ABERDEEN, Md. — Scott Logue was pressing, and he knew it.
With La Plata up three runs and the opposing Williamsport offense down to its last out in Monday’s Maryland 2A final, the Warriors senior could sense the state title that had eluded his team in recent years.
If only he could get the final out.
Logue had loaded up the bases for Williamsport with 10 balls in 11 pitches in the bottom of the seventh, creating the game’s first dramatic moments. As Logue exhaled into his glove, he turned toward the outfield and found the relief he needed.
“I’ve got a great defense behind me, and I think I was so excited to get the championship, I just needed to keep my composure and trust our team,” Logue said.
Logue induced a groundout on the next at-bat to secure a 4-1 win, and those same teammates came rushing toward him for a dogpile on the mound, each wildly celebrating La Plata’s first state championship since 2008 at Ripken Stadium.
Logue earned the complete-game victory by taming the Wildcats (19-5) with hard, low fastballs that kept them from advancing their runners. La Plata, meanwhile, steadily built a commanding lead in the first three innings.
Brett Pilkerton scored the game’s first run on an error by Williamsport. Then in the third, the Warriors (22-2) produced three more runs on three hits. Taylor Cook sparked the surge with an RBI single to left field, scoring Peytyn Gray. Jake Hanks followed with a two-run single that brought home Cook and Tyler Stockwell.
“Our coach always tells us once we’re on top of a team, don’t let your foot off them,” said Cook, who went 1 for 3 on the day. “He tells us to keep going, keep twisting.”
For most of the playoffs, that meant relying on their powerful bats: The Warriors outscored their five postseason opponents 41-6. On Monday, La Plata excelled behind an airtight defense. When Williamsport scored for the first time in the fifth inning, La Plata quickly ended the threat as Logue induced a groundout, leaving two Wildcats stranded on bases. Three more groundouts followed in the sixth inning to position the Warriors for the victory.
When Logue went out for the seventh, Coach John Childers told him that the game was his to finish. Though those words initially produced a brief struggle on the mound, the continued faith shown by Childers ultimately birthed the state title La Plata had worked so hard to grasp, especially after losses in the 3A final in 2013 and 3A semifinals in 2014.
“This isn’t the most talented team I’ve had in my time here, but they know how to play together and make the plays that win games,” Childers said. “The pieces fit together, and this championship is the result of that.”