WINFIELD -- If not for the Thomas Johnson baseball team and pitcher Aaron Wheat, South Carroll might be battling for a state title.
But the Cavaliers closed the season with a 6-4 loss against Thomas Johnson of Frederick Monday in the Class 3A Region III finals. South Carroll went 18-2 on the season, with both losses coming at the hands of Thomas Johnson and Wheat.
On May 7, Wheat pitched six scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts, as the Patriots ruined the Cavs perfect season (they were 16-0 at the time) with a 5-4 win in the second game of a doubleheader.
Wheat wasn't quite as dominant Monday as South Carroll jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but Thomas Johnson battled back with a five-run third, and Wheat shut down the Cavaliers down the stretch. He pitched 6 1/3 innings, scattering just three hits.
Mike Anders relieved Wheat to get two key outs in the second inning to stop a possible South Carroll rally, then Wheat re-entered in the third inning and went the rest of the way.
"I told the kids they had a lot to be proud of," South Carroll coach Joe Foltz said.
"I know they wanted to be in that final game, but they had a great year: 18-2 [overall], 12-0 in the [Central Maryland Conference] and 8-0 in the county, and they broke so many school records this year."
The Cavaliers broke 11 single-season marks this year -- including best team record (18-2), team batting average (.366), most runs scored (189), most runs batted in (157) and longest winning streak (16).
Monday's loss also closed out a stellar three-sport career for senior Joe Goodwin. A standout catcher and pitcher on the diamond, Goodwin also excelled as point guard on the basketball team and as quarterback on the gridiron.
"Joey's probably the best all-around athlete we've ever had here," South Carroll athletic director Fred Baker said.
"He's been particularly strong in his attitude and determination. Over the past two years, he has had much acclaim, and I don't know of any other kids at that age who could have handled it any better."
Five Cavaliers were named to the 1992 All-Central Maryland Conference team announced last night. Here's a look at the Carroll County players chosen:
Infielders: Scott Carter (senior, South Carroll), Steve Schulze (senior, South Carroll), Bobby Taylor (senior, Westminster)
Outfielders: Charlie Kuykendall (junior, South Carroll), Brian Yannick (junior, South Carroll), Todd Dorsey (junior, Westminster)
Catcher: Joe Goodwin (senior, South Carroll)
Pitchers: Schulze and Goodwin
Outfielders: Doug Hamilton (senior, North Carroll), Jason Small (senior, North Carroll)
Catcher: Adam Pfieffer (junior, Westminster)
Pitcher: Rob Ruhlman (senior, Westminster)
HONORABLE MENTION Infielder: Benny Jackson (senior, North Carroll)
Outfielders: Kirk Engel (senior, Westminster), Gray Johnson (senior, Liberty), Doug Coppler (junior, Liberty)
Pitcher: Mike Hastings (senior, Westminster)
Designated hitter: Corey May (senior, Westminster)
The Francis Scott Key baseball team, meanwhile, completed a turnaround from last year's dismal 2-16 campaign by reaching the Class 1A Region II finals. Defending state champion Brunswick ended Key's season in that game Saturday, 8-2.
The Eagles finished with a 9-11 record and defeated Sparrows Point of Baltimore County in the region semifinals Friday. Though Key had a better regular-season mark several times in the late 1980s, their playoff showing was the best since losing to Boonsboro in the region finals in 1985.