FREDERICK -- Joppatowne relied on timely hitting to win its first Harford County baseball championship in 12 years. But the 13th-ranked Mariners couldn't get those hits yesterday and lost to Brunswick, 5-1, in the state Class 1A championship game at McCurdy Field.
The top-seeded Mariners (18-4) managed five hits but only one with runners in scoring position against Brunswick ace Scott Frye. They stranded 10 runners, including the bases loaded in the seventh inning.
Frye's complete-game, nine-strikeout performance led his Frederick County squad to its third straight Class 1A state baseball title.
The Railroaders (17-5) celebrated the first three-peat in the 18-year history of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association tournament. Seven other teams have won back-to-back titles, including Joppatowne in 1976 and 1977.
"What helped us is that we've been here [McCurdy Field] for five games in three years," said Brunswick coach Jeff Warfle. "I thought if we could score five runs, it would be in the bag with Scott on the mound."
Frye, a senior who got the save in last year's title game, notched his final strikeout with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning. After walking two batters and giving up a two-out single to J. P. Lilliston, Frye blew a fastball past Tim Miller to end the game.
"I was a little anxious to get it over with," said Frye, a sidearm pitcher who walked three batters in the first six innings. "It scared me because all they had to do was hit a home run to tie it up."
Frye was clearly the difference, said Joppatowne coach Al Zelinski. "We ran into a buzz saw. There's not much more I can say. They had tremendous pitching, and we didn't help ourselves in the field."
Two Joppatowne errors helped the third-seeded Railroaders score twice in the third inning to break a 1-1 tie.