Dundalk wins one for respect

May 12, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

On one hand, No. 10 Dundalk's 6-3 victory at No. 5 Perry Hall yesterday was about revenge, because the only loss of the season for the 15-1 Owls came against the 14-3 Gators, 5-3.

But Owls catcher Mike Dziemburski (2-for-3 with a walk and a double) said the game meant much more than that.

"It's about the respect that we're trying to earn, and we know that beating these guys is the only way to get it," Dziemburski said. "We're a lot more confident now, but we weren't respected at the beginning of the year."

Dziemburski, whose Owls can secure at least a share of Baltimore County's 3A-4A league crown with another victory, was referring to the preseason rankings of Perry Hall, Dulaney and last year's 3A state champ Lansdowne.

Yet the Owls -- who overcame a 3-0 first-inning deficit yesterday -- have beaten all three of those teams, including a 5-4 win over Lansdowne (currently ranked No. 8).

"I think they felt we were overlooked early," Owls coach George Scheulen said. "But they're playing with a real relentlessness now, and they feel like they can win every game."

Dundalk hurler E'mar Fleming (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) yielded three of the Gators' seven hits in the first inning, including run-scoring singles by Jason Essel, Kevin Znamirowski and Jimmy Stopper (2-for-3).

Yet Fleming recovered, before a strong defense (one error), to strike out four batters with two walks, improving to 6-0.

"I felt like we were catching them off guard, mainly with the curve, fastball, then the curve again," Fleming said. "I was a little nervous after the first inning, because they jumped on me and did a lot of damage."

The Owls, who had eight hits, pulled to 3-1 after Rich Sponaugle's second-inning sacrifice fly scored Mike Wilcox, courtesy running after Dziemburski's double. It was 3-2 af

ter Tylan Baylor tripled, then scored on a fourth-inning single by Gene Woods (2-for-3).

The Owls next got help from the Gators, who erred three times -- twice leading to runs -- in Dundalk's four-run sixth.

Dziemburski reached on the first error, stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored when third baseman Ryan Burks scooped Baylor's low shot, but threw it low and wide of first base.

A similar play -- this time by catcher Brandon Zimmerman on a grab of John Blalock's bunt -- enabled Baylor to score for the Owls' first lead, 4-3.

Luke Bell's squeeze bunt scored Sponaugle -- who walked -- after Sponaugle beat out a short toss from left-handed hurler Brian Ash (5-2) to Zimmerman. Blalock crossed the plate to make it, 6-3, as Bobby Hurley grounded out.

"It's simple: We didn't make the plays," Perry Hall coach Larry Butts said. "After the first inning, we were over-swinging and trying to hit the ball too far instead of just trying to make contact."

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