FREDERICK, MD., MAY 28 -- Undefeated Perry Hall scored four runs in the fifth inning to break a tie and went on to knock off High Point, 10-6, in the rain-soaked Class 4A championship game tonight at McCurdy Field.
Perry Hall, in the state tournament for the first time, finished the season at 20-0. High Point (19-3), also in its first state tournament, had its 11-game winning streak snapped.
High Point Coach Bill Timberlake wasn't totally pleased the game was played in the rain.
"The conditions were the same for everyone and it's a shame that one play was affected by the rain," he said. "They did hit the long ball, we didn't."
The play Timberlake referred to occurred in the fifth when Perry Hall sent 10 batters to the plate, chasing High Point's most effective pitcher down the stretch, Danny LaPointe, in the process. Donny Burks was credited with a triple when right fielder Todd Murphy slipped and fell. Jason Moore singled in Burks for a 7-6 Gators lead.
The Eagles' problems had only begun. After a sacrifice bunt, Jason Kraus and Rob Strieb singled for another run. LaPointe was relieved by Murphy, who walked all three batters he faced, forcing in two runs and giving the Gators a 10-6 lead.
"They are a very strong hitting team. When it goes over the fence, you can't do anything about it," said High Point shortstop Greg Prochnow.
High Point threw a minor scare into the Baltimore County school in the final inning, putting runners at first and second with none out. But Kevin Loewe, who relieved starter Tim Nizer in the third inning, struck out cleanup batter John Wright. Loewe then induced Derek Flanagan to bounce into a double play.
"I knew I had to hold on that lead," Loewe said. "That was the most pressure I've ever had on me. I didn't know how nervous I was until then."
High Point got a two-out, run-scoring single from Wright to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Kraus scored on a fielder's choice to tie the game at 1 in the bottom of the second. Nizer struck out the side in the second before the Eagles put together a double and three singles for three runs and a 4-1 advantage in the third. That did it for Nizer.
After Moore's homer in the third cut Perry Hall's deficit to 4-3, center fielder Roy Marsh, who committed a two-base error that allowed a High Point run in the third, sent a LaPointe pitch over the 355-foot sign in center field to send the Gators ahead, 6-4, in the fourth.
"I didn't worry about the error. Even though we were down, I knew we could come back because we have big sticks," Marsh said. "I didn't know I had a home run until I reached second base. I was just trying to knock a run in."