Arundel's lone hit tops Chesapeake

May 06, 1994|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff Writer

Arundel High got one hit yesterday, the last hit.

Sean Fairbanks' two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning broke up a no-hitter and gave second-ranked Arundel (14-2) a stunning 5-3 victory over No. 17 Chesapeake (10-6). It was the Wildcats' 12th win in a row.

The towering shot by Fairbanks carried about 360 feet from home plate over Arundel's national championship banner in left-center and set off a wild celebration at home plate by the Wildcats.

Although he didn't give up the homer (reliever Jeremy Pellegrini did) or a hit, senior left-hander Jason White was dealt his third crushing loss in two years to Arundel. White has gone 0-4 against Arundel in that time and 9-3 against the rest of the county.

White lost two extra-inning thrillers to Arundel last year by 3-2 in eight innings and 1-0 in nine innings in the regional final.

When Brian Doyle's bases-empty homer to left field ignited a three-run rally by the Cougars in the top of the sixth, it appeared that White's time to beat Arundel had come. But again, it just wasn't to be.

White, whom Arundel coach Bernie Walter said "was the best pitcher we've seen in the county all year," lost his bid for a perfect game with two outs in the sixth. First baseman Chris Kintop committed an error, but White struck out the next man and took a no-hitter with seven strikeouts into the final inning.

Wade Rolocut, the Arundel starting pitcher who gave way to Jamie Stoddard (3-0 with the win) in the sixth, walked on four pitches to start the bottom of the seventh.

White appeared to catch Rolocut leaning, but he didn't get the call on the pickoff play. He kept his composure, however, and struck out Arundel's best hitter, Jeff Hedrick, for the second time in the game.

Then he plucked clean-up batter J. P. Noon with a fastball. Kevyn Dodson walked on four pitches to load the bases and the struggling White gave Casey Trout a free pass to give Arundel its first run.

Cougars coach Jim Simms reluctantly removed White, even though he still had a no-hitter. Simms brought in senior right-hander Jeremy Pellegrini. Pellegrini struck out Tony Costanzo, but the curve eluded catcher Luis Falcon for a passed ball, bringing home pinch runner Brian Burden to make it a 3-2 game.

Costanzo ran to first but was automatically out with less than two outs and first base occupied when the strikeout occurred.

Up stepped Fairbanks, Arundel's No. 8 hitter, with runners on second and third. A Pellegrini curve outside on a 1-1 pitch had Fairbanks thinking fastball on the 2-1 pitch. He thought right.

"I was expecting a fastball because we're taught to think fastball and to adjust to the curveball," said Fairbanks, who hit a pitch just below the letters. "I couldn't have had a better pitch."

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