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Boonsboro captures baseball title

May 28, 2002|BY DAN SPEARS

dans@herald-mail.com

HARMANS, Md. - In the bottom of the third inning of Saturday's Maryland Class 1A baseball championship game, Boonsboro catcher Nathan Himes knew it was time.

Time for the Warriors to start hitting in the clutch against Catoctin. Time for the program to end a 17-year wait for a state title.

He just had to tell someone. With the bases loaded and time called, he got his chance.

"I went down and talked to Cody (Hanes, who was on third base)," Himes said. "I said, 'This is it. This is our inning.' I just knew we were going to do it."

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Two pitches later, his teammates proved him right, as the Warriors exploded for six runs at Joe Cannon Stadium on their way to an 11-3 victory and their second state championship.

Boonsboro won its first state title in 1985 and has averaged 13 wins per season since then, but only made one trip to a state final in that span. That was in 1988, during coach Fred Kreiger's first season.

"My son was a baby then; now he's 14," Kreiger said. "It just shows you sometimes it can take you a lifetime to get back to one of these."

Saturday, his team made enough memories to last several lifetimes. The Warriors, who finished 19-4-2, trailed 1-0 in the top of third inning, but Hanes made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch to stop a Catoctin rally.

He then singled to start the six-run inning that gave Boonsboro the lead.

His efforts helped erased a family's frustration - his brother, J.R., was a member of the 1988 team that lost to Havre De Grace in the state final.

"It is kinda neat that I've got this," Hanes said. "But they probably should have had one, too."

This set of Warriors left nothing in doubt after the third, and scored in each of their final three at-bats to put the game away.

Afterward, many of those in Boonsboro's cheering section - around 250 strong - stayed to take pictures of their new heroes, a moment players and fans had waited a long time for.

"I don't think it's sunk in yet," said right fielder Keith Kellinger, whose two-run double drove in the first two runs in the third. "But as far as school goes, we'll be legends. Kids are going to come through here and want to be like this team was. That's exciting."

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