Upper Marlboro School to Host First Round of Baseball Tourney
Some of the best private school teams in the area will begin play today at Riverdale Baptist.
Riverdale Baptist School, in 35 years under head coach Terry Terrill, has been one of the top private-school programs in Prince George's County and across the region. The Crusaders have sent players to the pros and college ranks, and Terrill has won more than 900 games at the Upper Marlboro school.
But the Crusaders, who are 23-14 overall, will not be the top seed when the Maryland private-school baseball tournament begins Tuesday at Riverdale Baptist.
Rather, the top two seeds are Good Counsel (Olney) and Archbishop Spalding, of Severn and they have first-day byes. DeMatha Catholic of Hyattsville and St. Vincent Pallotti of Laurel will play at 5 p.m. today -- weather permitting -- and the winner will face Good Counsel on Thursday at the University of Maryland in College Park.
In the other game at 8 p.m. tonight, host Riverdale Baptist will face county rival McNamara and the winner will face Spalding on Thursday at the University of Maryland. The title game is Friday at 7 p.m. in College Park and the consolation game is at 4 p.m.
"I think any team is capable of beating everyone. We have six good teams," Terrill told Patch on Monday. "I think it is the strongest field we have had in several years."
The tourney expanded from four teams to six this season. A graduate of Bowie High, Terrill said the tournament began in 1993.
Riverdale Baptist is coming off a doubleheader sweep on the road Saturday at The Hill School in Pottstown, PA. The Crusaders got strong pitching and won 1-0 and 4-0. "It was a good tuneup for this week," Terrill said. "We have a young team."
Top players for Riverdale Baptist include seniors Dan Brockunier and catcher Travis Smith. Brockunier is slated to attend Division II Tampa in the fall and Terrill feels he can play third base or outfield at the college level. Smith is slated to attend Montgomery College in Rockville.
The Crusaders, in a previous meeting this season, won against McNamara after falling behind, 5-0, Terrill said. "They have a good club. Their league is a good league," Terrill said of the Mustangs, who play in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference along with DeMatha.
Terrill said he plans to start Tayler Bloom, from Bowie, or Chase Brewis on the mound Tuesday against McNamara. The Crusaders won at home over Pallotti earlier this season.