Hedrick's homer lifts Arundel

May 24, 1994|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff Writer

It has not been the kind of season most thought Arundel's Jeff Hedrick would have, but all the frustrations were erased with one swing of the bat yesterday in Gambrills.

Hedrick took Jeff Haynie's first pitch in the bottom of the sixth deep and over the 325-foot sign in left field to give top-ranked Arundel a 2-1 victory over No. 3 Old Mill and a fourth straight Class 4A East Region title.

The victory was the Wildcats' 18th in a row, third in a row over Old Mill this season and fifth in six games over the past year. It marked the sixth time in the past seven games that Arundel has won in its final at bat.

"I would like to see them do it twice more," said Arundel coach Bernie Walter, whose team needs two more wins to repeat as State 4A champion and take an unprecedented seventh state title.

Arundel (20-2) is the top seed in the 4A East semifinals and the Wildcats will play tonight at 7 at Joe Cannon Stadium against No. 4 seed Watkins Mill of Montgomery County.

Second seed Perry Hall (18-2) meets No. 3 Bowie at 4 p.m. with the winners playing for the big trophy Friday at 7 p.m., also at Joe Cannon Stadium.

Hedrick batted .415 as a junior and was All-County, but fell below .400 a couple weeks ago and came into yesterday's game at .325. Preseason expectations had Hedrick a potential Player of the Year, but the four-year varsity performer has had his ups and downs at the plate.

"It was a slider inside and high and I jumped on it. It felt great," said a smiling Hedrick. "I might have been pressing a little bit, maybe trying to do too much being a senior and all.

"I've struggled the last couple weeks, but this team doesn't depend on one hitter."

Hedrick's home run made a winner out of Arundel ace Brandon Agamennone (9-2) and a hard-luck loser out of Jeff Haynie (4-3).

J. P. Noon doubled in Hedrick, who was running on the pitch with two outs in the first inning, for a 1-0 lead, and Haynie was pretty much in command the rest of the way.

Haynie finished with a five-hitter, four strikeouts and two walks, both to Hedrick.

Agamennone did not give up a hit until Ken Pumphrey led off the top of he fifth by hitting a homer to practically the same spot that Hedrick's shot would later land.

Agamennone finished with a three-hitter, two walks and eight strikeouts.

Old Mill threatened in the fourth, but Agamennone struck out Haynie with two on to get out of the inning.

Brian Bogle, the Patriots' sophomore third baseman who made a couple of outstanding defensive plays, led off the sixth with a ground single to center.

Jimmy Greer's ensuing grounder up the middle was grabbed by second baseman Casey Trout, who stepped on the bag and threw to first for a double play.

Haynie reached on an infield hit with one out in the seventh, but Agamennone struck out Pumphrey looking on an outside fastball and got Josh Fretz swinging to end it.

"Aggie had a couple innings where he lost his rhythm, but he got it back," said Walter.

"This team has a lot of confidence and believes it's going to win no matter what the situation."

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