Fantastic Franke: Southpaw Propels Baseball To First Region Crown
May 14, 2012
WYE MILLS, Md. - For something that has never happened before, something that has been coveted for so long by so many; it most certainly wasn't going to come easily. That was the case on Sunday for the top-seeded Harford baseball team in pursuit of the program's first Region XX Championship.
The Fighting Owls needed to win just one game to claim the title. After a little controversy in a 4-3 loss in game one, the Fighting Owls were able to rebound and take game two behind Brandon Franke's career-best pitching performance in an 8-1 winner-take-all victory against No. 4 Potomac State.
In a season with two no-hitters, a pair of one-hitters and two other two-hitters, it was Franke's gem on Championship Sunday that will be remembered by every member of the 2012 Fighting Owl baseball family. After allowing a run on a pair of first-inning singles, the sophomore lefthander held the Catamounts hitless for the final eight frames sending the top-seeded Fighting Owls into a dogpile on the mound and into the District Championships next weekend for the right to compete at the NJCAA National Tournament in Grand Junction, Colo.
The Fighting Owls scored eight unanswered runs to claim the title, giving Franke (5-2) more than enough cushion on the hill. The southpaw struck out seven while walking four in allowing just the lone first-inning run. After the RBI-single in the opening frame, Franke retired 12 consecutive batters and overall, he had four 1-2-3 innings in the championship game win.
Five Fighting Owls had multiple hits in game two, led by Anthony Ortiz's three-hit effort. He scored twice and knocked in another, while Jerry Jerminski had a pair of hits and two RBIs. Bobby Kohl had two hits, including an RBI-single that put Harford on the board in the second inning and started the eight-run onslaught.
Harford put the game out of reach in the fifth inning with a three-run frame. Jon McAllister and Ortiz opened the inning with back-to-back singles, and Jerminski, Norm Donkin and Dennis Mitchell collected RBIs to extend the Harford lead to 5-1.
Harford and Pot State were locked in a tight contest in Sunday's first game. The Catamounts scored a controversial run to take a 4-3 lead on an RBI single to right field. Donkin came up throwing and Nick Octavi appeared to block the plate and tag the runner, however, he was ruled safe for the winning run. Another run scored during an arguement at the plate, but after a 20-plus minute delay, the umpires sent him back to third, and Harford was able to get out of the inning. Harford was unable to extend the game in the bottom half of the frame. Taylor Nelson went the distance in that game, taking the tough-luck loss.
Franke claimed Region XX Tournament MVP for his dazzling performance on Sunday, leading the charge of four Fighting Owls on the All-Tournament Team. Wilson, Jerminski and McAllister were also honored.
Head coach Tom Eller has now guided his squad to a school-record 45 wins, marking the third consecutive year the Fighting Owls have broke the school wins record. They now travel to Spartanburg, S.C. for a best-of-three District Championship Series at Spartanburg Methodist on Friday at 1 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. The winner of that series will qualify for the NJCAA Division I National Championship in Grand Junction, Colo.
Harford's Muse Wins 2011 Region XX Cross Country Championship
October 30, 2011
HAGERSTOWN, Md. – Even a bizarre October blizzard couldn’t slow down Harford’s Tyler Muse on Oct. 29. The freshman harrier claimed medalist honors in the 2011 Region XX Cross Country Championships with a time of 28:45 in the 8K event.
Muse headlined a quartet of Fighting Owls who finished in the Top 10 in the school’s first-ever cross country championships. Sophomore Noah Hutton finished third (29:08) and freshman Brandon Smith (30:22) finished ninth. On the women’s side, freshman Kaitlin Ames finished third with a time of 22:48 in the 5K event.
The men’s team finished second in the Region and will send all five runners to the 2011 NJCAA Championships on Nov. 12. Ames and Tessa Hosutt will join them in Hobbs, N.M. for the women’s championship race.
Flight Night: Harford Announces Rivalry With Hagerstown
September 26, 2011
BEL AIR, Md. - The Harford Fighting Owls and Hagerstown Hawks have agreed to a new all-sports rivalry beginning in the 2011-12 athletic season. The MD JUCO teams, who have 10 common sports between them, will compete for the all-sports trophy in the competition called ‘Flight Night: Battle of the Birds’.
