Pitcher Frank Campanella struck out 11 batters and scattered five hits yesterday, plus teammate Matt Sargent knocked in four runs to help No. 6-ranked Liberty clinch its first Carroll County title since 1990 with a 7-1 victory over No. 19 South Carroll.
Campanella had considerably more fun than he did in his last outing against South Carroll. Then, the senior left-hander hit two batters in relief in the seventh inning, allowing the winning run to score.
The host Lions, whose first game against South Carroll didn't count in the county standings, are now 12-2 overall and 5-0 in the county. They also are in the running for the Central Maryland Conference crown.
Campanella took South Carroll (9-6, 2-3) out of the running early yesterday, using a strong fastball and sharp-breaking curve to keep the Cavaliers off balance.
The left-hander had good control, walking only three. He struck out five in a row in the first and second innings and later fanned four in a row during the fourth and fifth.
He even struck out four in the second inning alone, but John Henry reached on a wild pitch while fanning, forcing Campanella to strike out one more.
"Frank's been solid all year. He's been really consistent," said Liberty coach Steve Insley.
"I felt that I could throw two different pitches well today," said Campanella, now 4-0. "That really helped me."
Sargent also helped him. His four RBIs gave him 30 for the season, setting a Liberty school record. He sparked a five-run third inning with a three-run homer and added an RBI single in the fifth.
South Carroll starter Kevin Damiano threw well, but the Lions broke it open with the five-run third and added single runs in the next two innings.
The third got a bit of an odd start when Shaun Rausch reached on catcher's interference with one out, followed by a Brian Bandy single. Justin Barnowski loaded the bases on an infield single.
Brock Shaffer then singled on a 3-2 pitch to center, bringing in Rausch and Bandy for a 2-0 lead. One out later, Sargent cleared the bases when he crushed a pitch to deep center for a three-run homer and a 5-0 advantage.
Barnowski added an RBI double in the fourth for a 6-0 lead before Bryan Pittinger answered for South Carroll in the fifth with an RBI double.
Jon Felmey led off the fifth for Liberty with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored the final run when Sargent drilled a single to left.
That was more than enough for Campanella. He struggled a bit in the middle innings, but came back strong to retire the final six.
"He looked good, and he kept us off-balance," said South Carroll coach Bradley Collins. "He did what he had to do. We'll give it to him this time."
Pub Date: 5/01/97