Old Mill baseball coach Mel Montgomery is losing count of the numberof bizarre plays that have occurred during games against rival Arundel over the years.
He has a few more to add to the list.
The Patriots had a player ejected in the bottom of the seventh inning before scoring three unearned runs to rally past the visiting Wildcats, 3-2, yesterday.
Arundel broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the top of the inning and was one out away from winning. But senior catcher Curt Odar, who earlier had cut down one runner trying to steal and picked off another, threw widely to first on a tapper in front of the plate, allowing Old Mill's Don Yost to score.
With runners on second and third, junior third baseman Ryan Scott lined a two-run single to center, and the Patriots (5-2) had an improbable victory.
"I waited for the first strike, and after that I was going after whatever was the perfect pitch," Scott said. "Two outs, runners in scoring position, I had to hit the ball. That's exactly what I did."
Afterward, Montgomery thought back to his 13 previous seasons as coach and said, "I've seen a lot stranger things than that. That wasn't anything."
It was enough to make Arundel coach Bernie Walter livid.
"This is the worst team we've ever had at Arundel High School -- simple as that," he said, as his dejected players slowly boarded the bus.
When asked about Old Mill starter Jeff Robinson, who allowed two runs and nine hits, Walter said, "Their pitcher is a thousand times smarter than we are."
And a lot more fortunate.
Robinson appeared headed for a loss after Arundel (6-4) scored twice in the seventh on back-to-back doubles from Kevyn Dodson and John Noon and a single by Bryan Nehman. The junior right-hander then retired Chris Durocher, who had reached base three times, on a fly ball and induced Tim Giles to ground into a double play.
"Jeff Robinson has been having a hard time, but today he pitched an excellent ballgame," Montgomery said. "He was busting them inside a lot with fastballs that they were popping up and he was keeping them off-balance. He shut down a pretty good hitting ballclub."
Arundel starter Brian Rolocut had hisown shutout going, but he had to be removed after the sixth. State rules prohibit a pitcher from throwing more than 14 innings over a seven-day period, and the senior right-hander was approaching the limit.
His replacement, junior right-hander Brian Sands, allowed a leadoff single to Yost. Brian Jones hit a slow roller up the first-base line and collided with Giles, who made the tag for an apparent out. Butthe umpires ruled the ball foul and ejected Jones for "unsportsmanlike conduct."
"I think the way he ran into him was a little hard and I don't disagree with the call," Montgomery said. "He was just a little too excited."
Chris Bingham completed Jones' at-bat and went down swinging. Junior shortstop Phil McGinnis stroked his third single of the day, but Mark Bailey flew out to center for the second out.
Lee Haney hit a dribbler that Odar fielded cleanly, but his throw sailed over Giles' head. Scott (2-for-2, two walks) then jumped on a fastball and singled to complete the comeback.
"That's the way you're going to see Arundel-Old Mill all the time.
There's always going to be something crazy happening," said Montgomery, whose team was coming off Monday's 13-2 loss to North County. "We needed to break out of the doldrums we've been in the last couple games and they did that. It's a young ballclub, but they're very relaxed and they don't panic."
Scott said, "It's an Old Mill tradition. We never give up."