Arundel nips Loyola in consolation, 7-6

McCurdy hits two-run HR with 2 out in bottom of 7th to lift Wildcats in tourney

Baseball

April 04, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff

It was supposed to be the championship game, but two teams from the north spoiled that and No. 2 Arundel had to settle for a 7-6 thriller over 19th-ranked Loyola in the Arundel Easter Tournament consolation yesterday.

The two county teams dropped close games, Arundel by 4-3 to Gloucester (N.J.) Catholic and Loyola by 7-5 to Shennanhoah (N.Y.), to set up the anticipated matchup.

Arundel shortstop John McCurdy (3-for-4, four RBIs) hit a two-out, two-run homer to right center in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Wildcats (4-2) over the Dons (5-2).

McCurdy's homer nullified Steve Pyzik's two-out, two-run shot in the top of the seventh. Pyzik, a catcher headed to Clemson, had a homer in each game and five total hits.

Playing their first two games of the season, Gloucester won the tournament behind Joe Castle, 6-2 over Shennanhoah.

Winners of the New Jersey Tri-County Conference four of the last five years, the Rams got a complete-game four-hitter over Arundel from junior right-hander Greg Burke. A sacrifice fly by Brad Reed in the top of the sixth off Arundel sophomore Chip Ziegler produced the game-winner.

The Arundel-Loyola game matched Loyola coach Tim Nordbrook, the former Baltimore Orioles infielder, and his former summer coach, Bernie Walter of Arundel.

Nordbrook, who played in the majors from 1974-79 with the Orioles, California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers, played for Walter on the Leone's Boys Club, 1967-68.

"We were fortunate to get into this tournament, " said Nordbrook whose team was unbeaten with upsets of No. 3 Calvert Hall and No. 5 Mount St. Joseph.

"They had a team drop out and Bernie gave me a call. It was a blessing to play in this because the better competition you play the better you become."

Loyola scored single runs off Arundel senior ace Andy Kostic in the first and third innings on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Fertitta and Pyzik's second of three hits. The Dons didn't score again until the seventh when they got four unearned runs off reliever Dave Stallings.

Kostic stymied the Dons after the second inning, retiring the last seven batters he faced. In six innings, Kostic scattered five hits, struck out seven and walked only one on 97 pitches (60 strikes) before giving way to Stallings.

Arundel took charge with a four-run third, getting five of its nine hits off Loyola right-hander Pat Dahlgren. Norris Roy (2-for-4) and Mike Fox (2-for-3) each singled in runs and McCurdy knocked in a pair.

The Wildcats made it 5-2 in the fifth when McCurdy's single scored Fox, who had doubled to lead off.

Dahlgren, who went all the way for the Dons, walking two and striking out 10 on 115 pitches (66 strikes), came within one out of victory.

Ryan Erhard took a third strike to start the Wildcats' final at-bat and Roy followed with a ground single through the left side. Dahlgren then struck out Fox before McCurdy's homer.

Severna Park tournament

The top-ranked Falcons (4-2) won their tournament, defeating Queen Anne's in the championship, 11-1. The Falcons had beaten Mount Hebron (1-4), 8-3, in the first game.

Chris DiMenna had a homer, double and two RBIs in the first game for Severna Park to make a winner of reliever Nick DeAngelis (2-0).

Matt Sansbury hit a grand slam and catcher Chris Odom a two-run homer in the championship game shortened to five innings per the 10-run rule.

Falcon junior right-hander Josh Banks (1-1) pitched a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts and no walks in the championship game.

Pub Date: 4/04/99

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