North East 10-11 baseball team suffers loss in state championship
After emerging from the District 5 all-star tournament as champions, the North East 10-11 baseball team advanced to the finals of the Maryland state tournament in Easton.
Unfortunately, it finished just one win shy of a state crown.
North East fell to Berlin, 7-3, following a remarkable journey that saw the Cecil County squad win four consecutive games to reach the finals after a lopsided loss to open the tournament knocked the team down to the elimination bracket.
Against Berlin, North East fell behind early and struggled to battle back. Berlin scored six runs in the first inning, using a home run by Stephen Wade and a two-run double by Case Tilghman to break away on the scoreboard. Luke Keefer and Landon Knaub each drove in a run for North East, which had a chance to come back but struggled to capitalize with runners on base.
Elimination Bracket Final North East 8, Conococheague 7
Evan England collected an RBI triple and Ryan James followed with a run-scoring double and scored on Landon Knaub’s single as part of a high-scoring fourth inning that delivered North East the lead for good in a back-and-forth game.
James and Knaub both finished with multiple hits and Mason Newton (win) and Luke Keefer (save) combined to throw well on the mound for North East, which punched its ticket to the state championship.
North East 5, Northwest D.C. 3 Evan England homered and Luke Keefer (2-for-3, two RBIs) and Mason Newton both hit RBI singles as part of a three-run third inning that gave North East the lead in a rematch from the tournament opener.
On the mound, Ryan James threw five innings for the win and Keefer earned the save for the Cecil squad, which earned a trip to the elimination final.
North East 20, Tri-State City 2
Evan England, Landon Knaub, Luke Keefer, Ryan James and Will Breitigan all produced two hits apiece as part of a 14-run second inning for North East, which later received a grand slam from Mason Newton as part of a six-run third frame.
England, the game’s starting pitcher, was relieved by Ryan James and Keefer for the winning team, which banged out 17 total hits. North East 10, St. Mary’s 1
Ryan James and Mason Newton both singled in runs in the first inning for North East, which plated four in the fourth inning following a home run by Evan England, Luke Keefer’s two-run hit and James’ home run.
The Cecil squad finished the contest with a dozen hits, including multiple base knocks from James, Landon Knaub and pitchers Keefer and Newton.
Northwest D.C. 11, North East 4
An eight-run sixth inning proved too much for North East to overcome, sending the team to the elimination bracket.
Luke Keefer went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs and Will Breitigan also provided two hits in the losing cause.