DCMSBL, 18+ American Division
P.G. Raiders 5, Owls 4
Submitted by Ian Gleason, Raider’s manager
As the pink and blue post-sunset hues settled in an early August evening sky, the members of the P.G. Raiders exhaled and exalted after a closely contested 5-4 championship-clinching victory. The Raiders compete in the 18 and up American Division of the DCMSBL, the largest adult amateur baseball league in the area; the one-run victory at Springfield’s John Lewis High School on August 7 followed a 4-0 shutout in game one of the best-of-three championship series against the Owls, a team based out of Northern Virginia.
The Raiders, who have competed in the league since 2015, sport a roster of local baseball talent, including 12 Eleanor Roosevelt High School baseball alumni along with other players who competed in the Prince George’s Babe Ruth Baseball League while younger. After several years of establishing footing in the league, the Raiders’ 2021 campaign ended with an ascent towards the top of the regular season standings before a disappointing playoff loss. With continuity at the team’s core, the 2022 squad went 3-0 on its playoff run to the championship.
After an 11-5 first-round victory over the Golden Islands, the Raiders rolled to a convincing game one victory behind a strong, complete game outing on the mound from Micah Headd, a 2013 Bishop McNamara graduate who has returned to help coach at his alma mater. Additionally, 2021 Roosevelt graduate Matthew Baravechia used his speed to benefit the Raiders in all phases of the game. Baravechia’s speed earned the Raiders a key insurance run, but his quickness in the outfield helped preserve the shutout as he produced two double plays from left field. The game’s emotional climax came as Baravechia launched a perfect throw to home after catching a flyball with one out. The Owls fastest runner tagged from third but could not beat the placement of Baravechia’s throw. With that momentum, the Raiders entered game two poised for a championship.
Roosevelt 2020 alums Brian Bailey, Jr. and Wesley Shoemaker continued to tame the Owls’ offense with strong pitching performances, while the Raider offense produced timely hits, never trailing in the championship-clinching victory—sealed by infielder Dylan Knott’s two-RBI single to give the Raiders the insurance runs they needed in the tense final innings. The final out landed in Baravechia’s glove and the Raiders basked in a championship and the appropriately sweet cotton-candy colors of midsummer twilight.