With rain falling increasingly harder and threatening to end yesterday's game early, John Milisitz sensed time was running out.
The Severna Park catcher stepped up to the plate in the fifth inning with two outs, the bases loaded and his home-standing squad trailing, 3-2, against defending Class 4A state baseball champion Arundel.
Five pitches into his at-bat, Milisitz smacked a full-count grandslam, which disappeared over the center-field fence.
Two batters and two pitches later, umpire Jerry Cappadona ruled the conditions too harsh for the game to continue.
Baseball federation rules say the home team, if ahead, wins if a game is called after 4 1/2 innings, so Severna Park (1-0) notched a 6-3 victory over their Friendship Division rival Wildcats (2-1).
"With a full count and the bases loaded, I was expecting a fastball, but he threw the curve, so I jumped onit," said Milisitz, a third-team All-County selection who had struckout and singled earlier.
After the first out of the fifth inning and a single by the Falcons' leadoff batter, John Novak, Arundel second baseman Chris Durocher complained that he could no longer see the ball through the rain. He was the second Wildcat to complain.
"Earlier in the fourth inning (center fielder Tre Overstreet) said he couldn't see the ball," said Arundel coach Bernie Walter.
After Durocher's complaint, Walter asked again that the game be stopped, but hisrequest was denied. Wildcat hurler Brian Agamennone then hit the next batter, Alan Baker, before striking out Steve Neuberger and walkingRob McCandless to load the bases.
Agamennone (80 pitches) had been given a 2-0 first-inning lead after first baseman Tim Giles strokeda two-out, two-run homer over the right-field fence.
Although he yielded an RBI single to Severna Park's All-County hurler McCandless (92 pitches, six strikeouts, two walks) in the bottom of the first inning, Agamennone (eight hits, six strikeouts, one walk) was having a steady game. Along with Milisitz, his strikeout victims included second-team All-County players Novak (.406, with five homers last year) and Neuberger (.429, 20 RBI). Agamennone also picked off the Falcons' Roy Dietrich for the second out in the second inning.
Arundel led,3-1, after a third-inning RBI single by Durocher.
But McCandless made it 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth after reaching on a double, taking third on Milisitz' single and scoring on a sacrifice fly by Brad Tippen.
With two outs, Agamennone fanned Sean Miller with the tying run -- Milisitz -- on third base.