Anyone who watched Calvert Hall's Andy Bair close the door on No. 3 Arundel (2-1) in yesterday's Arundel Tournament final and knew he was working with only one day's rest, had to be wondering what this guy looks like well-rested.
Bair came on with Wildcats on first and second, none out and top-ranked Calvert Hall (4-0) leading by two in the top of the sixth and struck out the side. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound junior left-hander struck out the first two batters in the seventh and got the last man to fly to center to preserve a 3-1 victory.
"I felt good and just tried to blow it by them," said Bair.
It was just Thursday that Bair had pitched five innings of one-hit ball as Calvert Hall routed McDonogh, 10-0.
"Bair throws hard, and throws strikes, has great location while getting it up there at 83-84 [mph] and that is tough to beat," said Calvert Hall coach Joe Binder.
The Cardinals rolled to a 9-0 win over Queen Anne's in the first game on a six-inning relief effort by Craig Shiel after starter Jason Reinhart left with a sore elbow.
Arundel won its first tournament game on Thursday by 10-2 over Oakland Mills.
Billy Staub started for the Cardinals in the final and gave his team four strong innings (four hits, one run, two walks, four strikeouts) before giving way to lefty Jason Jacobs.
Arundel scored its only run in the second on a double by Kevyn Dodson, a sacrifice fly by Tony Costanzo and Casey Trout's infield hit.
Calvert Hall answered in the bot
tom of the second with three runs off Arundel ace Brandon Agamennone, who suffered his first loss in two years.
Agamennone (six innings, five hits, three runs, two walks, three strikeouts) led Arundel to the state 4A title and was 8-0 with four saves last year.
Liam Healy started the rally with a towering double over Wade Rolocut's head in center. Bair lined a single to right with Healy stopping at third, and Agamennone got the next two batters, but J.P. Noon couldn't handle his pickoff attempt at first and Healy scored.
Jason Conroy drew a walk and Joe Miller singled to left scoring Bair. When third baseman Jamie Stoddard threw away Dom Liberto's ground ball for the Wildcats' fourth error, courtesy runner Dusty Brown (for catcher Conroy) scored and third base coach Mark Amatucci waved Miller home.
Right fielder Dodson, backing up behind first, gunned down Miller with a perfect throw to catcher Sean Fairbanks. Miller attempted to score head first and created a scary moment by ending up motionless on his back.
After a few moments, Miller was helped to his feet by Binder and although replaced by Brown at second base, appeared to be OK after the game.
Calvert Hall never threatened Agamennone the rest of the way with only three base runners in its final four at-bats.
Jacobs walked the first batter in the fifth, but picked him off and got the next two batters. In the sixth, Jeff Hedrick reached on an error and Noon singled to right with Andy Vermillion coming into run for him.
Hello, Bair, goodbye Arundel. The big left-hander struck out Dodson on a 2-2 fastball, Costanzo on a back-breaking 2-2 curve and Fairbanks on four pitches.
Bair didn't give the Cats a chance in the seventh, striking out Trout and Stoddard and coaxing Agamennone into a game-ending fly ball to left.
"Andy has beaten Riverdale Baptist and McDonogh, and closed it for us against Arundel today. That's not bad," said Binder with a smile.