Those countians who went north to Baltimore yesterday, only to watchthe Orioles lose, missed a great 4A League Friendship Division baseball game played in their own backyard.
It featured Arundel (7-0 overall, 4-0 in the county 4A League) downing longtime rival Old Mill, 11-8.
This game had it all.
The first two innings ended in an 8-8 tie and featured 14 hits, two home runs, five doubles, a balk and Old Mill's Eric Scott fouling a pitch into the parking lot and breaking the windshield of a shiny, new Cadillac.
"We did have a bad game defensively, and this was the worse we've played. This was the first time for some guys in big ball games," said 18th-year Arundel coach Bernie Walter, whose Wildcats trail, 14-12, in the series, including victories in five of the last six games.
"I thought we had the better team, and I think we proved that today," Walter said.
Each team entered with a 2-0 division record. Old Mill drops to 4-2 overall, 2-1 against the county 4A league.
The Wildcats nailed Old Mill starterDoug Stockman for 14 hits overall, but Scott Young (1-for-4, 3 RBI) made the hit that counted down the stretch. The senior shortstop doubled in Eric Hontz and Tre Overstreet with two outs in the fifth inning to give Arundel all the runs it really needed.
"It was up aroundmy chest, and I kind of like that pitch. I felt I could drive it," said Young, who added a seventh-inning sacrifice fly that scored Overstreet.
Young also scored the Wildcats' first run on Larry Dobson'sfirst-pitch, three-run homer in the first inning that gave Arundel a3-0 lead.
"(The ball) was right there, I mean it was big. It was meat, so I just ripped it. I think that starting the whole thing for us,"said Dobson, who went 2-for-4.
Dobson also pitched 5 1/3 innings, relieving starter Zach Collins with two outs in the second after Collins had given up six hits, five walks, a balk and a wild pitch. Dobson gave up four hits, struck out four and walked three.
"I was jamming it, throwing it inside on them and making them hit off of thefat part of the bat," Dobson said. "Then I started mixing it up, inside-outside. I expected to pitch today and I was ready to do the job."
Each of the Patriot rallies in the early going came when they faced two outs and were the result of defensive miscues by the Wildcats.
Hontz's first-inning RBI double had given the Wildcats a 4-0 lead. The Patriots, however, capitalized on two Arundel errors in the bottom of the inning to take a 5-4 lead.
In the first inning, Old Mill's Scott nailed a two-out solo homer. John Bussey walked and Mark Bailey, pinch-running for Bussey, advanced to third when Jimmy Simms reached first on Overstreet's error.
Bailey scored on a Mike Mahoney single, and Ryan Scott's two-run double tied the game, 4-4.
Scott came home when third-baseman Chris Durocher tried to catch Mike Nappier -- who had singled -- but overthrew first base.
Arundel went ahead, 8-5, in the second on a two-run single by Shawn Crews.
The Wildcats had gotten three straight hits from A. J. Trout, Dusty Oldfather and Dobson before Crews' hit. Trout doubled in the tying run, and Oldfather's RBI single gave them the lead.
But in the bottom of the inning, Scott and Bussey led off with singles before Mahoney reached on a wild pitch to load the bases with two outs.
Collins balked, then walked the next two runners in before leaving the mound.
Old Mill's Stockman (two walks, four strikeouts) recovered well over the rest of the game, but still suffered his second loss in three outings.