C. Milton Wright had come from behind to win 11 of its 16 victories entering last night's Class 3A state title game against Damascus of Montgomery County at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans.
But there would be no comeback against the Hornets' right-hander Ryan Childs, a 6-foot-2 junior who got a four-hit, 4-1 win despite yet another late rally by the Mustangs, and whose fans lined the fence near the Damascus dugout with large signs bearing the letter "K" for each of Childs' 12 strikeouts.
The Hornets (18-1), ranked No. 6 by The Washington Post, won their 14th straight game in their second state title game showing since being runners-up in 1978 and ended a five-game winning streak by the Mustangs (16-6), who had won 13 of their past 15 games.
Childs showed why he is 5-0 with 52 strikeouts, retiring 17 of the first 21 batters before yielding three hits in the seventh. Childs faced 26 batters overall, with his lone walk was in the first inning where he also yielded a single to Scott Guzewich.
Guzewich entered the game as the Mustangs' No. 2 hitter at .468 with 16 RBIs behind Brad Glascock, who was at .560 with 32 RBIs coming in. Sean Bantner was hitting .370 with 18 RBIs, having gone 7-for-10 with two each in triples and doubles in playoff games.
Collectively, however, those three players were 2-for-8 against Childs with three strikeouts. Glascock was 0-for-2 before he singled with one out in the seventh, took second base on a wild pitch and scored on Andy Givens' two-out single.
Justin Ryan followed Givens with a single of his own, but with the tying run at the plate, Bobby Lee struck out.
"He had a good changeup. He had good stuff," said Glascock, whose school was a runner-up for the second time since their last appearance in 1988. "We had a great season because no one expected us to get here, but as far as us coming back, we just came up short."
For the Mustangs, Givens retired eight of the first 10 batters and finished with eight strikeouts, three walks and allowed two hits before being lifted in the sixth -- down 2-0 -- in favor of Mike Crone.
Damascus got its 1-0 lead with two outs in the third as Donnie HTC Anselmo and Childs managed consecutive singles, Jim Casey walked to load the bases and Anselmo crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
Givens struck out the side in the fourth, but walked the first batter in the fifth. That runner scored for a 2-0 lead when the left fielder lost control of Casey's shot.
Crone was chased in favor of John Rudolph in the sixth, using three straight hits, including run-scoring singles by Corey Consuegra and Mac Mollet, to go up, 4-0.
Pub Date: 5/24/98