The baseball team from Bishop Walsh School, Cumberland, put it all together May 24 in Potomac, defeating The Heights 13-0 to capture its third state title in the school’s history.
The Spartans finished with a 14-13 record, but won when it counted, as the team stepped up with its first three-game winning streak of the season.
The seven-team Maryland Class B Private School invitational tournament came at the right time for the Spartans, who prospered with big bats, stellar defense and solid pitching. The team had won eight of its last 11 ball games, scoring 53 runs in the process.
In their title victory over The Heights, an independent private boys school, the Spartans had 15 base hits, played errorless defense and used three pitchers to nail down a four-hit shutout.
“You could say that the team executed on command,” said Sam Torres, Bishop Walsh principal, who is stepping down as head coach after 11 seasons in charge of the program.
“To me, baseball is a metaphor for life,” Torres said. “One day you can be successful, the next day can be a disaster and you just learn to bounce back.”
During the tournament, the team was led by senior captains Zac Hare and Chandler Tomlinson, the pitching ace. Firing on offense and defense, Bishop Walsh got production from Hare and Tomlinson, as well as seniors Tyler Smearman and Ray Miller, and juniors Eric Diamond and Jon Cullen.
The pitching of 6-foot-5 Chris Stein, a right-hander; Aaron O’Rourke, a left-hander; and the right-handed Tomlinson was unmatched, tallying 10 strikeouts with a range of deliveries, from off-speed pitches to powering fastballs.
The championship led to a “Victory Assembly” at Bishop Walsh School. On May 29, the team was honored by the city of Cumberland.
As the sun goes down on a fantastic 2008 season, Coach Torres will step aside.
“I need to spend more time,” Torres said, “on my administrative duties.”