STILLWATER, Okla. -- It took Team Maryland three hours an 25 minutes to win the most bizarre game played during the first two days of the Sunbelt Classic.
"Back in Maryland, we play games like that all the time -- JV games," said Geoff Smoot, coach of the 20-man amateur all-star squad, after its 18-12 victory over Ohio yesterday at Reynolds Stadium. "That wasn't what you'd call a masterpiece, but what can you say? We're 3-0 in this thing so I can't complain."
Ohio tagged five Maryland pitchers for 18 hits during the highest scoring game in the tournament's three-year history. But Team Maryland made the most of its 14 hits while running wild on the bases, including a single-game record 10 steals.
Leftfielder Keith Kormanik of Gilman drove in five runs with two singles and a triple. Northeast product Craig Everett knocked in four to run his series RBI total to eight.
Everett also made the defensive play of the game, flagging down a drive to deep center in the sixth inning to get Maryland out of a bases-loaded jam.
Shannon McKenzie of Beall extended his streak of consecutive hits to five with a single and two-run triple before making his first out in three games. Everyone in the lineup had a hand in keeping Ohio winless and Team Maryland in first place.
"There were a lot of heroes out there for us," said Smoot, after the game that included 32 hits, 15 stolen bases and 14 walks. "We outlasted them and I think we had them a little out-gunned. But I don't think anybody had any gas left at the end. I'm not sure these kids will be able to get up in the morning."
Today, the team from California (1-1), including third baseman Aaron (son of Bob) Boone, provided the morning opposition. California stood 1-1 after a 10-1 bashing of Ohio.
The Maryland-Ohio marathon persuaded Sunbelt officials tDTC enforce the "run rule," which ends the game if either team leads by eight runs or more after five innings, during the remainder
of the series. That decision came too late to spare eight pitchers the torture of giving up a combined 32 hits, 15 stolen bases and 14 walks.
Todd Murphy of High Point was the only pitcher who managed any degree of effectiveness, earning the win with 4 1/3 innings of ** eight-hit, one-run relief.
"There were so many hits and runs I lost count," said Kormanik, who smashed a three-run triple in the second. "I don't know if the pitchers were nervous or what."
Team Maryland's base stealing pace had every other team in the tournament feeling edgy. Kormanik, Everett and Ken Batten of C. Milton Wright each stole two bases as Team Maryland set a single-game record with 10 steals and ran its Sunbelt total to 16. Calvert Hall's Kenneth Konopacki padded his own record with a seventh steal.
In addition to constant pauses for pitching games, the game was stopped for 10 minutes in the fifth inning when a small child was injured after slipping between a guard rail in the stands and falling 15 feet to the playing field.