For the second straight year, Archbishop Curley baseball coach Al Frank spoke glowingly of the competition in the Bruin Holiday Baseball Tournament at Broadneck High.
And for the second straight year, Frank's team proved the best of them all.
Curley successfully defended its title in the eighth annual eventby defeating Broadneck in the final, 9-5, in a game that was stoppedafter six innings due to darkness.
The start of the second game was delayed more than an hour because the Bruins needed 11 innings to defeat Loyola, 3-2, in the semifinals.
Curley edged Old Mill, 2-1,in the other semifinal.
The Friars (8-0) scored two runs in the fourth inning to break a 5-5 tie and deny Broadneck its second championship and first since 1986. Old Mill has won the title on five occasions, including three straight from 1987 to 1989.
"It's always tough here," Frank said. "4A Anne Arundel County ball is just as good as the (Maryland Scholastic Association) A Conference we play in."
Broadneck, sluggish from the onset of the finale, committed two errors and misjudged a fly ball for a double that led to three first-inning runs.
The Bruins scored one run in the bottom of the first on a Brad Reinhart leadoff double and Sean Tettemer ground-out.
The Friars answered with two runs in the second off Broadneck starter Tim Collins, who surren
dered five runs and six hits in two innings.
Curley starter Jayson Eyster struggled as well, giving up five runs (one earned) on four hits in four innings.
Frank summoned senior right-hander Bryan Bowen after Eyster issued a walk to open the fifth. Bowen, who threw a complete-game six-hitter in the earlier victory overOld Mill, shut out the Bruins the rest of the way.
"Bryan only threw 72 pitches in the first game, so we knew he wasn't burned out. He's our ace, and when we need him, he's there," Frank said.
Broadneck had pushed across four runs in the third inning to rally from a 5-1 deficit. Eyster balked in one run, and a Jeff Vincent bunt single and an Eyster throwing error scored two more.
Clif McClain accounted for the tying run on a fielder's-choice bunt.
Broadneck had dropped Loyola into the losers' bracket when Matt Weimer scored an unearned run in the top of the 11th inning to break a 2-2 tie.
Weimer gained the win in relief of starter Johnny Williams, who pitched the first eight innings. Vincent hurled the 11th inning to pick up the save.
The win was Broadneck's first after dropping two one-run decisions.
Old Mill came within an out of reaching the finals, only toallow two unearned runs on one disastrous play.
Senior third baseman Dackren Coleman homered in the third inning to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead, but his two errors off a Jamal Davis grounder with two outs in the seventh scored two runs.
Old Mill starter Doug Stockman gave up only three hits but walked six while throwing more than 120 pitches.