In a rather bizarre three-hour and five-minute baseball marathon between Westminster and South Carroll yesterday, the Owls climbed back into the race for the Carroll County championship with a 10-6 victory over the Cavaliers.
Westminster used a five-run, third-inning and the iron-man pitching of right-hander Jeremy Robinson to BASEBALL
pick up the victory and gain a tie for first in the county with South Carroll at 2-1.
Robinson went the distance, striking out nine, walking three and being touched for nine hits.
"I bet Jeremy must have thrown about 130 pitches for us today," said Westminster co-coach Guy Stull. "He's been strong for us all season and did the job again today."
The two teams have split their season series and will now have to rely on help from Liberty and North Carroll to win the title outright.
The Owls and Cavaliers are both also in the hunt for the Central Maryland Conference championship. Westminster is 3-2 in the CMC and South Carroll is 3-4.
The game yesterday was filled with controversy from the start, as South Carroll coach Joe Foltz was simmering over the ball-and-strike calls of home-plate umpire Jim Norris.
Foltz complained to Norris constantly from the first inning on that South Carroll pitcher Kile Maxcy was not getting the low strike calls that were given to Westminster's Robinson.
Foltz' and South Carroll's simmering then boiled over in the third inning when Maxcy threw a 2-and-2 pitch around the knees on Westminster's 6-foot-7 Russell DeMont and Norris called it a ball.
Maxcy jumped off the mound, threw his hands in the air and demonstrated his frustration a little more than the umpire found acceptable.
Norris ejected Maxcy. Maxcy's ejection then prompted Foltz to race out to home plate and yell loudly over the call. Norris listened briefly and then told Foltz to leave.
To which the South Carroll coach told Norris: "I'm going to stay here and argue until you throw me out."
Norris then tossed Foltz from the game and told him to leave the area since he had two assistants (Wayne Hollman and George Hancock) who could coach in his place.
That turn of events seemed to unnerve the Cavaliers who were locked in a 2-2 tie at the time.
Westminster went on to score five runs in the last of the third inning, four of them unearned as a result of two South Carroll errors.
The Cavaliers (7-5 overall) fought back from the 7-2 deficit on the strength of a three-run home run to left by Ronnie White in the top of the fourth but they could never catch the Owls (3-4 overall).
Westminster was led by Ron Magin, Paul Reter and Lawrence Alvarez who each drove in two runs. Magin and Reter each had two hits, and Ryan Starliper hit a long triple to left.
For South Carroll, Brad Schulze, who relieved the ejected Maxcy in the third, went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs. He also pitched a decent game from the third inning on but didn't get too much help defensively.
The ejections of Maxcy and Foltz will affect the Cavaliers today as they meet North Carroll in the makeup of an earlier rained-out game.
Under Carroll County rules, a player or coach who is ejected from a game has to sit out the next game.
Foltz said: "This is the first time in my life I've ever been this mad and the first time in seven years I've been ejected. I just asked for him [Norris] to be consistent and he wasn't."
Norris said as he left the field: "I'm not worried about these guys. I call the pitches the way I see them."