From the HCC sports desk:
Harford Men’s Tennis Wins One Match on First Day at NJCAA Nationals
PLANO, Texas—The Harford men’s tennis team will see three matches on Day 2 of the 2010 NJCAA Division-III National Tournament at Collin College as the freshman Cory Litka (York, Pa./Aberdeen/East Stroudsburg) and sophomore Ben Wade (Joppatowne, Md./Joppatowne) compete in the quarterfinals of the Flight 1 and Flight 5 singles draws, respectively, while Litka will also team with sophomore Josh Meier (Belcamp, Md./Home School) to compete in the Flight 3 doubles quarterfinals.
The Fighting Owls are currently in a tie for eighth place with two points, after Litka and Meier won their opening round match on Monday with a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Uladzimir Ryzhko and Aydar Suleymanov from Kingsborough. The duo will face the No. 2 seeded team of Alex Cavanagh and Tim Steere from Rhode Island on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. (CT)/12:30 p.m. (ET). The teams have met twice already this season, with Rhode Island claiming both victories, 8-3 and 8-1.
Litka will also be in action on Tuesday in the Flight 1 singles, where he will meet Broome’s Jordan Smith at 8:00 a.m. (CT)/9:00 a.m. (ET) after advancing to the quarterfinals with an opening round bye. Wade similarly earned a bye for the opening round and will face Rock Valley’s Brian Dickinson at 9:30 a.m. (CT)/10:30 a.m. (ET) in Flight 5 singles.
Meier, sophomore Steve Heagy (Fallston, Md./Fallston), freshman Marc Donars (Joppa, Md./Harford Tech) and freshman Kevin O’Brien (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) will also see action on Tuesday in the consolation draw after falling in their respective opening round matches at Flight 2, Flight 3, Flight 4 and Flight 6 singles. In addition to their singles matches, Heagy and Donars will compete in the consolation draw of the Flight 2 doubles draw and freshman Walker Bazemore (Churchville, Md./C. Milton Wright) and Wade will compete in the consolation draw of Flight 3 doubles after both teams dropped their opening round matches.
Meier Named Region IV ITA/Arthur Ashe Award-Winner as Harford Men’s Tennis Competes at NJCAA Nationals
PLANO, Texas—Harford men’s tennis sophomore Josh Meier (Belcamp, Md./Home School) has been named the 2010 NJCAA Division-III Men’s Tennis Region IV recipient of the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award, the NJCAA announced on Sunday night.
The award, which was first instituted in 1982, recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level. NCAA Division-I, II and III, NAIA and junior college men’s and women’s tennis players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements receive the award and are honored during a special ceremony hosted by the USTA during Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day inside Ashe Stadium.
Meier, a two-year player for the Fighting Owls, has a 13-2 singles record so far this season, as well as a 9-4 doubles record. Over his career at Harford he has amassed an incredible 21-5 singles record and posted a 13-9 doubles record.
Bays Leads Harford Golf with 11th Place Finish at Region XX Championship
MCHENRY, Md.—Sophomore Jacob Bays (Aberdeen, Md./Aberdeen) led the Harford golf team with an 11th place finish at the Region XX championship this weekend at The Wisp Resort. Bays carded a 179 for the two-day event (89, 90) to finish in 11th place, just one stroke out of All-Region designation for the top-10 finishers.
Freshman Jordan Heaps (Havre de Grace, Md./Harford Tech) was the only other Harford player to record an individual finish after freshmen Chris McCray (Havre de Grace, Md./Havre de Grace) and Tim Fortin (South Portland, Maine/Westbrook) were disqualified on the first and second days, respectively. Heaps finished with a two-day total of 199 after turning in a 96 on day one and a 103 on day two.
Potomac State captured the team championship for the third straight season by outdistancing runner-up College of Southern Maryland by just three strokes, 674-677. Potomac State’s Luke Dempsey claimed the individual title with a 154 two-day total, 74 on day one and 80 on day two.
