Starting tonight – and ending Saturday night – the top eight public school baseball teams in Maryland will step on Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium to compete for their respective class championships in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.
They represent seven counties. Four have won previous state finals titles while the other half hasn’t – marking what should be a great and emotion-filled weekend of baseball.
Class 4A Final – Howard Lions vs. Northwest Jaguars, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Howard, which overcame a two-run deficit with two outs in the seventh inning against Severna Park in the state semifinal game, vies for its first championship. Northwest hopes to make its second finals appearance a memorable one, like the Jaguars did in 2012 – a 7-6, extra-inning win over Arundel.
Class 1A Final – St. Michael’s Saints vs. Boonsboro Warriors, Saturday, 1 p.m.
St. Michael’s makes its first appearance in the title game since 2012. A win against Boonsboro would mark the program’s fifth championship. The Warriors have been state semi-finalists or better 11 times since 1975 – more than any other team competing in Aberdeen this weekend. Boonsboro was crowned in 1985 and 2002.
Quote: Boonsboro head coach Ronnie Stewart: “This group of young men have worked extremely hard to reach one common goal, make it to Aberdeen! I’m extremely proud to be a Warrior and amazed at how this small town of Boonsboro is (proud) of their high school baseball team. It seems as though we’ll continue to be the underdog, and we’re OK with that. To make it out of our region is a great accomplishment and no doubt we are battle-tested.”
Class 2A Final – Fallston Cougars vs. Middletown Knights, Saturday, 4 p.m.
Fallston and Middletown have yet to win a state championship. Both programs appeared in two title games, but were never able to come out on top.
Quote: Middletown head coach Andy Baker: “We are very excited to represent our school and community in the state finals. We are just looking to go out and keep doing what we have been doing, which is playing solid, fundamental baseball. This community was built from hard workers who have pride in what they do. We are confident, no matter of the outcome, that our kids are going to represent our school, community and their families very well.”
Class 3A Final – Chesapeake-AA Cougars vs. Poolesville Falcons, Saturday, 7 p.m.
The Cougars are familiar with Ripken Stadium. Their 2017 run marks a third championship appearance in the last four seasons. Chesapeake (Anne Arundel) fell last year, but took home the title plaque two years prior. Poolesville knocked out Huntingtown, last year’s champion, in the 2017 state semifinals, 2-1. The Falcons hope to earn their first title in program history.
Quotes: Chesapeake head coach Ken King: “We are excited and working hard to represent our school and families in this game. Poolesville is a formidable opponent and we respect them and the way they play.”
Poolesville head coach Steve Orsini: “This is very exciting for the team. The parents and community of Poolesville are behind (us). Everyone is talking baseball. I just tell the kids every game to play hard, have fun and enjoy the experience.”
Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association
The MIAA baseball championships – private schools – already have wrapped up.
‘A’ Conference Championship, May 22, Harford Community College
Loyola Blakefield captured its first conference title since 1946, ending a 71-year drought, with an 8-3 win over top-ranked Calvert Hall. The Dons took the lead, and broke the game open, in the sixth inning with a seven-run barrage.
‘B’ Conference Championship, May 22, Harford Community College
Boys’ Latin shut out Severn in the winner-take-all game to earn its second-straight conference championship. Ned Ruffin hurled a complete game for the Lakers in the 4-0 victory. He allowed only three hits and struck out 15 batters.
‘C’ Conference Championship, May 18, St. Paul’s School
Make that four-straight conference titles for St. John’s (Frederick) . Vikings pitcher A.J. Javitt led the way, tossing a two-hitter in the 5-0 win over Gerstell. Javitt registered 11 strikeouts and retired 10 of the last 11 he faced.
Jacobson wins final ‘Prep Ballplayer’ vote
Howard senior Sam Jacobson is surely focused on tonight’s state title game. But the Lions’ catcher/first baseman will take a fresh honor into the biggest game of his career.
He won this week’s BaltimoreBaseball.com’s ‘Prep Ballplayer of the Week,” – our final one of 2017 – by leading his team into the playoffs with some big postseason performances. In three games last week, he went 4-for-9 with three doubles, one single, two walks, five runs and four RBIs.
Jacobson captured the honor over Chesapeake’s Joe Seidler and Severn’s Ethan O’Malley.