Carver A&T softball coach Kevin Klimko was uneasy when he met with his infield in the bottom of the seventh inning of Tuesday’s Baltimore County championship game.
The tying run was at third base with the lead run standing at first for Eastern Tech, down a run with two outs. The biggest moment in Carver A&T softball history came down to one thing: Trust.
“I just believed in myself and he believed in me so we went with it,” said Wildcats catcher Emily Hamp.
The junior came through, throwing a strike to second basemen Robyn Palmer who tagged out Kara Smith, capping Carver A&T’s thrilling come-from-behind 6-5 victory over the 13th-ranked Mavericks at CCBC-Catonsville.
Freshman Mia McGarvey drove in two runs for the Wildcats (12-6 overall), and sophomore Haleigh Frye finished 2-for-4 with 2 RBI. Sydney Weaver had 2 RBI for Eastern Tech (14-4), and sophomore Gracie Himmelman and senior Kaylee DeMasse’ each added two hits.
A year after losing to Catonsville in the county final, Carver A&T got redemption Tuesday, capturing its first league championship.
The Towson school did it the hard way, rallying from a 4-1 deficit. Allison Pumphrey’s RBI single in the fourth, scoring Dennis, got the Wildcats within 4-3.
McGarvey’s two out double in the fifth, scoring Mallory Cooper and courtesy runner Jocelyn Baker, gave Carver A&T the lead. But Eastern Tech, looking for its first Baltimore County crown since a run of seven straight (2011-2017), rallied.
Himmelman doubled with one out in the bottom of the sixth, and scored on an error to pull the Mavericks within a run. Malorie Gogel opened the Mavericks’ final at-bat with a walk and advanced to third on Smith’s two-out single to right field.
Klimko, an assistant under former coach Jack Meyers (now CCBC-Catonsville assistant coach) on Eastern Tech’s powerhouse teams, knew the Mavericks would force the issue.
The Wildcats had the answer as Hamp and Palmer connected for the title-clinching final out. A preseason Baltimore Banner/VSN Top 15 team, Carver A&T stumbled out of the gates, but Klimko said his team has stayed resilient.
“We’ve been behind since the season started. But, we made it back here, and avenged our loss to them last year and it’s all due to my players’ heart,” said Klimko, whose team won the final two matches with Eastern Tech after a 5-2 setback in early April. “They never quit. I give them all the credit.”
BALTIMORE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
CARVER A&T 6, NO. 13 EASTERN TECH 5
Carver A&T 010 221 0 - 6 9 3
Eastern Tech 040 001 0 - 5 8 4
Cooper and Hamp; Gogel, Byer (5), Gogel (6) and DeMasse
2B: Carver A&T – McGarvey, Frye; Eastern Tech – DeMasse, Himmelman