In 2019, when the Sherwood baseball team last played in the Maryland 4A championship game, Ryan Bouma, an eighth grader at the time, sat in the bleachers at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen and watched the Warriors lose on a walk-off.
“I was confident,” Bouma said after Sherwood claimed its first state title since 2010. “I knew I could do it. I just believe I’m the best, and I go out and do it.”
In May 2019, the last time Maryland conducted state championships, Sherwood squandered a late lead to Old Mill and lost on a single in the ninth inning. It was the Warriors’ second loss that season — both coming via a walk-off.
Sherwood’s mantra this season was to regain the momentum it lost two years ago, but only three players from that 2019 squad were on this season’s roster. Sherwood’s inexperienced players were inconsistent to start the season, Coach Sean Davis said, but by the end of the regular season, the Warriors (15-0) resembled a Montgomery County powerhouse behind potent pitching.
”The level of baseball we’re playing now,” Davis said, “is completely different than the level we were playing in April.”
Sherwood jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the fifth, but infielder Luke Herz hit a two-run double in the bottom of that frame for Severna Park (17-1) to even the score. The teams then held each other scoreless until the eighth. That’s when Sherwood outfielder Niko Pernie singled and advanced to second on a sacrifice fly. Then Bouma, batting against Severna Park pitcher Jackson Merrill, a Kentucky commit, drove a double up the middle to score Pernie.
Tameris admitted he was nervous when he took the mound in the seventh inning, but he was locked in by the bottom of the eighth. The junior retired the side, and after losing in their previous two trips to the state championship game, the Warriors rushed the mound in their light blue jerseys and pushed each other to the outfield in celebration.
Davis said flashbacks of past losses flooded his mind until Sherwood recorded the final out.
“The feeling of joy for these kids and coaches, I can’t explain,” Davis said. “It feels good to get over the hump. It’s just great for the program.”