BETHESDA — Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons centerfielder Sebastian Mieses, a preseason All-State selection and a Mount Saint Mary’s commit, stepped up to the plate with all the momentum in the world. His B-CC Barons had just come back in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the second-round playoff game against the Whitman Vikings.
He came through, with one of the biggest hits in school history.
“I just hit it good, and it went. I knew it was gone off the bat,” Mieses said.
Just a pitch after he popped out to center field, but was called back as the Whitman pitcher balked, Mieses completed an improbable Barons comeback with a two-run, walk-off home run to left field, driving in Will Philpott who was camped out on first base as B-CC eliminated Whitman, 8-6.
“Craziest game I’ve ever played in my life,” Mieses said.
Whitman jumped on top early, as Sam Mermelstein reached on a walk to lead off the game, and was later driven in by Jack Ryan to put the Vikings ahead 1-0.
B-CC responded in the bottom of the inning. The first four Barons batters reached, including three straight singles by Drew Packs, Jamie Mills and Kevin Dunne. Mills picked up two RBIs on his single while Dunne got one.
Though Whitman took the lead right back in the top of the second. Sean Flemming led off the inning with a single, starting a rally in which Zach Werkman, Mermelstein and Shinnosuke Ishiyama all picked up RBIs as Whitman pulled ahead 4-3.
Having taken the lead, Whitman began to cruise, even with starting shortstop/pitcher, and West Virginia commit Tyler DeMartino out of action, stemming from his ejection in Whitman’s previous game against Walter Johnson. Mason Levin started the game on the mound for Whitman, and dominated after the first inning. After Dunne’s RBI single, B-CC wouldn’t have a single hit off Levin until Adwyn Viera in the seventh inning.
Brendan Hughes, the starting B-CC pitcher, settled in for the third through fifth innings, before allowing a run in the sixth inning to put Whitman up 5-3.
Whitman scored again in the top of the seventh, on a home run off the bat of Justin Carboni. That appeared to be the insurance run to seal the deal for Whitman.
B-CC’s dugout was silent heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, as the reality of what looked to be their final game sat in front of them.
In the bottom of the seventh, however, everything changed.
Joe Eisenberg and Austin Taylor led off the inning, each reaching on errors. The third hitter in the inning, Adwyn Viera, hit a single to left-center, the first hit for B-CC since the first inning. The bases were loaded for Zach Alfonso. Alfonso was hit by a pitch which forced in a run. Then, pinch hitter Nils Townsend, stepped in the box. Townsend hit a single to left, driving in two runs, and tying the game at six.
The next batter was Mieses. The Barons jumped out of the dugout, arms in the air, as Mieses’ home run carried over the fence. B-CC had never beaten Whitman in the playoffs during the nine years of John Schmidt’s tenure as head coach, until his star centerfielder came up with one of the biggest hits in program history.
“We just picked each other up,” Mieses said of the final inning. “We knew we weren’t going to go down like that.”