Glen Burnie provides boost, 1st state title

Hecker delivers again

Glenelg triumphs in 1A

Centennial foiled in 2A

Baseball roundup

May 30, 1999|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Glen Burnie won its first state baseball championship by 3-1 over Perry Hall in the Class 4A final at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans Park yesterday. But as thrilling as that experience was alone, the win carried another important dimension, as well.

The title also was a victory for a school and community that have struggled through some tough times over the last couple years. School disturbances resulted in daily county police patrols and an ugly reputation.

On the field yesterday, just as they have all season, the No. 12-ranked Gophers (18-7) rode the rubber arm of senior Tim Hecker to victory. Hecker, 11-1 for the season, was the winner in four of the Gophers' five playoff wins, and he got a save in the other while pitching 27 1/3 innings in 13 days.

Yesterday, he scattered seven hits, struck out seven, and did not walk a batter for Anne Arundel County schools' third straight Class 4A title. The title was a Maryland-record 19th for county schools -- 13 in Class 4A -- since the state tourney began in 1975.

Perry Hall right-hander Dan Markley, one of only two senior starters for the Gators, scattered seven hits, struck out four, walked two and hit a batter in six innings.

Glen Burnie scored a run in the second inning on back-to-back doubles by Matt "Hooter" Smith and freshman right-fielder Keith Williams. Markley then buckled down and left Williams stranded.

The Gators tied the score 1-1 in the top of the fourth on a bases-loaded grounder by George Kastanaras that scored designated hitter Brian Vecchioni.

The run snapped Hecker's string of 16 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings in the playoffs.

But from the fourth inning on, he was never really in trouble. He got the shot of adrenalin he needed when his teammates regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a perfectly executed suicide squeeze by Andy Bonn.

2A: Centennial falls again

For Centennial in its state championship game yesterday, the defining play was a fourth-inning dribbler down the third-base line that couldn't have gone more than 10 feet.

"We caught a lucky break on that dribbler," said Walkersville coach Paul Merrill, whose Frederick County team tied the game 1-1 on that hit and went on to win the state title over Centennial, 9-5.

Walkersville (21-3) had two outs and the bases loaded at the time. Centennial starting pitcher Steve Fredrick already had escaped serious jams in the first and second innings and appeared to be off the hook again when Lane Strobel struck the weak hit. Fredrick raced over, decided the ball would not roll foul, but threw too late to home as a run scored.

The next Walkersville batter, Nick Clabaugh, cleared the bases with a double.

1A: Two straight for Glenelg

Hot weather rejuvenated Glenelg starting pitcher Jeff Starcher's sore arm, and he won his second straight championship game.

Hot bats and good defense took care of the rest, as defending champion Glenelg won its fifth state title yesterday, defeating Williamsport in the Class 1A final at Joe Cannon Stadium, 12-2.

Glenelg's win was its 11th straight, and the 21-4 team won the school's fourth state title in six years.

Jon Hughes, who had the game-winning hit in the state title game last season, came through again with a 3-for-3 effort.

Baseball

State finals

Yesterday's results

Class 1A

Glenelg 12, Williamsport 2

Class 2A

Walkersville 9, Centennial 5

Class 3A

S. Carroll 8, Leonardtown 1

Class 4A

Glen Burnie 3, Perry Hall 1

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