The best example of DeMatha’s teamwork this season might not have occurred during their nine-game winning streak or their run to the program’s first Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship since 2008, a feat that helped earn the Stags the No. 1 spot in the final rankings.
No, their most telling display of cohesion might have surfaced at the end of a rainy practice in March, when the Stags, inspired by a YouTube video of the Duke baseball team, tried to break down their field within three minutes.
“There are a million reasons why you don’t want to be there — you’ve been out two hours, it’s cold and it’s March,” DeMatha Coach Sean O’Connor said. “And these kids are sprinting to put things away.
“At the end of the day, that’s what made them so strong — the egos and whatever were checked at the door.”
DeMatha (25-6) won its 10th WCAC title since 1994 by not losing consecutive games and by at least splitting with each local team it lost to during the season. The Stags rallied from a game down to take the best-of-three league championship series from McNamara, including a 1-0 victory in the championship in front of a hang-on-every-pitch crowd. DeMatha was the fourth different WCAC team to win the title in the last four years.
The Stags had lost in the 2010 and 2011 league finals and had gone 7-19 in 2012, with eight one-run losses and three two-run losses.
All-Met junior catcher Justin Morris, senior third baseman Devin Beverly and senior outfielder Bradley Keith , a Severna Park transfer, all were first-team all-WCAC picks this season. Senior first baseman Carl Colbert and senior designated hitter Kevin Fitzmaurice were crucial in pushing the lone run across in the championship.
“I’ve coached more talent,” O’Connor said, “but as far as a team and the true definition of what a team is, it’s the best I’ve been around.”
DeMatha has won 10 WCAC titles since the league began in its current form in 1994. This year’s was the first since 2008. . . . South River, behind All-Met Player of the Year Scott Mitchell, won the Maryland 4A title, the first state title in school history and a rewarding sendoff for retiring Coach Ken Dunn. In the final against Catonsville, Mitchell threw a two-hitter, with nine strikeouts, and had two hits and two RBI. . . . Lake Braddock made its sixth Virginia AAA tournament appearance in eight years and lost to Great Bridge in the semifinals. . . . Oakton also reached the semis and lost to Hanover. . . . Madison won 22 in a row between a season-opening loss to Fairfax and a Northern Region quarterfinal loss to Lake Braddock. . . . Riverdale Baptist boasted the area’s highest player taken in the first-year player draft, All-Met center fielder Matthew McPhearson, who went in the fourth round to the Arizona Diamondbacks. . . . St. John’s was the regular season WCAC champ. . . . Georgetown Prep did not lose in the Interstate Athletic Conference. . . . Maret won the Mid-Atlantic Conference and D.C. Classic tournament titles. . . . La Plata was the Maryland 3A runner-up.
1. DeMatha (25-6) LW: 2
2. South River (20-5) LW: NR
3. Lake Braddock (23-5) LW: 3
4. Oakton (21-6) LW: NR
5. Madison (22-2) LW: 1
6. Riverdale Baptist (31-6) LW: NR
7. St. John’s (22-6) LW: 4
8. Georgetown Prep (25-7) LW: 5
9. Maret (26-4) LW: NR
10. La Plata (21-4) LW: NR
Dropped out: No. 6 Gaithersburg (15-4-1), No. 7 Centreville (16-5), No. 8 Battlefield (19-3), No. 9 North County (17-6), No. 10 Paul VI Catholic (18-11)
Bubble: North County (17-6), Hylton (18-8), Battlefield (19-3)