Mayo wins 4th state Legion title

August 12, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

The Mayo Post 226 baseball team had its best pitcher throwing on a day when it needed just one victory to clinch the American Legion State Tournament championship.

Advantage, Wildcats.

Right-hander Brandon Agamennone didn't allow an earned run while going the distance, and Tim Giles homered in the eighth to break a 3-3 tie and lead Mayo over Francis Scott Key Post 11, 8-3, at McCurdy Field in Frederick.

By winning their fourth state title, the Wildcats advanced to the regionals in Boyertown, Pa., Aug. 20-24. They were national champions in 1990.

"If we play well, we have a real good chance to win the national championship," said coach Bernie Walter, whose team was undefeated in the double-elimination tournament. "We have a lot of depth, we can swing the bats and play good defense, our pitching's deep and we've been able to run the bases pretty effectively."

Francis Scott Key (33-7) needed to win twice yesterday to qualify for the regionals, and through the first five innings, it didn't appear that the host team would come close to forcing a second game. Mayo led 3-0, Agamennone was in control, and it seemed that the Wildcats would make short work of the Frederick entry.

Post 11 didn't move a runner past first base until the sixth, when Kurt Cunningham and Shawn Dewees singled and Tony Wickless reached on an error by shortstop Jeff Hedrick. A passed ball scored Cunningham, and Joe Carr followed with a ground ball that took a bad hop over Hedrick, scoring two runs.

It was a difficult inning for Hedrick, who also made a low throw to first while trying to turn a double play that would have preserved Agamennone's shutout.

Giles came to the rescue in the eighth with a towering home run that easily cleared the 355-foot sign in center field. The ball landed in the last row of the bleachers beyond the fence.

"I had been seeing curveballs the whole game, so I was looking for curveballs my last two at-bats, and that's what I got," said Giles, who had been 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against Francis Scott Key right-hander Mike Anders.

Giles finished the tournament with a .315 average, two doubles and three home runs and was named Most Valuable Player, despite having a painful cyst removed from his leg last week.

After Giles went deep, Ryan Dempsey was hit by a pitch, and pinch-runner Jim Greer moved to second on a balk. Greer stole third and scored when the throw from catcher Kevin Breckenridge skipped into left field.

Hedrick (3-for-5, three RBI) singled to right to increase Mayo's lead to 6-3, and Wade Rolocut followed with a two-run double to left.

"This team has a lot of character," Walter said. "They've worked hard, and they're winners. We had a bad inning today, and it didn't upset us. We didn't like it, but while other teams might fall apart, it was just a bump in the road for us."

Agamennone was named the tournament's outstanding pitcher after winning two games, striking out 12 and posting a 1.66 ERA. Yesterday, he allowed seven hits walked one and struck out six.

"He was outstanding. He had great control," Walter said. "[Pitching coach] John Hall scouted this team several times, and Aggie executed the scouting report very well."

Mayo (59-9) had scored three times in the second inning to take the early lead.

Jim Taylor led off with a bunt single, and Brian Sands reached on an error. Taylor was thrown out at the plate on a bouncer to third by Phil McGinnis, but Agamennone singled to left for a 1-0 lead.

Hedrick followed with a two-run double to left, and only a diving catch by Carr in left field prevented further scoring.

Francis Scott Key proved in the tournament that it could put men on base, collecting 22 hits in Tuesday's 11-6 win over Bethesda Post 105. The Frederick entry had 16 hits against Mayo on Monday but stranded 15 runners in a 10-5 loss.

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