In one of the sloppiest Class 4A finals, or any baseball final for that matter, Sherwood of Montgomery County beat No. 4 C. Milton Wright, 7-6, in eight innings last night at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, handing the Mustangs their third lost in the state championship game in five years.
Chris Green ended it with a single just out of the reach of leaping shortstop Brad Markey with one out and the bases loaded. C.M. Wright (18-5) also lost in the state final in 2004 and 2006.
Sherwood (16-5) eliminated C.M. Wright, 10-2, in last year's regional final and the Mustangs had hoped to avenge the loss, but it wasn't to be in a game that had seven errors, five hit batsmen, seven walks and a variety of bizarre plays. Sherwood emerged with its first state title.
Senior left-hander Mike Rappazzo went seven innings for C.M. Wright before giving way to Mike Devecchio, who took the loss. Rappazzo sliced a double into the left-field corner to score his catcher Woody Wlodarczyk from first base as the Mustangs took a 6-5 lead in the top of the sixth. But the Warriors tied it in the bottom half on a single by Green, who finished with three hits.
Sherwood would have won it in the seventh had it not been for a terrific block of the plate by Wlodarczyk on a close play.
The crafty Rappazzo, built along the lines of David Wells, took a no-hit bid into the fourth inning as C.M. Wright built a 1-0 lead. But Tom Gilchrist broke it up with a single to center to start the fourth, leading to two runs. Chris Green singled to right and designated hitter Tom Barksdale's bunt scored Gilchrist. Green kept running and outraced an infielder to third. A throw there by first baseman Mike Devecchio went into the dirt and into foul territory, allowing Green to score and giving the Warriors a 2-1 lead.
Mustangs catcher Woody Wlodarczyk, who came into the game batting over .500 with 33 RBIs, countered in the fifth by stroking a two-out ground-rule double into the right-field corner to score Ron Zeberlein from second to tie the score at 2. After the Warriors intentionally walked Rappazzo, Devecchio ripped a shot right at the Sherwood center fielder to end the inning.
Sherwood followed with three runs that inning, taking advantage of a Mustangs error and two hit batters by Rappazzo. John Wagner and Gilchrist had RBI singles for the Warriors in the crucial three-run inning.
C.M. Wright answered in the sixth with three runs of its own to tie the score at 5. Two errors and two hit batsmen produced the runs. C.M. Wright did not get a hit in the rally.