Harford Women’s Tennis Finishes Season with 26th-Place Showing at NJCAA Nationals
TUCSON, Ariz.—The Harford women’s tennis team wrapped up competition at the 2010 Division-I NJCAA National Tournament on Wednesday as sophomore Courtney Brewer (Street, Md./North Harford) fell in the No. 3 singles consolation draw.
Brewer dropped a close, 8-6, match to Pima’s Lori Cinnamond in the semifinals, which she advanced to with an 8-5 consolation opening round win and 8-3 quarterfinal win after dropping her first match in the main draw last Sunday.
Sophomore Kelsey Strine (Abingdon, Md./Edgewood) became the most accomplished player in head coach George Budelis’s 12-year history on Tuesday as she played in the quarterfinals of the No. 6 singles main draw, falling to the national runner-up, Seminole State’s Jade Cunningham, 6-2, 6-0. Strine, the No. 7 seed entering the tournament, reached the quarters with two, three-set wins during the Round of 32 and Round of 16 on Sunday and Monday, respectively.
The Fighting Owls matched their 26th place finish and 4.5 point total from 2009 after finishing in a tie for 26th this season. The Owls were the only MDJUCO team to compete at the national tournament in 2010.
Krider’s Homer, Harbach’s 15 K’s Lead Harford Baseball to First-Ever Postseason Win
BEL AIR, Md.—The No. 4 Harford baseball team notched the first postseason victory in the history of the 40+ year-old program with a 4-2 victory over No. 5 CCBC-Dundalk in the Region XX Opening Round on Saturday at Harford Baseball Field. Sophomore Mike Krider (State College, Pa./State College) blasted the game-winning, two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, while sophomore Joe Harbach (Abingdon, Md./Edgewood) was electric on the mound, striking out 15 in the complete-game effort. With the win over the Lions (23-25), the Fighting Owls (33-14) advance to the four-team, double-elimination regional finals next weekend at Catonsville, Md.
Krider’s homer came with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning against Dundalk, who had advanced to the game with a 7-3 win over No. 8 Rappahannock earlier in the day. Sophomore Mike Maxwell (Salem, N.J./Woodstown) had led off the inning with a bloop single into left field. The blast, Krider’s fourth of the year, went over the right field fence and untied the game, which had been knotted up on a solo homer by sophomore Willie Barnola (Barquisimeto, Venezuela/UEC J.G. Bastidas) in the fifth.
It was Harbach’s pitching performance that had the crowd continually buzzing, however. The sophomore lefty got out of several early jams and gradually got stronger in his nine-inning outing. After allowing single runs in the second and third, he got into some trouble in the fourth with two runners in scoring position, and no outs, after a leadoff walk and double. Fortunately, Harbach rose to the occasion and induced a come-backer and a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.
Almost untouchable after that, Harbach did not allow another hit and the only subsequent Dundalk baserunners came on a walk in the sixth and an Owl error in the ninth. Twelve of the final 17 Lion outs were recorded on whiffs as Harbach improved to 4-3 on the season. The Dick Howser Award-nominee now has a 4-3 mound mark and 52 strikeouts in 45.1 innings pitched to go along with his .524 batting average.
Each team had scored in the second, on a pair of doubles—Harford’s coming on two-baggers by Krider and freshman Eric Quinn (Pylesville, Md./Harford Christian). A two-out single and a stolen base in the next inning set the stage for Dundalk to regain the lead on an RBI single, 2-1, but Harbach’s K’s to get out of the second and third situation in the fourth allowed for the home run heroics by Barnola and Krider.
The Fighting Owls advance to the regional final-four at CCBC-Catonsville on Friday at 1:00 p.m. where they will meet top-seeded Frederick (47-4). Host Catonsville, the No. 2 seed, takes on No. 3 Allegany at 10:00 a.m. in the opening match-up that day. The Region XX champion from that field will be crowned on Sunday. That winner moves on to a best 2-of-3 district series at the Region XIX champion on May 21-23 with that survivor moving on to the NJCAA Division-II World Series in Enid, Oklahoma from May 30 to June 5.