Top-seed City falls, 10-0, as Centennial rolls to title

May 22, 1994|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Sun Staff Writer

Centennial combined powerful pitching with powerful hitting to win the Class 3A, East Region championship, 10-0, yesterday at City College.

Kurt Weitzel threw a one-hit gem and Curtis Mitchell and Joe Mellendick each had two extra-base hits. The Eagles advance to the state semifinals next week against an as yet undetermined foe.

No. 9 Centennial's victory over top-seeded City boosted the second-seeded Eagles' record to 19-3. No. 18 City dropped to 20-2.

Weitzel (8-2) pitched a nearly flawless game. After City's John Hamilton reached on a first-inning, one-out error, Weitzel retired the next 15 batters before Harry Martin broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff sixth-inning double.

"The hit was on a forkball that hung," Weitzel said. "It's been one of my best pitches this season but this one didn't break."

Weitzel did not walk a batter and struck out nine.

"My arm felt really good today," Weitzel said. "I was throwing my curves and forkballs low and then getting the strikeouts on high fastballs."

The Knights had only lost to Southern of Baltimore before Centennial.

"We have a good-hitting team but he [Weitzel] was a really fine pitcher who kept us guessing up there," City coach Bill Walker said. "He had a good curve and mixed speeds. We hadn't seen a curve like that this season."

City starting pitcher Pat Mowray (4-2) was the victim of poor first-inning defensive support as Centennial scored four unearned runs.

Centennial's Brian Dowell led off the game with a double. Jason Babcock reached on an error. And Weitzel reached on an error as one run scored. Dave Hudson's ground out scored a second run. Mellendick's sacrifice fly scored the third run. Mitchell tripled and Kevin O'Connor singled him home for run No. 4.

"It really helps when you get an early lead like that," Weitzel said. "And the defense played well today."

Centennial scored six times in the fifth inning. Babcock led off with a double. After Weitzel flew out, Hudson walked. Mellendick doubled home two runs. Mitchell hit a two-run homer. O'Connor reached on an error and went to second on another error. He then scored on Dan Christine's single. Jeff Windish reached on an error. And Christine scored on a sacrifice fly by Dowell.

"Things are falling into place for us. No one could have beaten us today," said Mitchell, who scored Centennial's only run in Friday's semifinal victory over Broadneck.

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