201 Maryland D2 Champions
2018 11/12 Maryland District 2 Champions
The Legend of “MOCOLOCO”: 2018 MCLL LC MD D2 12U Champions
We did it the hard way, which is what makes it special.
All of the Montgomery County Little League Lower County (MOCOLOCO) 12u boys had played together for more than two years, but rarely on the same team or at the same time. The disappointment of an early ending for the 2017 11u team set high hopes for the 2018 12u team. After a challenging spring, 13 boys who had set themselves apart from their peers were chosen. To prepare for the tournament, we practiced eight straight days—and for 12 of the 14 days leading up to our first game. At a backyard “BP and BBQ” the night before, the boys were loose, ready, confident. The plan was to “Win four straight, then rest for ‘State.'"
But an opening-round, away-game, 5-1 loss in 100-degree heat to Brunswick’s high-pressure offense railroaded MOCOLOCO into the 12u Maryland District 2 all-star tournament’s loser’s bracket, setting the stage for an epic, six-games-in-seven-days winning streak to capture the D2 banner.
On Sunday, July 1st, we hosted Four County. Game-time heat index was 100+ degrees. We won 7-4.
On Monday, July 2nd, we traveled to Mountain Valley. Game-time heat index was 100+ degrees. We won 8-0.
On Tuesday, July 3rd, we traveled to East Frederick. Game-time heat index was 100+ degrees. We won 10-0.
On Wednesday, July 4th, the morning after Brunswick defeated Frederick National 14-3 for the winner’s bracket championship, Brunswick Coach Steve Dinges was quoted in the Frederick News-Post: “Frederick National’s going to bounce back. We’re going to see them again [in the district championship].”
It was all the ammo MOCOLOCO needed.
On Thursday, July 5th, after three straight away games, MOCOLOCO hosted Frederick National in front of its home crowd. Game-time heat index was 100 degrees. We won a lightning-delayed game, 3-2.
On Friday, July 6th, seven days after an opening-round loss, we traveled back to Brunswick. Game-time heat index was 100+ degrees. Having won the coin toss and choosing to be the home team, we walked them off 4-3, setting up a final showdown the next morning in Bethesda. A confident Dinges was heard, walking away, “We’re fine. They have no pitching left.” But in the paper the following morning, the Frederick-area folks seemed to think we were “pulling some surprises,” that “some of the bounces”—including a sixth-inning MCLL error that broke MCLL’s then-dominant 3-0 shutout that allowed Brunswick to tie the game—didn’t go their way.
On Saturday morning, July 7th, we hosted the Brunswick Railroaders--the winner’s bracket champion, now once defeated--for the title game at NCC2. Having won the coin toss, we chose to be the home team. Morning heat index approached 90 degrees. In the top of the first, Brunswick stunned the home crowd into silence, leading off for five runs. A pitching change quickly ended the threat. The legend of MOCOLOCO takes its roots in beating the miles, beating the weather, beating the odds. But what happened in the bottom of the first cemented MOCOLOCO's legacy: 10 straight, unanswered runs, capped off by a bases-clearing triple from the speedy 9th batter. That 9th batter, seventh on the pitching depth chart, got the last four outs to clinch the Maryland District 2 championship. The unaffiliated state-tournament umpires and district administrator said they had never seen anything like it, that in a championship game, none had ever seen 15 runs plated in the first inning.
With an 11-9 win, we moved on to the Maryland State Championship tournament in Hagerstown.
On Saturday, July 22nd, we beat St. Mary’s 6-2.
On Sunday, July 23rd, it rained. All games postponed.
On Monday, July 24th, it rained again. We lost a back-and-forth game to Chesapeake City, 5-3.
On Tuesday, July 25th, it rained some more. We beat South Maryland (Davidsonville), 13-2.
On Thursday, July 27th, exhaustion finally caught up to us. We lost to Conococheague, 3-0, and were eliminated from the 2018 Little League tournament. We had loaded the bases three times, including the top of the 6th when our best hitter struck out to end the game—less than 24 hours after homering twice the night before.
MOCOLOCO had the best and deepest pitching in the state, but the fourth-best bats in Maryland (Berlin, who won Maryland, lost the Regional Championship to New York, who lost to Hawaii, who won the Little League World Series at Williamsport in late August). It was a magical summer these boys will remember for the rest of their lives.
2018 Montgomery County Little League Lower County 12u all stars and MD D2 Champions:
Jason Davis - Manager
Darren Bumbaugh - Coach
Ray Thomas – Coach
Maryland District 2 Championship Match Scoreboard
Montgomery County Little League (Lower County) - Home Team
Brunswick Railroaders - Away Team
Maryland District 2 Champions Team Photo
Ceremonial Champion coach water dumping