OLNEY—The Sherwood High School baseball team entered the playoffs with one of the best records in Montgomery County and as a No. 1 seed in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) 4A North Region Section II bracket.
On May 17, the Warriors hosted the No. 1 seed from Section I Dulaney of Baltimore County in a hotly contested battle. However, Sherwood would come out on top in walk-off fashion for the 1-0 extra innings victory to win the regional title.
“It was a great baseball game,” said Sherwood Head Coach Sean Davis. “We beat a good team, and we’re going to the state final four, so all the guys are excited, as well as the coaches.”
The game went scoreless for the first seven innings, thanks to solid pitching and defense from both teams.
Warriors senior pitcher Ben Vok went all seven innings without allowing a single run, until he was replaced by senior Trevor McCormick on the top of the eighth.
“I went out and competed as much as I could till the pitch count came,” said Vok.
“Just a bulldog,” said Davis. “He just competed his butt off and gave us a chance to win us a game. Huge pitching performance.”
For the Lions, sophomore Wilson Farlow lasted five innings on the mound without allowing any runs before junior Cole McGee took over.
“Cole McGee, junior, came right in and got us out of jams,” said Dulaney Head Coach Ryan Wolfsheimer, “and then they were just able to scratch a run across in the eighth inning. Hats off to them for scoring.”
Nonetheless, both teams had numerous chances to get runs on the board with no results, leaving many batters who had hits stranded by the end of each inning.
Sherwood almost came through in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded and senior J. P. Yore at the plate.
However, since there were two outs, his at-bat resulting in a pop-out that ended the inning.The Lions were able to get on base twice in the top of the seventh, but the next two batters were quickly dispatched by Sherwood’s defense.
The bottom-half of the seventh resulted in a 1-2-3 inning for the Warriors, sending the game into extras.
With the score still 0-0 at the bottom of the eighth, junior Luke Cheng hit a lead-off double, and eventually moved to third on a passed ball. On the very next at-bat, junior Joey Bowers hit a sacrifice fly to right field, which resulted in Cheng’s scoring the winning run that sent the Warriors to the 4A state semifinals.
“It felt great,” said Bowers. “Instantly off the bat, (we) didn’t know what it was going to do, but once I saw that curveball I just knew I had to put it in the air somewhere to get a sac fly, and got laid on and let him in.”
“It’s huge,” said Davis. “He came up with a runner on second. We were going to bunt, they were defending that, we went to the slash, and we were able to move the runner-up, and with two strikes, he drove the ball to the outfield and won us a baseball game.”
Bowers also gave credit to his fellow teammate Vok. “Great game by him, and it’s all on the team, man,” said Bowers.
Sherwood finished the regular season as one of the best teams in the county, and both Vok and Bowers felt proud of their hard work paying off.
“I feel like we should be here,” said Vok.” “I feel like we should be in states.”
“It’s just all hard work every day in practice,” said Bowers. “We put in hard work and try to get better every day, and that’s how we got here.”
Despite the loss, Wolfsheimer felt proud of his team reaching the regional finals against an equally solid No. 1 seed.
“It’s definitely an accomplishment,” said Wolfsheimer. “Our team, they earned to be here, they deserve it, they worked their butts off to get here. Today we got beat by a really, really good team. It’s a battle.”