Ryan Ripken helps Gilman beat Mount St. Joe in President's Cup final

May 01, 2011|By Mike Frainie | Special to The Baltimore Sun

On Sunday afternoon, Gehrig pitched to Ripken at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

No, it wasn't some otherworldly "Field of Dreams" moment. It was Mount St. Joseph's Gehrig McCracken facing Gilman's Ryan Ripken -- son of Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. -- in the inaugural President's Cup championship game.

Ripken singled and scored a run and teammates Steve Llanio and Charles Cross combined on a one-hitter as the Greyhounds defeated the Gaels, 2-0.

The only scoring in the game -- which was part of a tournament that featured five Baltimore City schools and three private schools -- occurred in the third inning.

With Gilman's Matt Collins on second base, Ripken beat out a single. After an errant throw in the dirt on the play, Ripken ended up on second and Collins scored to give Gilman (15-11) a 1-0 lead. Ripken later scored on a groundout to make it 2-0.

McCracken gave up five hits in a complete-game performance, but three of them came in that inning.

The two runs were all that Gilman would need, as Cross pitched no-hitter for 52/3 innings to record the win. The only hit for the Gaels (9-12) came on a leadoff single off Llano to start the bottom of the second inning.

"This is a great event for the kids, and I was worried about how we'd do because this was our sixth game this week," said Gilman coach and former Oriole Larry Sheets. "The atmosphere was terrific. It was just like a big league game."

As for Ripken, he admitted taking a look over at shortstop, where his father played for so many years.

"Yeah, that thought was in my mind, and I did look over there," said Ripken, a first baseman who had never played on the major league field. "I thought about all the years he played there and starred there. It was really cool to think about that. Then I put my game face on and realized I had a job to do."

As for Cross, he said pitching 52/3 innings of no-hit baseball at Camden Yards was a dream come true.

"It's just an amazing feeling. I really can't explain it," Cross said. "I had a little trouble concentrating at first, but then I calmed down. I'm just glad we got the win."

Said Sheets: "We did everything we had to do to win a game today. We threw strikes, played solid defense, and got key hits. You can't ask for more than that."

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