Georgetown Prep (19-12), by virtue of finishing first in the league during the regular season with an 8-2 mark, is also considered co-champion. But for the second straight year, St. Albans (17-8) upset the top-seeded Little Hoyas in the tournament.
“Clark is a big-time pitcher,” Bulldogs Coach RJ Johnsen said, moments before getting doused with an ice bucket from his players. “I wish I could play him every game.”
Klitenic took a perfect game into the fourth inning, baffling Georgetown Prep with his assortment of pitches. And the Bulldogs’ offense gave him plenty of help.
St. Albans sophomore Chase Verdery opened the second inning with a single to right field, followed by a double to left by senior Henry Large. Both would score on errors. A few batters later, sophomore Brandon Torng knocked a two-run double to center field, and the Bulldogs ended the inning with a 6-0 lead.
“Our approach is to put together good at-bats,” said junior Chase Daneker, whose RBI triple in the third inning accounted for the game’s final run. “We stay back and let the ball travel. When we put balls in play, good things happen.”
The bats cooled down slightly when Georgetown Prep junior Ryan Gleason stepped on the mound in the fourth inning. Gleason kept the Bulldogs scoreless for the last three innings and ended the game with three strikeouts.
But St. Albans had Klitenic, and he never let the Little Hoyas into the game. Toward the end, Klitenic took a few more deep breaths before his pitches and began to rely more on his off-speed deliveries. He was getting tired, he admitted, but his faith in himself and his team never wavered.
“We just seem to find a way to get hot at the right time,” Klitenic said.
Cheering on the team from the dugout was junior pitcher Cade Bartos. In a scary moment Friday, Bartos was taken to the hospital after getting hit by a line drive near the jaw. Bartos said his face is a little “inflamed” but that there are no fractures.
He added that he expects to be available to pitch in the District of Columbia State Athletic Association tournament later this month.
“I feel pretty good,” Bartos said with a chuckle, “probably because we won.”