Crossland High School left-hander Paul Ludwig pitched a no-hitter yesterday, but an unearned run made him a 1-0 loser to DuVal in a Maryland Region II semifinal baseball game at DuVal.
Earlier in the year, Ludwig lost a 1-0 one-hitter to DuVal when Bruce Ford homered in the last inning.
Top-seeded DuVal (15-4) will play host to the winner of Monday's Parkdale-Bowie game Tuesday for the region title and a semifinal berth in the state playoffs.
In a near repeat of their first game, Ludwig (6-4) and Ford (7-2) matched hitless innings. Ford, also a left-hander, relied on his 80-plus mile per hour fast ball and slider while Ludwig kept the Tiger hitters off balance with offspeed pitches.
"I know how he feels," said Ford, who raised his record to 7-2. "I threw a no-hitter against Bowie and lost. This wasn't one of my best games and I struggled some. I may have tightened up some because of the weather. But my slider was pretty good and I threw a lot of fast balls late."
Ford, who didn't allow a hit in the six innings he worked in the first game, gave up only two this time. One came on an infield hit, the other on an opposite field double.
The double by Ken Mangold came with two out in the seventh and last inning.
"He hit a fast ball," Ford said. "(Against) the last guy I threw mostly fast balls." The last guy, Kelly Muncy, was called out on strikes.
Muncy, at shortstop, was involved in DuVal's only run. With one out, DuVal's Joe Borneman drew one of the two walks allowed by Ludwig. Borneman tried to steal second and was clearly out until he kicked the ball out of Chris Keeler's glove.
"I knew I was out and tried to kick the ball out," Borneman said. "I should have been out at third, too, but they misplayed the ball."
The ball rolled into short left-center field before Muncy chased it down. While Muncy was fumbling the ball, Borneman dove into third. Ford then hit a grounder to short and Muncy, after a quick look at Borneman speeding home, decided to go to first. Ford was out but Borneman slid home with the game's lone run.
"I didn't think I could get him at home," Muncy said.
Ford's hard grounder was one of the few hard balls DuVal managed off Ludwig. Only two balls were hit out of the infield and six others were weak grounders.
"Losing is the breaks," said Ludwig, who had seven strikeouts. "I didn't think about a no-hitter."