Walk-Off Propels Glenelg Country into MIAA B Championship

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For the fourth time in the 2018 season, Glenelg Country School and Gerstell Academy squared off; this time for a spot in the MIAA "B" Conference Championship. The game originally scheduled for May 18th was pushed back two days due to inclement weather and finally played on Sunday May 20th at Harford Community College. Glenelg Country School was victorious in the first three meetings against Gerstell, winning two 1-run ball games during the regular season and 8-0 in the 2nd round of the playoffs last Monday May 14th.

Gerstell Academy came out swinging early with two base hits by leadoff batter Max Friedman and Matthew Szedlock (Caltech) but were unable to cash in as Glenelg starting pitcher Marcus Khademi worked out of the jam, recording two of his four strikeouts on the day in the inning. Similarly, Glenelg Country School threatened in the bottom of the first inning and manufactured their way to the lead. Leadoff batter Alex Beglan singled and promptly stole second base. Michael Diangelo's slow roller back to the pitcher advanced Beglan to third base where he scored on Tyler Russo's infield single to the six-hole. Like Beglan, Russo stole second base early in the count to get into scoring position. Clean-up hitter Michael Fagan then singled, and the Dragons had 1st and 3rd with only one out. Khademi's sac fly to right field scored Russo before Fagan was tagged out at second base trying to advance. Glenelg Country School took an early 2-0 lead over the Falcons.

The game would remain 2-0 in favor of the Dragons until the top of the 4th when Gerstell starting pitcher Reece Early singled and first basemen Tyrin Hawkins crushed a 2-run homerun to right field. Khademi would pitch a scoreless 5th inning (5 IP, 4 K's, 6 H, 0 BB) for Glenelg before giving way to the lefty Tyler Russo. Russo came in the 6th and pitched three scoreless innings for the Dragons, facing nine Gerstell batters and striking out three along the way. Russo touched 81 mph several times on his fastball but mainly sat 78-80 mph and mixed a 65-67 mph slider and 74 mph changeup in to keep Gerstell hitters at bay.

Early, Gerstell Academy's uncommitted 2019 settled in nicely after the first inning working all 8 innings for the Falcons, striking out 7 while scattering 6 hits on the day. Early sat 84-86 mph with his fastball and featured a tight 76-77 mph slider that he was able to throw in all counts.

Leading off the bottom of the 8th inning, Early hit Jake Schiller with a pitch to give the Dragons their first leadoff man on since the first inning. Schiller stole second base and moved to third on Diangelo's ground ball to second base with two outs. Gerstell intentionally walked Russo and Fagan to set up a force at any base. With the bases loaded and two outs, Khademi stepped in once again at the plate. This time he hit a ground ball up the middle on the shortstop side of the base that couldn't be handled, and Schiller scored the winning run to send the Dragons to the Championship.

Offensively for Gerstell Academy, Friedman had two hits while Szedlock, Early, Hawkins, and Ethan Murray contributed one each. Hawkins had both RBIs for the Falcons on his homerun in the 4th.

For Glenelg Country, Tyler Russo got the win on the mound with his three scoreless innings to end the game and Beglan paced the offence with two hits. Russo, Fagan, Cole Sterry, and Khademi each added one hit on the day. Khademi had two RBIs for the Dragons including the game winner.

Glenelg Country School will now face #1 Boy's Latin in the MIAA "B" Conference championship on Monday May 21st, 2018 at 4:00 PM at Harford Community College.