Arundel rallies past Watkins Mill into state final

May 25, 1994|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff Writer

Top-ranked Arundel rallied for three runs on just one hit in the bottom of the sixth to nip Watkins Mill, 5-4, last night and advance to Friday's state 4A championship game.

The Wildcats (21-2), who won in their final at-bat for the seventh time in the last eight games of a 19-game winning streak, will play Perry Hall, a 5-2 winner over Bowie. Arundel is seeking a record seventh state title.

Arundel needed one out from ace Brandon Agamennone in the seventh to preserve the victory for Jamie Stoddard (7-0). Stoddard took over for Wade Rolocut in the fourth inning.

Rolocut had gone seven innings in Saturday's 2-1, eight-inning region semifinal victory over North County and tired last night at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans.

Watkins Mill junior pitcher Josh Smithberger picked up a win with three innings of relief on Saturday in the Wolverines' region final and went all the way last night.

Smithberger, who scattered five hits, struck out four and walked two, was the victim of some shoddy defense in the sixth inning. Arundel scored three runs on a walk, two errors, a passed ball and a hit.

Watkins Mill (14-6) had taken a 4-2 lead in the top of the sixth inning of a game that had no extra-base hits. Smithberger helped his own cause with a two-out, two-run single

off Stoddard.

Jeff Hedrick led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk and J.P. Noon singled to left with Hedrick stopping at second. Kevyn Dodson's sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position.

A tapper back to the mound by Casey Trout resulted in Smithberger fielding the ball and tagging one of the two runners who wound up on third. That left a first-and-third situation with two outs.

The Wolverines then committed two infield errors to tie the game at 4 and a passed ball with DH Andy Vermillion at the plate allowed Tony Costanzo to score the winning run. Vermillion eventually struck out.

Stoddard (three innings, two hits and two strikeouts) struck out the first batter in the top of the seventh, but Andy Simmons

reached on an error by Hedrick at shortstop. Chris Chandler popped up to Stoddard with pinch runner Chris Mandley holding at first.

The second pitch to Brennan Stasiewicz was in the dirt and by catcher Sean Fairbanks with Mandley taking second. Arundel coach Bernie Walter immediately brought Agamennone from third base to the mound.

Agamennone struck out the last batter on three pitches swinging to put the Wildcats in Friday's final.

Smithberger singled in Tim Pritchard to give Watkins Mills a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Arundel answered with two runs in the first on Noon's hit-and-run single to center field and Dodson's fielder's choice to take a 2-1 lead.

The Wolverines tied it up in the second on an Arundel miscue that loaded the bases and resulted in Shawn Bradley's sac fly to left. Arundel could have gotten out of the inning had it not been for Dodson's dropped fly ball in right.

Dodson dropped the ball with runners on first and second. The runners froze at their original bases on what appeared to be an apparent out in short right, but took off when Dodson lost the ball.

Dodson's subsequent throw to Hedrick at second for a forceout was not handled, leading to a double error that loaded the bases.

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