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Carroll Varsity Roundup: Century on verge of rare feat among Carroll baseball teams

Members of Century's baseball team cheer after a play in their favor during Wednesday's Class 2A state semifinal against Hereford on May 23, 2018, at Harford Community College in Bel Air.
Members of Century's baseball team cheer after a play in their favor during Wednesday's Class 2A state semifinal against Hereford on May 23, 2018, at Harford Community College in Bel Air. (Matt Button / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Baseball state championships have been hard to come by in Carroll, but Century is one win away from joining the short list of victors.

The Knights (19-3) face La Plata (20-5) on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Class 2A championship game at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. Century, in its first state tournament appearance, defeated Hereford 9-0 on Wednesday to reach the final.

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Carroll teams have combined for seven state titles since the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association started its tournament in 1975. Liberty (1997, 2004), South Carroll (1999, 2002), and Westminster (2007, 2011) have two apiece, and Francis Scott Key (1984) has one.

In fact, Century will have some history on its side Saturday — Carroll teams are 7-2 all-time in state finals.

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Expect the Knights to have senior standouts Jeremy Lapp and Ethan Kiple ready to pitch against La Plata, which defeated North East 11-5 in the other 2A semifinal.

The Warriors are going after their second state crown in three seasons, but they’ll likely have to get through Lapp to do it. The Knights senior is 4-0 with a 3.21 ERA, and he’s coming off a nine-strikeout performance in the 2A West final against Walkersville. Lapp has 48 strikeouts over 28 1/3 innings.

Kiple, meanwhile, is 7-0 with 49 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings and carries a 3.56 ERA.

Senior Tyler Roach flirted with a no-hitter Wednesday against Hereford and got plenty of help from his offense — Century collected 11 hits and leaned on four RBIs and a triple from junior Matt Born, while Lapp senior Nathanael Hibbs each added doubles.

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Hibbs is batting .508 with 11 doubles, 10 home runs, and 38 RBIs. Kiple leads Century with 42 RBIs, tops in the county as well, along with 10 homers and three doubles.

The Knights are hitting. 358 as a team.

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