A double delight at state finals for county baseball

May 25, 2008|By Jeff Seidel

Two baseball teams from Harford County made it to the state finals in the same season for just the second time.

C. Milton Wright made the Class 4A state final, while Harford Tech advanced to the Class 1A championship. According to Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association records, C.M. Wright also was involved the only other time that Harford County put two teams in championship games in the same year. That was in 1988, when Havre de Grace won a state title, while C.M. Wright lost.

Harford County has won just one state title in baseball since Havre de Grace captured that Class 1A (then Class C) state crown 20 years ago. Bel Air's Class 3A championship in 1996 is the only state title the county has won since then. C.M. Wright has had its chances. The Mustangs have made it to the finals four times.

The Mustangs lost in the final in 1998, 2004 and 2006 in addition to the 1988 loss. This year's Mustangs made it to the Class 4A final after a tense 8-6 victory over South River in eight innings at College Park Wednesday.

C.M. Wright blew an early 4-0 lead and then scored three runs in the eighth. The Mustangs were set to play Sherwood from Montgomery County Friday night in the state title game.

Harford Tech has never made it to the state final before this season.

The Cobras got to the state semifinals last year and struggled with nerves while losing to eventual Class 1A state champion Colonel Richardson. The Cobras got back again this year and did better. Ryan Neukum threw a five-hitter and Chase Gardner went 2-for-4 with an RBI to give Harford Tech a 6-3 victory over Clear Spring Wednesday night at McCurdy Field in Frederick.

"It was a great experience for us," Harford Tech coach Bill Jones said. "It was a great scene for the guys after the game. They were very excited."

Harford Tech was scheduled to meet St. Michael's, from the Eastern Shore, in yesterday's state title game. Neukum, who threw seven strong innings in the regional title game, was the probable starter.

"I think nerves did affect the boys last year," Jones said. "But they're fine this year."

Tennis: John Carroll student Tim Lozinak's surprising run in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association individual tennis tournament ended Wednesday. McDonogh's Alexander Centenari scored a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Lozinak in the A Conference No. 1 singles final. Lozinak had knocked off No. 2 seed Ben Fass from Friends and third-seeded Michael Katz of Gilman. But Lozinak couldn't do much against the top-seeded Centenari. Lozniak was hampered by the senior's nearly flawless effort and the tough cross-court winds at McDonogh.

*Track and field: The John Carroll girls finished third in last weekend's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland track and field title meet. The Patriots finished with 50 points, and McDonogh repeated as champion with 196, easily beating indoor winner Seton Keough (109). John Carroll got good performances from Erika Stasakova, Nicole Clarke and Elizabeth Tauber, who helped the team score many of its points. Stasakova (1,600) and Clarke (3,200) each got victories, and the Patriots also took the 3,200 relay.

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