“I really didn’t know what to do,” said Klitenic, a left-handed pitcher committed to Duke. “I was just hoping it wasn’t a foul ball.”
Klitenic’s three-run homer in the second inning set the tone, and the Bulldogs used consistent at-bats and strong pitching for a 14-7 win that evened the series at a game apiece.
The top-seeded Little Hoyas (19-11) will host St. Albans (16-8) in the decisive game Saturday afternoon.
Georgetown Prep entered the tournament guaranteed a share of the IAC title by virtue of its 8-2 conference record. The teams split their regular season meetings.
But with a chance to close out the series, Georgetown Prep’s pitchers struggled to throw strikes. The Little Hoyas used six pitchers over the first four innings, with starter Ethan Cosgrove getting pulled after yielding three runs in the first.
“We came here today and played one of our best games,” St. Albans Coach RJ Johnsen said.
Klitenic’s home run gave his team a 6-0 lead, and junior pitcher Cade Bartos held his own against a fearsome Georgetown Prep lineup, holding the Little Hoyas scoreless until an unearned run in the third.
Bartos left after a scary moment in the top of the fourth when a line drive from Georgetown Prep’s Charlie Furlong hit the pitcher near the jaw. Bartos stayed on the ground for several silent minutes and eventually walked off with minimal assistance to cheers from the crowd.
Bartos was taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure. Johnsen said Bartos was “a bit bruised” but should be in attendance for Game 3, though he will not be expected to pitch.
Sophomore Max DeLorme took over and finished the game.
“It was tough,” DeLorme said. “I just wanted to work hard for [Bartos] and finish off what he started.”
With two outs in the seventh, DeLorme gave up a home run to Georgetown Prep junior Lucas Donlon, a Virginia Tech commit. But the Bulldogs secured the third out just two batters later.
In the victory huddle, Johnsen reminded his players they still need one more win.
“Be ready to give that same effort,” he said. “Nothing less.”
Landon boys win IAC tennis
The Bears won their second straight outright IAC boys’ tennis title by beating Georgetown Prep, 5-2, in the conference tournament final.
The Bears also won the regular season with a 5-0 record. Landon scored victories in the top three singles flights (Sachin Das, Rodrigo Pedraza Garcia and Cyrus Rahbaran, respectively), No. 2 doubles (Syed Aal-e-Ali and Michael Mehlman) and No. 3 doubles (William McClure and Williams Sears).