by Davy Wantz, IV
Winning a state championship is an outstanding accomplishment and one that is hard to come by—and for Emmitsburg baseball, it took fifty-eight years to win their first in 2013. Emmitsburg, the defending Cal Ripken 12U 46/60 Maryland Champions, looked to repeat the win in 2014 in the tournament they hosted on July 5-7, 2014. Last year’s team consisted of ten twelve-year-olds, which means that this year’s team was younger, having only four returning players.
On Saturday, Emmitsburg opened up pool play against Frederick. The first inning went scoreless. Garrett Malachowski led the second inning with a single, sparking an eight run inning. Frederick battled back over the next few innings to take a 9-8 lead over the host, Emmitsburg. After falling behind 9-8, Emmitsburg quickly tied it at 9-9 in the bottom of the fourth, bases loaded. Dylan Click, a returning player from last year’s team, blasted a grand slam to take back the lead, 13-9. Emmitsburg never looked back and went on to win 20-10.
In Emmitsburg’s second pool play game against Smithsburg, the team found themselves down early, 3-0. Emmitsburg didn’t score until Noah Oleszczuk crossed the plate in the third inning. Jordan Garner drove in another run in the fourth inning, cutting Smithsburg’s lead to 3-2. Colten Devilbiss blasted a three-run homerun in the fifth to give Emmitsburg its first lead. Emmitsburg added some more runs in the sixth inning and won 10-4, ending day one of pool play with a 2-0 record.
On day two, Emmitsburg played Northeast, knowing that a win would give them a spot in the familiar state championship game on Monday night. Emmitsburg flexed its power hitting, as Mason Joy went 2-2 off the bench with an RBI. Emmitsburg hit six home runs, one each from Sean Mazaleski, Colten Devilbiss, Dylan Click, and Alex Wivell; the other two coming from Johnny Glass, who is locally known as Johnny Baseball. The defense was present as well, as Logan Harrington started an ESPN-worthy 4-6-3 double play, with an amazing backhand grab up the middle. Emmitsburg won the game 18-6 and clinched the one seed, meaning Monday night they’d play in the all-important state championship game.
Emmitsburg had to play its final pool play game before focusing on Monday night. The starting pitcher for the game, Issiah Wivell, took the mound against UMAC and pitched three hitless, shutout innings; he also hit a homerun in the fourth inning. Emmitsburg won 10-7 to finish pool play 4-0.
Smithsburg won their semi-final game over Frederick to advance to the final. Emmitsburg, who beat Smithsburg on Saturday, knew the championship would be a great game and that they had to play well to win. Emmitsburg, similar to Saturday’s game, found themselves down early 1-0 after the first inning. In the bottom of the second, Emmitsburg’s Evan Ott reached base on an infield single to start a rally in which Issiah Wivell hit a laser three-run homerun over center field fence. Emmitsburg scored two more to make it 5-1 after two innings. Emmitsburg added another run in the third inning on another Issiah Wivell hit, making the score 6-1. In the fourth inning, Smithsburg got another run to make it 6-2; but in the bottom half of the inning, Johnny Glass hit a 2-run homerun. After four innings, the score was 8-2 in favor of Emmitsburg. In the fifth inning, however, Smithsburg rallied and Emmitsburg was forced to make a pitching change; Colten Devilbiss pitched five strong innings. Issiah Wivell came in to pitch and finish the inning. It was now tied at 8-8 going into the bottom of the fifth. Alex Wivell hit a three-run homerun to give Emmitsburg an 11-8 lead heading into the final inning. Smithsburg led off the inning with a homerun, cutting the lead to just two. Smithsburg tied the game again at 11-11. Dylan Click made a great play at shortstop to end the inning and prevent another run from Smithsburg, which would have given them the lead. Emmitsburg headed into the bottom of the sixth, tied 11-11, looking for one run to give them the state championship. With one out, Issiah Wivell grabbed his fourth hit of the game to put the winning run on base. After a wild pitch, he managed to make it to second base and in scoring position. Smithsburg recorded out two and needed only one more to send the game to extra innings. Another wild pitch put Issiah Wivell on third base, so Smithsburg intentionally walked Alex Wivell and Colten Devilbiss to load the bases and make a force play available at every base. Johnny Glass stepped in with the bases loaded. On the third pitch of his at bat, when the catcher threw the ball back to the pitcher, manager Dave Wantz told Issiah Wivell to steal home. The umpire, after waiting for the dust to clear, saw the catcher did not have possession of the ball and called Issiah Wivell “safe.” The hometown had won the state championship for the second consecutive year. Issiah Wivell went 4-5 in the game, with 4 RBI’s. He was the winning pitcher and the winning run that sent Emmitsburg to the regional championships in Eastchester, New York. Alex Wivell batted .650 in the tournament, with 12 RBI’s. Colten Devilbiss had 16 RBI’s in the tournament. As a team, every player drove in at least one run, and the team batted .497 for the tournament.
In the Middle Atlantic Regional tournament in Tuckahoe, NY, Emmitsburg went 1-3 in pool play. Defeating Metro NY runner-up 10-7, losing 12-3 to Southern NJ, losing 12-10 to Waynesboro, PA, and losing to the host Tuckahoe, MNY 8-5. Tournament stand-outs were Issiah Wivell, who batted .333 with 5 RBI’s; Alex Wivell, who batted .357; Colten Devilbiss, who batted .500 with 5 RBI’s; and Johnny Glass, who batted .455 with 5 RBI’s. Emmitsburg’s 12U All-stars had a great season, winning states with a young team and playing competitive ball in New York.
Pictured from left are: (bottom row) Alex Wivell, Issiah “Bub” Wivell, Noah Oleszczuk, Colten Devilbiss, and Johnny Glass; (middle row) Evan Ott, Garrett Malachowski, Logan Harrington, Jordan Garner, Mason Joy, Dylan Click, and Sean Mazaleski; (top row) Coach Click, Coach Wantz, and Coach Malachowski.
Emmitsburg AllStars celebrate their second Cal Ripken State Championship title.