By Matt Cohen
Picture by Matt Cohen
May 6, 2017. The B-CC Barons baseball team led Poolesville 2-1 in the sixth inning of a rainy afternoon. With one out in the bottom of the inning and two runners on base, Zach Wiedenhofer stepped to the plate. Wiedenhofer connected on a 2-1 offering from Spencer Hacker, sending the ball deep over the left field wall. Suddenly, Poolesville led 4-2. In the top of the seventh, a base running mistake proved fatal, as B-CC was unable to respond, and lost the game.
April 3, 2018. B-CC traveled back to Poolesville. Many of the faces were the same, though the out come showed something very different about this year’s team.
B-CC committed error after error early in the game, including four in a brutal second inning, leading Poolesvile to jump out to a 2-1 lead.
Poolesville added two more runs in the top of the third. Brady Pearre, a preseason All-State selection, crushed a triple to deep center field, scoring one run. He score on a sacrifice fly to make the score 4-1 favoring Poolesville.
B-CC head coach John Schmidt called his team to a huddle outside of the third base dugout at Poolesvile high school after the bottom of the second inning. “We can’t beat ourselves,” Schmidt told the team in that huddle.
In the top of the fourth inning, something clicked for the Barons. The stopped beating themselves. They came back.
In the top of the fourth inning, after being dominated by Pearre through the first three innings, finally found life. Kick started by an Adwyn Viera double, B-CC rallied in the fourth inning. Jed Alterman hit a two RBI double to right field to make the score 4-3, just before Pearre was pulled from the game. B-CC tied the game as on a dropped third strike with Jamie Mills at the plate, the Poolesvile catcher was unable to find the ball, threw to first late, and thus allowed Alterman, who was on third, to score.
“We answered right back, took a few pitches, got guys on, played a little small ball,” Schmidt said of the Barons fourth inning.
Though what may be the real turning point not just in this game, but for this team, came with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jamie Mills came into the game as a relief pitcher. There was just one out, and the bases were loaded. For someone who doesn’t have much experience as a varsity pitcher, this game, against such a strong Poolesville team, with a tied score, could have been overwhelming.
That just wasn’t the case for the senior captain.
Mills worked out of the jam in the fifth inning with no damage done. Mills pitched a clean sixth inning, before allowing a runner to advance into scoring position in the seventh inning, with the score still tied. Mills worked out of that one as well, no damage done. The game headed to extra innings.
“He just did his job, he’s a senior, he’s a captain,” Schmidt said of Mills. “He’s going to play college baseball and those are the qualities you want, not freaking out under pressure. He bailed us out in a bases loaded jam. He made a mistake, bottom of the seventh, a runner on second. Last year’s team, I don’t know what we would have done. That’s the difference between this year and last year.”
B-CC had its fair share of extra innings struggles a year ago. Though as Schmidt said, this is a different team.
In the top of the eighth, B-CC rallied.
Adwyn Viera was the kick starter, walking to lead off the inning, and getting Poolesvile to pull Luke Trythall, who had pitched very well in relief, out of the game. Viera then stole second with John Hemmer at the plate. Hemmer reached on a walk, and Alterman was able to advance the runners with a sacrifice.
That set the stage for Mieses, the star of the Barons lineup, to drive in the go-ahead run.
Mieses did just that, shooting a hard ground ball up the middle, which Poolesvile was unable to field cleanly. Mieses reached with an infield hit, and Viera came home to score.
“Yeah,” Schmidt immediately responded when asked if he knew Mieses would step up. “100%. He’s the type of guy that expects it from himself…He was itching, he’s ready to go.”
Mills stayed on in the bottom of the eight inning. Poolesvile was able to get a runner to third, and appeared to have gotten the sacrifice fly it needed to score a run, but a great throw from right field by Viera prevented the runner from coming home. Mills, even through cramps, was able to seal the deal, and B-CC won the game 5-4.
Mills got himself a in a jam in a critical point in the game, again. He got himself out of it unscathed, again. B-CC had taken down Montgomery County’s number one team.
B-CC made its mistakes early, but this senior class was able to provide leadership B-CC hasn’t had in the past. The senior class on this year’s team have been with each other all throughout their high school careers, and even before. Now in leadership roles, they’ve shown a different fight and a different heart than the baseball teams of years past. Against Poolesville, B-CC fell behind early, but the seniors made sure everyone stayed in the game, and the Barons fought back. They worked their way out of tight spots, never giving in to the pressure or the moment. In extra innings, in the most important at-bat of the game, the Barons’ star, Mieses showed up the biggest of ways. B-CC won a game it looked like they had been completely left for dead in during the first three innings. “That’s the difference between this year and last year.”