The Capitol City 14U all-stars defeated Rising Sun 10-6 to capture the Maryland State Tournament Little League baseball championship on Sunday.
The team — Charlie Ganote, David Michael Jefferson, Wesley Hogan, Jack Larkin, Xavier Grobbel, Jeremy Jensen, Amartya Eswaran-King, Benny Thompson, Brendan Quinn, Sean Quinn, Ethan Mishra and Earl Skrine — swept through the tournament by pounding the District 2 Nationals 11-1, DelMar 10-3 and Rising Sun 5-3 before the decisive championship game.
“We were thrilled to go through the Maryland Tournament undefeated, winning two hotly-contested games against the host team on their own field being supported by raucous fans,” the team’s coach, Desmond Hogan, wrote in an email. “I feel like that environment has prepared our team for the high-pressure of the regional finals.”
In the championship game — played in Rising Sun, Md. — Capitol City jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The team loaded the bases and Jensen was walked for a run, then Skrine followed it up with an RBI for the early edge.
But the hosts would rally. Rising Sun took a 6-3 lead by the third inning on the strength of two home runs.
Then Hogan drove in a run and make it 6-4 in the top of the fourth. Brendan Quinn added an RBI and Mishra was walked to score a run to tie the game at six. Capitol City closed the inning with a 7-6 lead when Sean Quinn was walked with the bases loaded.
Capitol City would never trail again. In the top of the sixth inning, Jefferson notched an RBI on a ground ball and then Eswaran-King scored two runners on a low chopper.
Throughout the Maryland State Tournament, Capitol City was led by relief pitcher Eswaran-King. The bullpen arm saved the championship game while pitching two-and-a-third innings without giving up any runs.
The team also relied on Jensen, who picked up two wins — including in the championship game — and a save.
Meanwhile, at the plate, the team’s leader was Hogan, who finished the tournament with six hits, including three doubles, a home run, five RBIs and six runs scored.
Next, Capitol City moves on to the Eastern Regional Juniors tournament Friday to face the Rhode Island champion.