'Sucks to go out like that': Errors doom Urbana baseball in 4A state final loss to Sherwood
May 26—WALDORF — The highly anticipated rematch between Urbana baseball and Sherwood — two of the state's top teams — wasn't the prettiest contest.
There were errors galore, mental mistakes and even a pair of balks that brought runs home. But even with neither team at their best, the result was much the same as before.
The Hawks fell to the Warriors, 7-4, in Friday's Class 4A state championship at Regency Furniture Stadium, marking the third straight season Sherwood kicked Urbana out of the playoffs. Only this game had the added stakes of hardware.
The Warriors won their third straight state title and fifth overall, becoming the second program to three-peat after Brunswick did so from 1990-1992.
"Obviously, everyone's pretty sad," senior left-hander Keegan Johnson said. "Sucks to go out like that."
It was especially painful given the numerous chances the Hawks gave away, only to not reciprocate when Sherwood made its mistakes. The game featured nine total errors and five unearned runs combined.
Urbana (21-3-1) brought the tying run to the plate with one out in the seventh, hoping to capitalize on a booted grounder by the Warriors second baseman. But the next two batters struck out looking and grounded into a fielder's choice, the last out being made because the runner didn't slide into second.
"We just made too many mistakes, and that's unusual for us," Hawks coach Mike Frownfelter said. "Against good teams, you can't make that many mistakes."
It meant that any momentum Urbana earned was just as quickly squandered. Sherwood took a 3-1 lead in the second inning and never let the Hawks get closer, the margin oscillating between two and four runs the rest of the way.
The Warriors got critical insurance runs in the final two innings — one scored on a balk, and another on a throwing error.
"They capitalized more on our mistakes," Frownfelter said. "They scored on a balk. They scored on two wild pitches, and you look at the score, and that's three runs, and we lose by three."
Neither Johnson nor Eli DeRossi-Cytron had their best stuff, but they battled through the extended innings to keep Sherwood (23-3) from pulling away. It meant the Hawks were able to hang around, taking advantage of a few Warriors miscues as well.
Connor Roussel and Riley Smith each hit a sacrifice fly, while Johnson drove in a run in the sixth. Parker Bell scored on a balk.
That kind of resilience was missing from Urbana in its past battles with Sherwood, even if the result remains frustrating for the Hawks.
"We played them two years ago when [the seniors] were sophomores, and the moment was just too big for them in the playoffs," Frownfelter said. "We didn't win tonight, but they're winners in life because they did not give up. They fought."
If it's any more solace, they can also claim to be leaders of the Hawks' best-ever team. From setting a school record in wins to making their first state title game, this group led the program to new heights.
The Warriors ultimately stood in the way once again, leaving Urbana to accept its runner-up medals and tearfully watch its nemesis celebrate.
"We hold our heads down right now because we lost, but we're going to look back, and this was an awesome experience," Frownfelter said.