Maryland baseball roundup: Northwest wins first-ever region title
By Josh Barr,
Michael Shannon hit a two-out double to center field to score the winning run in the eighth inning and Max Banks pitched three innings of hitless relief to lead Northwest to its first-ever baseball region title with a 5-3 victory over host Whitman in the Maryland 4A West final Friday in Bethesda.
Banks, who walked, stole three bases and scored one run, followed Shannon’s hit with a run-scoring single for an insurance run as the Jaguars (14-6) advanced to Tuesday’s Maryland 4A semifinals in College Park against Sherwood.
“I think we’re definitely a surprising team,” Banks said. Northwest has won four consecutive playoff games to match its longest winning streak of the season.
Whitman (17-3) was trying to win its first regional title but instead will have to settle for the best record in team history.
Standout senior Michael Flack singled twice for the Vikings, scoring in the first inning and driving in the tying run in the bottom of the fifth.
But Banks worked out of a jam in the sixth when he issued a one-out walk and then threw an errant pickoff attempt down the right field line to put the potential go-ahead run at third base.
“I was like, ‘Oh, no! The game is on the line here!’ ” said Banks, who got out of the inning with one of his six strikeouts and a flyout. “I thought I gave it up, honestly.”
●SHERWOOD 2, WESTMINSTER 1: Matt Chanin pitched a complete game and singled and scored the game’s first run on Daniel Bower’s squeeze bunt in the second inning as the Warriors held on to beat host Westminster in the 4A North final.
Mike Reich led off the third inning with a double and scored on a double steal as Sherwood (12-7) won its fourth regional title in six seasons.
●ARUNDEL 7, SEVERNA PARK 5: The host Falcons loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning in the 4A East final, but a line-drive double play ended the game and sent the Wildcats to the state semifinals for the first time since 2006. Arundel (16-5) will play Bowie on Tuesday in College Park.
●BOWIE 5, E. ROOSEVELT 2: Chase Stevens hit a tie-breaking, three-run triple in the sixth inning as the visiting Bulldogs avenged both of their losses this season in the 4A South final in Greenbelt.
●N. HAGERSTOWN 8, ROCKVILLE 3: Sam Kane singled twice and drove in a run and Greg Brown doubled, walked, scored a run and drove in another, but the visiting Rams were unable to dig out of an early 5-0 hole in the 3A West final. Rockville finished 13-6-1.
●LA PLATA 4, NORTHERN 3: Jake Williams hit a two-out double to score Colin Stine with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning as the host Warriors won the 3A South final. La Plata (18-5) will play J.M. Bennett in Tuesday’s Maryland 3A semifinals at Joe Cannon Stadium. Northern finished 14-8.
●J.M. BENNETT 10, RESERVOIR 0: The visiting Gators gave up one run in the first and four more in the second and never recovered in the 3A East final in Salisbury. Bennett, the defending Maryland 3A champion, has won 42 consecutive games. Reservoir finished 22-2.
●PATUXENT 1, GLENELG 0: Cody Robertson threw a three-hitter and struck out eight and Jeffrey Morgan walked and scored the game’s only run on Gabe Castro’s suicide squeeze bunt in the fourth inning as the Panthers (18-4) won the 2A South final.