Fans at the third and final game of the MSA B Conference baseball championships at Calvert Hall yesterday left the field shaking their heads in disbelief. Not because of the play by competitors from Southern and Gilman, but because of a game-deciding call by the umpires.
Chris Broseker's tying run for Southern in the bottom of the seventh was disallowed because his Bulldogs teammates, anxious to greet him at home, were ruled for interference. After lining a triple just over first base, and scoring on a wild relay throw, Broseker became the final out.
The relay from short rightfield skipped past Greyhounds third baseman James Sharkey, but pitcher Keith Kormanik, backing up the play, picked up the ball as Broseker headed for home.
Kormanik appeared to bobble the ball before throwing it, and the throw appeared too late to catch Broseker. But plate umpire Francis Schwartzman said the celebrating Southern players interferred with Gilman catcher Lou Dimitri as he tried to catch Kormanik's throw.
"I think he [Dimitri] was visible," said Kormanik, who believed he wasn't cut off from home plate because of the Southern players.
"I hate to see it end that way," said Gilman coach Marty Meloy. "It makes this game even more unforgettable. It was a tough call but the correct call. My catcher said his path to the ball was cut off."
On the other side of the field, Southern coach Bill Parker stood dazed. "I'll bet you that 30 times over the course of the season when somebody hits a home run, everybody runs out," he said, his voice trailing off.
The 2-1 final score was quite different than the 15-8 and 9-4 slugfests of the first two games of the series, largely due to the efforts of the starting pitchers, Kormanik and Jerry Fischer. Both are All-Metro and Crown All-Star selections, both are candidates for the All-Maryland team that will compete in the Sun Belt Classic baseball tournament, and both led their respective teams to the B Conference championships the last two years.
Fischer, with a fastball clocked above 90 mph, just learned yesterday that he was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the amateur draft. He struck out 13 in his final start, bringing his season total to 142 in 77 innings, while walking only 21.
Kormanik, who spent the afternoon at The Evening Sun's Athlete of the Week luncheon, is only the second player from the metro area to be named to the Crown All-Star team as well as the Big 33 team.
Last year, Kormanik and Fischer were also opposing pitchers in the rubber match of the championship series, which Gilman won in extra innings. This year's game seem destined for a similar fate, if only for a split second.
Centerfielder Jamal Cox scored both Greyhound runs, on a fourth-inning home run and a wild pitch two innings later. The lone Bulldogs run was scored by Jimmy Loetz. Broseker knocked him in with a second-inning single, one of his three hits.