By Keith Mills
Faced with winning a doubleheader on the seventh day of the tournament, Youse's Maryland Orioles Under-20 team did just that Sunday afternoon, beating teams from New Orleans and Chicago to win their fourth straight All-American Amateur Baseball Tournament in Johnstown, Pa.
Upset by Chicago, 5-1 on Saturday, Youse's Orioles received clutch pitching from Mitch Harris, Jon Kibler and Josh Squatrito to win their record 24th AAABA title.
In game one, Hunter Harris of the University of Texas started against New Orleans but was pulled by manager Dean Albany after just 2.1 innings.
"He just didn't have it," Albany said. "He had pitched great all year but walked four guys and I decided to pull him."
He was replaced by Mitch Harris, an All-American at the U.S. Naval Academy. Harris, a rising-junior, pitched 6.2 innings of outstanding relief. Alabama's Vincent DiFazio hit a two-run home run and Scott Krieger of George Mason slammed a solo shot. Krieger, who played on Calvert Hall's unbeaten 31-0 "A" Conference champion squad two years ago, also blasted a key two-run triple against Chicago in Game 2 and hit two home runs for the tournament.
Krieger's former Calvert Hall teammate, Kibler, started against Chicago in Game 2 and again gave Albany and the Orioles a strong outing. Kibler, who pitched last spring for Dundalk Community College, is headed to Michigan State. Against Chicago he pitched seven strong innings and was replaced by his Dundalk teammate, Squatrito, who gave up just one hit in 2.2 innings. He also struck out the side in the ninth to end six and a half hours worth of outstanding baseball and give the area powerhouse yet another title.
"We really played well today," said Albany, who also won two AAABA tournaments as a player and now four as the manager. "Our backs were up against the wall but we never gave in."
Orioles’ catcher Jason Bour was named the tournament MVP after hitting .400. Bour is a teammate of Krieger's at George Mason and went to Westfield High School in Virginia, the same school that produced catcher Brandon Snyder, the Baltimore Orioles’ No. 1 draft pick in 2005.
Youse's Orioles finished the year at 48-20 and were one of two Baltimore teams to represent the city in Johnstown. The Maryland Orioles Under-18 team, coached by Dave Kaplan, had an outstanding tournament, finishing fifth. Joe Vellegia of Calvert Hall and Mount St. Joe shortstop Nick Natoli led the Orioles. Vellegia, also a member of that 31-0 Cards team, is headed to Old Dominion. Natoli will play at Towson University.
Posted August 14, 2006