I'm neither dumb enough nor self-involved enough to believe that the final paragraph of my last column affected the result of an important high school regional tournament game, but the superstitious part of me keeps saying otherwise.

The one team I made a prediction for in my last installment, Havre de Grace softball, which I said was in good shape to go very far in the 1A East tournament, was knocked out of contention on Wednesday with a 4-1 upset loss to Bo Manor, and I can't help but think I put a jinx on the Warriors.

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I broke one of my own rules by mentioning only one team, so maybe that's what did it. By failing to include my thoughts on a few other teams, several of which have a shot at regional titles and state championship game appearances, I angered the sports gods and they decided to make me look bad.

Or, this is all just a case of strange things happening in the playoffs. I'm going to stick with that idea, because it's one that has been proven to me over and over again, whereas my endorsements don't always guarantee a team's luck will go bad.

So, looking at it from the coldly logical standpoint, Havre de Grace probably should have beaten Bo Manor, seeing as how the Warriors had won their previous two matchups with the Eagles by a combined score of 19-5. I knew Bo Manor was probably going to start Rachel Jones, the freshman pitcher who threw back-to-back perfect games during the regular season, but didn't think it would matter, because Havre de Grace possesses one of the most potent offenses in the UCBAC. I, of course, was wrong, and Jones one-hit the Warriors in Wednesday's sectional final.

Right behind the Warriors getting knocked out of contention by Bo Manor, I'd have to rank Fallston baseball's 2-0 victory over Rising Sun in the 2A East Section I title game as second on the strange-things-happen-in-the-postseason list. That is not a dig against the Fallston team, which has had plenty of success during my time covering UCBAC baseball.

Looking back over their schedule, however, the Cougars went 0-3-1 against Chesapeake (upper) Division teams during the regular season (the tie comes from an abandoned game with C. Milton Wright), and lost out on the Susquehanna (lower) Division title to Havre de Grace. Rising Sun, on the other hand, had a 15-2 regular-season mark, though that could very easily have been a 17-0 mark and a Chesapeake Division title were it not for some team from Pylesville ripping the Tigers' hearts out on two separate occasions. You've got to pick Rising Sun in that matchup, right?

Wrong. Fallston, which got into the 2A East Section I final with an 8-6 win over Patterson Mill on Monday, shut down the Tigers, 2-0, in Wednesday's contest. To put that in perspective, you have Fallston, which went winless against Chesapeake teams all year, knocking two upper-division squads out of the playoffs in a three-day span. In case that wasn't hard enough for Rising Sun to swallow, this is the second straight year Fallston has beaten the Tigers in the sectional final. Maybe I should have remembered that when I was making my pre-game assessments on Wednesday.

I'm not going to make any definite predictions on the upcoming regional championship games, but five teams, North Harford baseball, Havre de Grace baseball, Fallston baseball, CMW softball and Harford Tech softball, are left in the playoff hunt, and they're all playing at the same time on Friday (if it doesn't rain). I'm betting that at least one of them earns a state tournament berth. That's a safe wager, right?

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