In the 24 days since his team's suspended game against Old Mill, Northeast baseball coach Harry Lentz worked busily on a victory scenario.
Russ Curry, the Eagles' fifth batter, wasn't even in the picture, but it was Curry who rewrote the script in the game's continuation at Northeast yesterday.
When the game was suspended at Joe Cannon Stadium on April 19, the Patriots held a 6-5 lead in the top of the 13th.
But Curry blasted a two-run double into right field to give the Eagles a 7-6 win andan undefeated regular season (20-0) for the second straight year.
Curry's heroics came after an opposite-field single bounced by left fielder Jeff Cox to put Chad O'Brien on second base, and after Old Mill pitcher Jimmy Simms walked Don Shump -- who ended the game at 3-for-6 with a walk and four RBI.
"I just wanted to make contact. I wasn't hitting good in this game," said Curry, who went 0-for-6 againstSimms on the original game day. "We were talking about how we wantedto go undefeated all day in school. We went over these plans all week, but originally I wasn't part of them."
Curry entered the game batting .493 and raised his RBI total to 34 on the year -- just two behind Shump's 36. Each is within striking distance of the county and state record of 39 in a season.
Simms was relieved by Lee Haney (two strikeouts, four walks in three innings) in the ninth inning back in April, but he came back yesterday to finish the game with seven strikeouts and six walks overall.
Lentz's original game plan called for the Eagles to retire Old Mill's Ryan Scott, who faced one strike and two outs when play was suspended.
Then the plan called for Northeast's first three batters -- Rich Spiegel (replacing Jamie Barnett), Craig Everett and O'Brien (replacing Shawn Royston) -- to "somehow reach base" before the team's big hitter, Shump, could nail "a sacrifice shot" for the game-winning runs.
Scott grounded out to Shump at third, but Spiegel was out on a come-backer before Everett flied out to right.
Despite the loss, Old Mill (14-6) retains the No. 2 seed for Friday's Class 4A Region IV playoffs against No. 3 Severna Park.
Northeast's Everett picked up his sixth win of the season, having relieved ace Charlie Buckheit and finishing with two each in strikeouts and walks in six innings of work.
"Going 20-0 for two years in a row is unbelievable," said Lentz, whose Eagles secured the top seed in the Class 2A Region III playoffs, which begin Friday against either Fairmont Heights or Central, both of Prince George's County.