Just plain effective, Lowery pitches Railroaders to Class 1A state baseball championship

WALDORF — About one thing went wrong for Brunswick’s Tyler Lowery on Saturday. He couldn’t finish the Class 1A baseball championship game.

Lowery hit the 105-pitch limit one out from clinching the Railroaders’ seventh state title, which left him understandably perturbed. But he received a standing ovation from the Brunswick fans as he dipped into the dugout to grab his infield glove before trotting out to second base, which certainly eased his frustration.

And it completely went away four pitches later when Lowery joined the pile at the pitcher’s mound celebrating the Roaders’ 4-1 win over Patterson Mill that clinched the program’s first state championship since 2016.

“I just wanted to win this, man,” Lowery said. “And it felt great winning it, too.”

It felt even better moments later when Brunswick coach Roger Dawson took the championship trophy and called Lowery over, giving it to the senior.

The typically reserved Lowery couldn’t help but smile as he took it from Dawson before running to the stands with his teammates, celebrating with them and the community that made the trek to Regency Furniture Stadium to watch.

“He was the man of the day. He deserved it,” Dawson said. “He came here and did what he was supposed to do.”

That meant throwing 6 2-3 innings of one-run ball, striking out eight while scattering five hits. He delivered, in his estimation, the best start of his high school career in his final game, the type of effort the Roaders always knew was possible.

Lowery had been “effectively wild,” as Dawson termed it, all season, frequently working in and out of jams to ultimately allow a few runs. But on Saturday, he was just plain effective.

“Tyler Lowery threw the game of his life,” junior infielder Colin Pearre said. “He threw one hell of a game.”

Lowery knew he would be taking the mound when Pearre reached his pitch count in Tuesday’s semifinal, rendering him unavailable Saturday. So, Lowery began preparing three days ago, getting into his long toss and bullpen routine.

Before he took the mound in Waldorf, he looked around the stadium, taking deep breaths as he settled into a moment he couldn’t fathom three years ago. Then, he threw a first-pitch fastball to the Huskies’ Chase Cichocki.

“After that first pitch, it was a strike, I knew it was gonna be a good day,” Lowery said.

Aside from a two-batter stretch to lead off the fifth inning, Patterson Mill (13-13) couldn’t dent Lowery’s stat line or his mood. The Huskies pieced together their only run on an RBI bloop single from Mason Hemelt.

Lowery was clean and not flashy otherwise, a microcosm of the program Dawson’s built in his 32 years at the helm. That’s the way Brunswick (22-2-1) played all year, cobbling together win after win that turned heads around the state by the sheer fact the team rarely lost.

“We’ve been like this all season. Our goal is to get on top and stay on top,” Pearre said.

Lowery helped himself in that regard at the plate, too. He opened the scoring with an RBI single after the Huskies intentionally walked shortstop Ty Kaunas in the first inning. Pearre followed with an RBI single of his own.

Kaunas then came up in the second inning and drilled an RBI single of his own up the middle, a play that eventually produced the Roaders’ fourth and final run after Patterson Mill’s center fielder overran the ball.

The Virginia Tech commit is perhaps the piece that put Brunswick over the top when he moved from Pennsylvania to Maryland two months before the spring season began.

“You can see he’s a next-level shortstop, so when we found out he was moving in, it was just like, wow,” Dawson said.

For his part, Kaunas knew the winning culture he was about to enter, and he quickly became an integral part of delivering the Roaders their first title in eight years.

“I’m definitely excited, and we can definitely win another one next year. We can definitely go back-to-back,” Kaunas said.

He relieved Lowery and induced the groundout that clinched the first trophy.

Though Lowery wished he could be the one in that moment, he certainly didn’t mind being part of the group piling onto Kaunas at the end of the game.

“That’s just awesome,” Lowery said. “There’s no other words.”