Baseball trounces Churchill 6–2 to win second annual Jack Langerman Cup

By Ben Belford Peltzman

The boys baseball team (5–1) defeated the Churchill Bulldogs (4–4) on Wednesday afternoon, dominating the game and notching a four-run victory on the road.

The Vikes wasted no time getting on the board, as junior Gideon Schwartz plated sophomore Sammy Berman with a single to left field in the top of the first. However, Churchill quickly tied the game with a second-inning RBI double.

After the early scoring, the bats got quiet on both sides in a three-inning defensive battle. The Vikes ended this lull in the top of the fifth when senior Massimo Liuzzo smacked a double off Churchill’s starting pitcher. Junior John Wayman followed up by crushing a home run over the left field fence, the first of his varsity career. The two-run homer put the Vikes up 3–1, sending the Whitman bench into a frenzy. 

In the bottom of the fifth, Bowen faced three Churchill batters before Coach Joe Cassidy took him out of the game. The Frostburg State commit pitched four solid innings for the Vikes, allowing two runs on three hits while logging seven strikeouts and one walk. Sophomore Sammy Berman got the call to take over, inheriting two Churchill baserunners. Berman would escape the jam relatively unscathed, only allowing one run. By the end of the inning, the Bulldogs still trailed the Vikes 3–2.

The Vikes extended their lead to two in the top of the sixth when senior Gibson Hirt scored on a wild pitch. Berman added on with a towering fly ball that allowed Bowen to tag up and score, moving the score to 5–2. With plenty of wiggle room on the mound in the bottom of the inning, Berman struck out three batters to preserve the Vikes’ three-run lead. 

The Vikes got right back to scoring in the top of the seventh when Bowen laced a single to center that sent Hirt across the plate for his second run. Berman again had no trouble in the bottom of the seventh, striking out three more batters and securing a 6–2 win for the Vikes. After the game, Berman noted the significance of beating Churchill early in the season.

“Today was definitely a statement win over one of the top teams in our division — this certainly sets the tone for the rest of the season,” Berman said. “The win gives us a lot of momentum heading into a tough part of our season.”

After the game, both teams came together at home plate to honor Churchill alumnus Jack Langerman — who passed away in 2021 in a tragic accident. Since then, Churchill and Whitman dedicate their matchup to Langerman every season.

The Vikes got a much-needed win against the Bulldogs in a 6–2 match and will look to keep it rolling against BCC (6–5) at home on Friday at 3:45 pm for the Battle of Bethesda. Be sure to tune into The Press Box for a live radio broadcast of the game.