Patience is a virtue and haste makes waste -- two pieces of wisdom turned inside out by Broadneck catcher Larry Krzyzaniak in the consolation game of Saturday's Bruin Holiday baseball tournament.
With two outs and two men on base in the bottom of the seventh, Krzyzaniak laid into a first-pitch fastball from Old Mill reliever Pat Crawford, blasting it over the center field fence for a three-run homer and an 11-8 victory.
"I struck out on a curve ball the last time I was up because I let (sophomore starter Jeff Haynie) get ahead in the count, and then I tried to wait the ball out," said Krzyzaniak, who went 2-for-3. "(Coach Mark Stover) told me to jump on the first pitch this time, and that one was a belt-high fastball, so I took it out."
The Bruins (7-4) were taken out, 3-1, by the two-time defending tournament champ Archbishop Curley Friars in the earlier semifinal. The Patriots (5-4) fell, 5-3, to Loyola (7-6-1).
Loyola then captured its first title in nine visits, 3-1, over Curley.
Sparked by senior Mark Bailey's leadoff solo homer in the consolation game, the Patriots batted aroundagainst Broadneck starter Chris Sutch (11 hits, five walks, one hit batsman) and took a 5-0 first-inning lead. Ryan Dempsey, Andrew Lewisand Mike Longazel all had RBI in the inning, with Lewis nailing a two-run triple.
By the top of the third, however, the Bruins had tied the game, 5-5. Matt Weimer followed a first-innning RBI single by Erin Hickman with his school-record third home run of the season -- a two-run shot over the 305-foot left-field fence. Jeff Vincent's two-run homer in the bottom of the second tied the score, but the Patriotswent up, 6-5, in the fourth when Ryan Scott walked, took second on apassed ball, went to third on Mike Mahoney's single and crossed the plate on a Dempsey fielder's choice.
In the sixth, Danny Yost's RBI single followed consecutive hits by Mahoney and Dempsey to make it 7-5, and Lewis' fielder's choice gave the Patriots a three-run lead.
Krzyzaniak's smash culminated a four-hit, six-run Bruin seventh. Sutch and Hickman sandwiched hits around a Vincent walk, before Weimer's two-run single cut the deficit to 8-7. Crawford replaced Haynie after Cliff McClain's single loaded the bases, but a Terry Williams groundout scored Hickman to tie the game.
"We'd have really been downif we'd have lost again," Weimer said, who along with Krzyzaniak andVincent made the All-Tournament team.
The tournament losses don'tcount toward the playoffs, and Old Mill's youthful squad (just two seniors) gets another shot at Broadneck on Wednesday.
"This was thefirst time we've been ahead in a game all year, and I'm not sure my team knew what to do," said coach Mel Montgomery, whose Patriots had won five of the first six tournaments before finishing third last year. "Our team has been struggling, so teams know they have a legitimate shot at us. I think (we) expected Broadneck to quit, but they didn't."
Neither did the Dons nor the Friars. The two teams averaged a combined 14 errors entering the tournament, but turned in fine defensive efforts against the locals with just one error each.
Broadnecknailed Curley left hander Jason Eyster (six strikeouts, no walks) for seven hits, but stranded six runners. Vincent (3-for-3, with a double) scored the Bruins' run on McClain's sixth-inning single. On the mound, Vincent (five strikeouts, two walks) yielded just five hits, but fell to 1-2.
The win surprised Curley coach and Glen Burnie resident Al Frank.
"We'd been kicking the ball around lately, with 48 errors in our previous six games, but we played the best in quite a while against Broadneck," he said.
Loyola led Old Mill, 5-1, with one out in the bottom of the seventh when the Patriots nearly rallied to beat Joe Coates (97 pitches, five strikeouts, two walks).
Mike Bussey and Justin Greshko nailed consecutive singles and Mahoney loaded the bases on an error. Brian Jones's two-run single made it 5-3 before Phil McGinnis walked to re-load the bases, but Bailey struck outand Lee Haney grounded to the shortstop.