Redemption can be so sweet, especially when you double-dip in a championship game as top-ranked Arundel's Joey Frykman did yesterday in Gambrills.
Frykman, a sophomore, went all the way on a remarkably low 71 pitches, scattering seven hits and driving in the winning run in the bottom of the sixth as the Wildcats (22-2) nipped No. 11 Severna Park, 3-2, to capture the Class 4A East Regional baseball title.
A two-out single by Frykman, who felt like he let his team down in their first two region victories this week, scored Bart Maxwell from second base with the winning run after he singled and stole second. It spoiled a superb effort by Severna Park sophomore Ryan Doot (3-1), who gave up seven hits, struck out one and walked two in 6 2/3 innings.
With their 15th straight win and third this season over the Falcons (16-8), the Wildcats added to their state record for region titles they already owned by notching No. 13.
Arundel plays 4 p.m. Tuesday in the state semifinals at Bowie Baysox Stadium against the Springbrook-Wootton winner.
Severna Park remained one of three Anne Arundel County schools never to have won a region title, but its luck could change next year when they move down to 3A.
"We only had three seniors, but I expected to win today," said Falcons coach Jim McCandless.
Frykman did not walk a batter and struck out just one, relying on his defense, which mainly consisted of his cousin and shortstop Jason Lively, who had seven assists.
Frykman was knocked out in the third inning of Monday's 9-7 come-from-behind win at Westminster and 0-for-3 in Wednesday's 5-4 victory over Old Mill.
"It felt great [yesterday] because I was in a slump, mentally hitting, and pitching, the other team just hit me," Frykman said.-- Pat O'Malley
No. 7 Northeast 11, Annapolis 1: Eric Brown homered twice, the first a grand slam, and drove in six runs as the Eagles (18-6) routed the Panthers (9-13) to win the 3A East crown, their first since 1996.
Northeast meets No. 13 Liberty (13-4), a 4-3 winner over South Carroll in the West final, at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the state semifinals at Joe Cannon Stadium. Brown's slam came in a seven-run second inning by the Eagles. Chuck Smith and Jim Wojtanik drilled two doubles each to help make a winner out of sophomore Chorye Spoone (3-2).-- Pat O'Malley
Franklin 3, Fallston 2: Chris Parker hit a two-out double in the top of the seventh inning to help the Indians (15-7) capture the 3A North Regional crown over the Cougars.
Parker, a junior shortstop, took over in the bottom of the inning with runners on second and third for Fallston (12-11), but got out of the inning unscathed. Franklin advances to the state semifinal May 22 at Joe Cannon Stadium against Centennial, 6-3 winner over Atholton.
Dulaney 9, Mervo 1: Trevor MacMeekin threw six innings of two-hit baseball, striking out eight Mustang batters to help the Lions advance to state semifinals for the second year in a row. Clark Dulaney went 4-for-4, scored three runs and drove in two to lead Dulaney, now 21-2 on the season.
"Mervo has an excellent defensive outfield, and without a fence, they ran down a lot of our deep shots early that would have been home runs," said Dulaney coach Ron Audlin. "We ended up having to play small ball; bunting runners over, stealing some bases and doing the little things. It was a very well-played ball game for both teams."
Dulaney, which lost in the state final last season to Watkins Mills, won its 14th consecutive game. The Lions will play East Roosevelt, an 8-4 winner over High Point in the South Regional.
Centennial 6, Atholton 3: The Eagles (15-9) continued their late-season excellence, winning the 2A East regional crown by going on the road and defeating the Raiders (14-10).
Centennial, which has thrived on pitching and defense, took an early lead behind pitcher Brad Loveless, but Atholton fought back into the game late, loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh. Eagles ace Brian Neidig struggled, but struck out the side to close out the victory in front of a large Howard County crowd.
"It was one of those games where you could feel the electricity on every pitch," said Centennial coach Dave Appleby. "Things got kind of tight in the seventh inning and before we knew it, the winning run was standing at the plate smiling at us. But we managed to pull it out. We're very excited."
Hereford 7, Lansdowne 4: Pat Nagle's two-out, bases-loaded triple highlighted a five-run seventh inning that lifted the visiting Bulls (14-7-1) over Lansdowne.
Hereford trailed 4-2 entering the seventh before sending 10 batters to the plate.