McDonogh takes private schools prize

May 29, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- In a defensive battle of Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association rivals, No. 6 McDonogh dethroned No. 7 Mount St. Joseph, 4-2, for the second annual private schools state title at the University of Maryland's Shipley Field.

Junior catcher Jason Taylor hit a two-out double, scoring David Kowitz and winning pitcher Mike Stellar (5-2) in the bottom of the sixth.

"I had struck out in my first two at-bats, but I told myself, 'This one's mine,' " said Taylor. "The pitch came in really fat, and I just extended my arms and drove it up the middle.'"

Taylor's winning shot came after hurler Ryan McGonigal (3-5) had successfully thrown out Mike Ginsberg -- who singled -- at the plate, with catcher Everett Cooper administering the tag.

The victory was the third time this season that the fourth-seeded Eagles (21-4), this year's MIAA runner-up to Calvert Hall, had beaten seventh-seeded Gaels (17-11).

McDonogh's team members dedicated the victory to coach Al Poklemba, who has accepted a job as athletic director at the Bullis School in Montgomery County.

"It's a great bunch of kids and I'm really proud of them," said Poklemba. "I can't tell you how many times they persevered, and last night's semifinal was a good example."

Friday night, Eagles ace hurler Mike Ginsberg (10-2) -- the tournament's Most Valuable Player -- beat last year's runner-up, Riverdale Baptist (33-4), 6-3. The win came over the Washington area's top-ranked team and was aided by Ian Hendricks' eighth-inning, two-run double.

"This was for coach Poklemba," said Hendricks, a senior. "Ever since he told us he was leaving, we wanted this for him. It meant a lot to everyone."

McDonogh led, 2-0, in the first inning after Hendricks' two-out double scored Rich Levin, who walked, and a single by Ginsberg that drove in Hendricks. The Eagles loaded the bases with two out in the second, but McGonigal (seven strikeouts, six hits, two walks) struck out McDonogh's Dennis Badham for the second straight time.

That started a string of nine straight retired batters for McGonigal, who got the next five on fly outs, two more on strikeouts and another on a ground out before yielding Badham's fifth-inning triple.

"I pretty much went with an occasional curve but mostly the fastball," said McGonigal.

"I was nervous at first, but then I got going."

In the B Division championship, senior right-hander Nick Jenkins threw a no-hitter, carrying John Carroll past St. James, 10-0. Jenkins, who was named the tournament's outstanding performer, struck out six and walked three.

Matt DeCapite drove in three runs for John Carroll, which defeated Gibbons in Friday's semifinals, 12-3. Jenkins contributed two RBIs.

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