After spotting visiting Walt Whitman High School an early, 4-0 lead, Gaithersburg High School senior pitcher Nick DeCarlo was able to hold the visitors scoreless over the last six innings and the Trojans rallied for a 5-4 victory in Saturday’s Class 4A West Region final at Kelley Park.
Gaithersburg (20-2) advances to face 4A East Region winner Chesapeake in a Maryland Class 4A State semifinals on Tuesday at the University of Maryland’s Shipley Field. Sherwood, which defeated Perry Hall, 6-3, in the 4A North Region final on Saturday, meets 4A South winner Eleanor Roosevelt in the other semifinal. The 4A state title game is slated for 7 p.m. Friday, May 23 at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.
It was an uncharacteristically shaky start for DeCarlo, who allowed four runs on two hits, two walks and an error in the first. With the bases loaded and two outs, Vikings’ senior Max Vogel sent a DeCarlo fastball into the left field corner for a three-run triple, then Vogel scored when Andrew Cashmere reached on an error. DeCarlo, however, would not allow another run and gradually the Trojans chipped away at the Vikings’ lead.
“This was a big game for me and a big game for all of us,” said DeCarlo, who improved to 9-0 on the season. “This was the biggest game for us since my freshman year. After that first inning I knew that I just had to do whatever I could to keep my team in it. I had to trust my defense and then hope that we would score some runs.”
Gaitherburg got two runs back in the third and another in the fifth, although that one was nearly erased by a base running mistake. With two outs and runners on first and second, Trey Martinez smacked a single to left that scored Jake Thomas who crossed the plate just before Evan Colon was thrown out heading to third. Had Colon been tagged out before Thomas had crossed the plate, the run would have been nullified.
Gaitherburg took the lead in the home half of the sixth against Whitman reliever Sean Cook. Zack DeCarlo led off with a single and Peter Galvin sacrifice bunted him to second. Dakota Durant reached on a bunt down the third base line that was misplayed, then drove in Zack DeCarlo with a sacrifice fly to center and Thomas followed with a bloop single to center that scored Durant with the go-ahead run.
“After Scotty hit that long sac fly to tie it, I was just looking for something good to hit,” Thomas said. “I got behind 0-2 in the count and then just got enough of one to lift it into center field. I was so happy to see it land and then see Dakota score.”
Whitman coach Joe Cassidy commended the Trojans for their patience at the plate and continued to praise Nick DeCarlo for his season on the mound.
“All season long the walks haven’t hurt us,” Cassidy said. “But today they did. But give credit to Gaithersburg for being patient. They took the walks and I think four of them resulted in runs. Nick DeCarlo is undefeated for a reason. At the beginning of the season, no one expected us to be here. I don’t think we were even in the conversation when it came to region finalists. But I was proud of my guys, especially the seniors.”
Gaithersburg 5, Whitman 4
Whitman (15-7) 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 4
Gaithersburg (20-2) 0 0 2 0 1 2 - - 5
WP - Nick DeCarlo - LP - Sean Cook - 3B - W - Max Vogel - RBI - W - Max Vogel 3, GB - Trey Martinez 1, Scotty Herrmann 1, Jake Thomas 1.