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  • The Severna Park Post 175 won the Maryland State American Legion baseball championship this July. The team begins competition in the regional tournament in August with a chance at reaching the American Legion World Series in North Carolina.
    Courtesy photo
    The Severna Park Post 175 won the Maryland State American Legion baseball championship this July. The team begins competition in the regional tournament in August with a chance at reaching the American Legion World Series in North Carolina.

Severna Park Post 175 Wins American Legion Baseball State Championship

Colin Murphy
View Bio
August 8, 2018

It’s in the books: A large contingent of Severna Park baseball players got their state championship.

The Severna Park Post 175 American Legion baseball team, which is manned mostly by Severna Park High School players ranging from rising juniors to class of 2017 graduates, reeled off five straight victories in the Maryland State American Legion baseball tournament and won the championship game on August 4 with a 5-0 shutout of Cecil County at the Parker Sports Complex in Salisbury.

The Spartans rallied from an opening loss to Caroline County in the double-elimination tournament by notching consecutive wins over Garrett County, Salisbury, defending champion La Plata, Funkstown and Cecil County to win the championship.

Sixteen of the team’s 18 players are current or former Severna Park High School players who came agonizingly close to winning state championships with the Falcons in 2017 and 2018 before ultimately coming up short.

This time around, Severna Park’s players finished the job. It is the second Maryland State American Legion baseball championship all-time for Severna Park Post 175, which last won the Legion state championship in 1997.

“Winning a state championship with the guys from the last two years has been pretty special because we all grew up playing together and developed a close bond,” said George Lesher, who pitched and played outfield for the Spartans. “I’m proud of how we didn’t let the first loss get to us and just kind of accepted it with the attitude that we couldn’t lose again and had to do whatever it takes.”

The Spartans, who are George Lesher, Jacob Way, Matthew Simms, Scott Huntley, Jake Hallet, Jack Triolo, John Iaquinta, Ben Hollingsworth, Luke Guy, Cam Clark, Josh Horgan, Ryan Stolarczyk, Ryan Key, Jordan Hallet, Dominic Hall, Tristan Halloran, Brendan Simonds and Matthew Glady, have played together in different combinations for years on successful Green Hornets and Severna Park High School teams. Triolo plays at Archbishop Spalding and Stolarczyk plays at Broadneck, but everyone else is either a current or former Falcon who wanted to bank one state championship in their time together.

“Coming into the season, I knew it would be my last chance to play with these guys,” said Key (SPHS ’17), the team’s catcher for every game in the tournament. “I have played with Matt Glady (SPHS ’17), Scott Huntley (SPHS ’17) and Ben Hollingsworth (SPHS ’17) since I was 8 years old. It was heartbreaking to come so close to a state championship every season since I was a sophomore, and now going into my sophomore year in college, we didn’t have much time left for a championship. All of the guys have worked so hard for so long and seen too much heartbreak in championship games, so it was great that we were able to win this one. We could all hear the tick on the clock as our time together on the same field was coming to an end.”

The team got contributions from every player in the championship run. Clark, Glady, Iaquinta, Simonds and Lesher all pitched well for the Spartans in the tournament, while Clark was named the tournament’s best hitter and Huntley was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

Bob Hallet, who coached the team with Mike Huntley and John Iaquinta, said the team took many of the characteristics of the high school’s teams over the past couple years and turned in a great all-around tournament run.

“The nucleus has been together for a long time through Green Hornets, and they all excelled at Severna Park High School, so I’m pretty lucky there. It’s what they do at the high school. Great pitching, great defense and kids who can hit,” said Hallet, who went down the line citing contributions from every player. “Everybody. Everybody did their job when they had to. That’s why we won. They’re just hardened baseball players. Glady, Cam, John, Brendan and George all did a great job pitching. Huntley was fantastic at shortstop. Ryan caught all those games. Those guys, they’re grinders. And Matt and Cam, they’re two of the best pitchers around. It helps that they come from a great program. These guys have been taught well through Green Hornets and at the high school.”

The team is not done yet. The Spartans will compete in early August at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament in Leesburg, Virginia, against the state winners from Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Virginia. If they win the regional double-elimination tournament, they will head to Shelby, North Carolina for the American Legion World Series later this month.

For the time being, Maryland state champs has a pretty nice ring to it. Clark, an ace pitcher for the Falcons the last two seasons, was proud to see the team stay composed after the opening loss, win five straight games and put Severna Park in the history books.

“The main thing that stands out to me about this team is that we stay really relaxed at all times no matter what the score is,” said Clark. “This tournament run was so special because we got beat pretty bad the first game and then really rallied together as a team to win the rest and come out on top, as we expected to do. I’m most proud to still be able to wear a Severna Park jersey in some way, because the memories last forever.”

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