and threw strike after strike after strike. ... When he got out of that jam, I knew we were going to win."
It did not take long for Montgomery to capitalize on Hampton's heroics. Tom Royals (Little Flower) drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on Woo's single down the left field line.
"I just wanted to put the ball in play and advance the runner to third so the person behind me could hit the winning run in," said Woo, who grounded out his first two times at bat. "This is just an amazing feeling. It's the biggest thrill of my life."
After stranding two runners in the first inning, Montgomery sent nine men to the plate in the second and scored five runs on four hits and an error. Tim Robinson (St. Bernadette's) hit an RBI single to right, scoring Kevin Sweeney (Our Lady of Lourdes), Steve Ledden (St. Peter's) singled to left and Matthew Sonneman (St. Jude's) stroked a two-run double to left. Michael Lozupone (St. Jane de Chantal) drew a one-out walk and Patrick Dunn (St. Andrew Apostle) hit a two-run double to right.
Prince George's cut the lead to 5-1 in the third as Chris Skelly (St. Hugh's) walked and scored on a one-out single by Joe Goldsworthy (St. Matthias), but Sonneman and Brian Schaus (St. John Evangelist) retired the next five batters in a row.
Prince George's mounted another rally in the fifth, sending seven men to the plate and scoring two runs on three hits and two walks. Peterson singled and scored on a long double by Granger, Wenzel singled to center and Jarin walked with the bases loaded. The damage could have been a lot worse, but with one and the bases loaded, Schaus picked off Berry at third and Woo struck out Taurean Marshall (St. Francis Xavier).
"You have to give Prince George's credit," said York. "We got all our runs bunched in one inning, but they fought hard inning after inning to come back. I'm just glad we pulled it out at the end."
Steve Brennan (Our Lady of Mercy), Gini Chukura (St. John Evangelist), Joe Delaney (St. Camillus), Matthew Eiden (St. Andrew Apostle), John Tramazzo (St. Jude's) and Brendan Waters (St. Bernadette's) also played well for Montgomery, which was coached by York, Dave Brown (St. Jude's), John Dattoli (St. Andrew Apostle), Don Kaminski (St. Jane de Chantal) and Tom Slagle (St. John Evangelist). Tony Dattoli (St. Andrew Apostle) was the team's batboy and Kalindi Stone (St. Jane de Chantal) sang the National Anthem.
CAPTION: Montgomery batboy Tony Dattoli, right, congratulates Steve Ledden for scoring a run in the second inning of the CYO All-Star Baseball Game at Prince George's Stadium.
CAPTION: Brian Schaus, right, of Montgomery catches the ball at the plate as Matt Peterson tries to score the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning. Montgomery defeated Prince George's, 6-5, in the CYO All-Star Baseball Game Friday night at Prince George's Stadium.