FREDERICK, MD., JUNE 6 -- Leonardtown High School of St. Mary's County pushed across three runs in the first inning and Wayne Gray did the rest, limiting Chesapeake of Anne Arundel County to two hits, and the Raiders claimed an 8-1 victory and the Maryland state A baseball title today at McCurdy Field.
Gray was in command throughout, striking out nine and not allowing the Cougars (16-7-1) more than one base runner in any inning. He walked three but the Chesapeake batters managed to hit only three balls (including the two hits) out of the infield. In their three previous playoff games, the Cougars had outscored their opponents, 26-4.
Leonardtown (16-6) had a tougher road to the final. It beat La Plata, 6-2, and Douglass, 11-1, before edging Overlea, 6-5.
Leonardtown got to Chesapeake's Bob Bianco early, turning four hits, an error and a wild pitch into three first-inning runs. Mike Readmond, who had two hits and two RBI, opened the inning with a double to left. He moved to third on a fly ball and scored on a wild pitch.
Randal Holt tripled to right and scored on Andy Redmond's single. Gray drew a walk and Shawn Knott reached on an error, loading the bases. Steve Kerig's bunt single scored Redmond, and Leonardtown led, 3-0.
Bianco settled down, holding the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference team to one hit for the next three innings.
The Raiders got to him again in the fifth. Redmond singled, stole second, moved to third on an error and scored on Knott's single. Leonardtown would score four more runs -- Knott scoring on a wild pitch and Readmond climaxing the five-run rally with a long, three-run homer.
Gray didn't need the extra runs. With the exception of Erik Shoemaker, Chesapeake had no success against Gray. Shoemaker had two hits, a hard ground single in the fourth and a long double that scored John Ferguson with the Cougars' run in the sixth.
Leonardtown had eight hits. Holt had two hits and scored once; Redmond had two singles, scored twice and had an RBI; Kerig had a single and walked twice in three at-bats.