Wilson 19, Eastern 0
Since Eddie Saah took over as coach at Wilson in 1992, the Tigers have dominated the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association. Entering this season, they had won 12 consecutive City Titles and 160 of their last 161 conference games, including 85 in a row.
Coming into yesterday's DCIAA championship game at Banneker against Eastern, Wilson had already won all 12 of its conference games this year and senior Tom Vladeck made sure its streaks continued as he no-hit the Ramblers and the Tigers sent 16 batters to the plate in the first inning in a 19-0 trouncing of Eastern that was called after five innings at Banneker.
"This is a [win] streak that's going to be hard to beat in the years to come," Saah said. "We talk about it. We talk about not being complacent and being ready mentally. We don't underestimate anybody."
Eastern starter Steven Williams walked Wilson junior Raphael Turner to lead off the bottom of the first. Seniors Gabriel Baker and Danny Diaz followed Turner with consecutive doubles. Every starter for the Tigers had a hit and scored at least one run. Junior Nick Morison led Wilson with three hits and three runs.
Vladeck had little trouble navigating his way through Eastern's lineup. He struck out the side in three of the innings and finished the game with 12 strikeouts. The only inning where the Ramblers (11-3) threatened was the top of the first when they got runners to second and third with two outs, but Vladeck got out of the jam by striking out Kenny Hawkins.
"Coach Saah puts the work ethic in [his players] and he does a real good job of making us work at it," said Vladeck, who will play for Division III Pomona College in Southern California.
The real measuring stick for the Tigers (19-7) has become their games against nonconference competition. With Diaz sitting out the first half of the season because of academics, Wilson started 0-5, including losses to St. John's and DeMatha of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.
In the second half of the year, after getting Diaz back, the Tigers went 7-2, including a victory in the Bullis Tournament and a second place finish in the Northwest Tournament.
One of the highlights of the year for Saah was the play of Baker. An average player when he joined the team two years ago, Baker turned himself into an invaluable part of Wilson's attack, hitting over .500 on the season and providing solid play in left field.
"It's incredible," said Baker, who will attend Michigan in the fall. "The past two years we have had so many great players and it was great to get the opportunity to get out there and show my stuff."
Wilson should be in good position to extend both of its streaks next season. Freshman Ian Horkley, who went 4-0 this season, will be back to lead the pitching staff and eight returning juniors will accompany him.