Sometimes, what looks like a good thing really isn't. Just ask City coach Bill Walker.
A year ago, his 10-0 Knights squad debuted at No. 20 in the area rankings only to get hammered, 12-3, in their next game by an unranked Southern squad.
This year's Knights entered this week at 5-0 with a No. 18 ranking, only to lose, 3-0, to unranked Lake Clifton on Tuesday, and 5-1 yesterday at unranked Patterson (6-2) -- a team the Knights (5-2) whipped three times last year.
"It's like a jinx to us, I guess," said Walker, a Patterson graduate. "It didn't help that my pitcher [ace Pat Mowray] lost his temper and got ejected, but it's like every time we get ranked, we fall apart."
The dismantling began in the home first inning with run-scoring hits by Mike Burrows, who singled, and doubles by Willie McGirt and Steve Reppas for a 3-0 lead.
"Coming in, we knew this was a real big game for us after getting handled by them last year," said Burrows, a right-hander who improved to 4-1 by striking out 10 batters -- seven swinging -- and yielding his only walk in the final inning.
"My arm felt really good, and I had my split-finger going today. Mostly all I did was change speeds."
The only hit Burrows allowed was a fourth-inning triple by Damien Beane, who then scored on a fielder's choice.
Before being ejected, Mowray (2-1) had settled into a strong game, trailing, 3-1, with eight strikeouts against five hits and/ two walks.
Mowray was ejected after a called ball to McGirt in the sixth. After receiving the return throw from catcher Jason Smith, Mowray turned back toward the mound and muttered something.
"I had hurt my arm, and I was talking to myself," said Mowray, who was replaced by Mike Scarcella.
In the sixth, Patterson scored its final runs. Mike Jaski nailed a hard shot with two men on that got behind shortstop Sean Cooper after initially being blocked. Cooper couldn't gather it before both runners crossed the plate.
In the second, Jaski was thrown out at home while trying to turn a triple into a home run. The Knights also turned a double play in the third inning.
* Friends 10, Towson Catholic 1: Freshman right-hander John Fessenden pitched a no-hitter, striking out 10 and walking six, leading Friends (1-2-2) past Towson Catholic (0-4).
* Mervo 11, Dunbar 1: Darrell Taylor pitched a five-inning no-hitter as visiting Mervo (5-2) beat Dunbar (3-4). Taylor, who improved to 4-1, struck out eight and did not walk a batter. Timothy Wilkins hit a home run for Mervo.
* Hereford 27, Milford Mill 1: Bulls junior Stacy Zahner pitched a no-hitter, striking out 11 and walking 10 in a game shortened by the 10-run rule.
* John Carroll 24, Harford Tech 0: April Lynch pitched a no-hitter, striking out 19 and walking two, leading John Carroll (6-2) past host Harford Tech.