The 10 teams involved in the points-based competition are: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, golf, men’s soccer, softball, women’s tennis and volleyball. Each sport would be worth one point, for a total of 10 points.
For a school to be the winner of the competition, it must accumulate at least 5.5 points. The point is awarded to the team that wins the season series in the head-to-head competition. If the team plays head-to-head once in a given season, then the school that wins will receive the point. If it is a tie, each team receives a one-half point. All regular season games count toward the season series tally (including if non-conference games are played) with the school that wins more games receiving the point. If the teams split the regular season matchups, then each team receives a one-half point.
For cross country and golf, one point is awarded to the school that finishes higher in the MD JUCO Championship for each sport. For these sports, no other competitions – in-season or postseason – will count toward the series. Postseason games can count toward determining the season series winner, only if the two school’s split the regular season meetings. Which ever school wins that game is awarded the point.
In the event of an overall tie, the school that won the previous year will retain the trophy. If there is a tie in the first year, the schools will share the trophy.
The first ‘Flight Night’ is this Wednesday when the volleyball teams hook up at Hagerstown. Follow the ‘Battle of the Birds’ scoreboard online at www.HarfordAthletics.com.
~ Fighting Owls ~
Harford Baseball's Wilson Named Second-Team All-American
June 9, 2011
BEL AIR, Md. - Harford baseball's James Wilson was named a 2011 NJCAA Division I All-American. The freshman shortstop earned Second-Team honors as announced by the national committee on Wednesday.
Wilson led the team and ranked third in the conference with a .430 batting average, a total that ranked in the national top 20 among all Division I players. He totaled 68 hits, 15 doubles and led the team with 54 RBIs. He also currently has a 23-game hitting streak to carry over into next season.
Wilson collected three hits against Germantown on April 2 to start the hitting streak and added a pair of hits against Catonsville on April 6 to push his batting average over .400 for the season. His team-best batting clip never dipped back below .400 for the rest of the most successful season in program history.
Wilson's All-American Award is the sixth such honor in the last two years for Harford Athletics. Women's Soccer's Beth Lambros and baseball's Joe Harbach were named All-American during the 2009-10 season. In 2010-11, Erin Lynn was named All-American in both women's soccer and women's lacrosse, while Holly Webb received the honor this year in women's lacrosse.
For the baseball team, head coach Tom Eller has now coached four All-Americans in the last four years. Wilson in 2011, Harbach in 2010, Steve Alexander (Preseason All-American in 2008) and Brandon Maupin in 2008.
Wilson was one of three players on the Division I list from Region XX. Potomac State's Nate Antone (Third-Team) and ASA's Jonathan Sanchez (Honorable Mention) were also named. He was also one of four players in the conference to earn All-American honors. Allegany's Jon Kemmer and Frederick's Dan Dierdorf were named to the Division II list, while Germantown's Ben Silverman was named to the list for Division III.
Women's Soccer's Lynn Signs At Division I's Louisiana-Lafayette
February 15, 2011
BEL AIR, Md. - Sophomore forward Erin Lynn officially signed her National Letter of Intent to play soccer at Division I's University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Lynn set a school record with 102 points (37G, 28A) in her two seasons at Harford.
"I am truly excited to continue to play soccer at the highest collegiate level," Lynn explained. "I would like to thank my coaches, teammates and parents for helping me achieve my goals."
During her time as a Fighting Owl, Lynn led the team to a 38-4-2 record, a pair of top 10 national rankings, and a 2009 Region XX Championship as well as a trip to the 2009 NJCAA National Tournament. This past season, Lynn led the team with 17 goals and 40 points while the Fighting Owls finished with a 15-1-1 record and a No. 5 national ranking.
"Erin deserves everything that she has earned," head coach Jason Muffoletto said. "When she arrived on campus two years ago, she was a good athlete with tremendous ability and potential. Now she has turned into a Division I player, and we are nothing but proud of her. We wish her all the best at Louisiana-Lafayette."
The Ragin Cajuns won 10 games last season, and open the 2011 season with contests against LSU and Northwestern State. Follow Erin Lynn in her junior and senior campaigns at www.ragincajuns.com.