Baseball Final on Friday; Lax Falls to Westminster Devils in State Final
By Hunter Messineo and Mitchelle Stephenson
Tonight (Friday) will be the last South River High School game for Boys Varsity Baseball head coach Ken Dunn, who is retiring. This is the first time that the South River boys have made it to the state title match in 30 years.
What a way to go out!
Last week, South River ran past Eleanor Roosevelt in the state semifinal, 4-0. (Congrats to #18 Craig Sheridan, a junior, named Player of the Game). The Seahawks will play Catonsville at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen for the Division 4A State Championship Title.
Game time is 7 p.m. Watch the weather forecast and give yourself plenty of time to get there. Google maps says it is a 70-minute trip from Edgewater, but you’ll be sharing the road with Memorial Day travelers.
We’ll try to provide updated traffic and weather information on our Facebook page.
South River has had a great baseball season, winning 18 games and losing just 5. However, wins and losses don’t tell the whole story. Those wins have had some lopsided final scores (13-0 against Southern High; 14-4 vs. Annapolis; 11-1 vs. Meade, 12-0 over Glen Burnie); and the losses, while those five losses have been nail-biters for the opposing team.
Take Arundel, a strong team and 2012 state championship finalist—South River won the first meeting in early spring by 11-1, then lost by just two runs the second time around. It was the same deal for their two games against Chesapeake High School, a powerhouse and 2011 state champ finalist. In their April meet-up, South River lost by just two. When they met again at the regional quarterfinal just a few weeks ago, South River dominated, 11-1.
Nine seniors are graduating after the game, including pitchers Connor Cox, Scott Mitchell, Nick Raimondo, Brody Raimondo, Pierce Tyrell, and Austin Wright; catcher Jake Gratz; outfielder Kyle Leonard and infielder Gabe Vertucci.
Hopefully rain and severe weather won’t interfere too much with the play. Best of luck to the boys.
This game is the last spring sporting event for high schools in South County.
South River High School’s Boys Lacrosse team suffered a heartbreaking loss on Thursday night, falling to Westminster in the Division 4A State Final Game, 13-10 at UMBC stadium. The game, a rematch of the 2012 State Final, took place over a 25-hour period after severe weather delays split the game over two nights.
Things got started on Wednesday night, with a crowded stadium full of supporters for both sides. Westminster got on the board first, but South River quickly responded with two goals. At the end of the first period, the ‘Hawks were up by five (Westminster 1, South River 6).
With just 1:11 remaining in the second quarter, the referees called the game for severe weather. A massive storm system moving in from the west was producing lightning. At first it was just a 30-minute delay. When it became clear to referees that the storm was sticking around, they decided to restart the game on Thursday at 6 p.m. – same location, but fans would not have to buy another ticket.
By the time the game was called for weather, the Seahawks’ lead had fallen to just one point. The team, coaches, fans, referees, media and stadium authorities packed it in for the night.
The boys must’ve had a difficult time focusing during school on Thursday.
Back at the field at 6 p.m. Thursday night, both squads had an opportunity to warm up under the same ominous skies that plagued the game the night before. Would they be able to play the remaining 1:11 of the first half, let alone the two periods in the second?
They took the field and quickly finished the 1:11 half, then took a three-minute halftime. The ‘Hawks held on to their one point lead, 8-7.
Back on the field the goals yo-yo’d — Westminster would score, then South River. At the end of the third quarter, Westminster was up by one point (Westminster 10, South River, 9).
Both schools were fighting hard. Westminster had never won a State Championship and those boys were hungry for one. Meanwhile South River’s boys knew how to get the job done, having dominated in the post-season since 2009.
In fact, South River has played in the state final match in four of the last five years:
- 2013 State Finalists, losing to Westminster, 13-10
- 2012 State Finalsts, winning against Westminster, 10-8
- 2011 State Finalists, losing to Linganore, 13-12
- 2010 lost to Severna Park in the regional final (SP went on to beat Wooton in the state final)
- 2009 State Finalist, winning against Urbana, 11-6
As the fourth period got underway, South River was down by one. Westminster was proving a worthy challenger, getting the ball back on each charge. It was barely perceptible, but there was a shift in momentum. Still, the Seahawks weren’t hapless. They never quit. Even in the final moments of the game, when they were down by three, the South River boys continued to drive to the cage, fighting for their lives.
The game ended and the boys from Westminster got the trophy, finishing 13-10 against South River. It was the first state championship title for Westminster’s lacrosse program, and surely South River walked into the stadium with a big target on their backs. It’s what happens when you have an extremely successful team like SR.
At the end of the game, the weather continued its threatening behavior and the boys were quickly ushered off the field and into the locker room for a hurried awards presentation.
Although the South River boys were heartbroken, they nonetheless were good sports about the loss.
The same couldn’t be said of Westminster, particularly the fans. In the parking lot after the game, the campus police had to intervene to get the Westminster fans off the trucks and SUVs that the South River fans had used for tailgating.
You heard right: the winning fans were jumping on the vehicles of the losing team after the game and had to be settled by campus police.
“It was the worst sportsmanship I’ve seen,” one parent said.
Finally, in the moments after the game was over and the awards were handed out that the sky opened up. In the pouring rain, the boys ran to their bus to come home.
For the 14 graduating seniors, a second state champs ring would’ve been icing on the cake. But, they’ll have to be content with one state championship and four years of high school wherein South River has dominated the sport in not only the county, but the region and the state.
A good number of those 14 Seahawk senior lax players have signed to play for their college teams. Each and every one of them will be an asset to their school.