Falcons' 6-run first deflates Broadneck

No. 1 Severna Park takes 12-1 game behind Banks


May 01, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Had Broadneck known what was to transpire in the bottom of the first inning yesterday at top-ranked Severna Park, the Bruins might not have been so willing to give up an out on a sacrifice bunt in their first at-bat.

No. 12 Broadneck bunted in the top of the first inning to put a runner in scoring position, but he never scored.

Up came hard-hitting Severna Park, which unloaded seven hits, scored six times, and then coasted to a 12-1, five-inning romp over the Bruins.

The Falcons (14-3 overall, 11-2 league) held onto first place in the 12-team Anne Arundel County League and eliminated the Bruins (9-7, 6-6) from contention for the county championship game May 10.

Defending county champion Severna Park leads No. 7 Arundel (12-5, 10-3) by one game with three to play. On Monday, Arundel snapped the Falcons' 10-game winning streak, 9-5, but the Falcons have won three straight since then.

"We hadn't played real well in about a week -- had a little motivation speech before the ballgame today," said Severna Park coach Jim Pitt. "I'm really pleased with the way they responded."

Kevin Campbell's three-run homer highlighted the big first inning. But he was one of six Falcons who by game's end had two hits.

Switch-hitting Derek Dixon hit his club-leading fourth homer, a towering shot well over the 30-foot fence in the right-center field with the bases empty in the second.

Dixon, Jon King, Matt Sansbury, Mike Prim and Chris Odom each had two hits. King and Dixon doubled in succession in a five-run fourth that caused the game to be shortened by the 10-run rule.

Every Falcons starter had at least one hit, except first baseman Chris DiMenna, who made up for his 0-for-3 at the plate with three sterling defensive plays to help out junior right-hander Josh Banks.

Working on three days' rest for the first time this season, Banks needed only 42 pitches, 32 of them strikes, to finish with a three-hitter and three strikeouts. Banks (5-2) walked no one; in fact, he did not reach ball three on any batter.

Banks twice went to 2-2 counts but retired both batters. One was a swinging strikeout in the fourth of Broadneck shortstop Brett Steele, who homered in the second inning to spoil Banks' shutout bid.

His velocity wasn't quite what it had been in Monday's loss to Arundel, but his curve, change and slider were effective yesterday.

"I'm usually a control pitcher, and I still felt I had some velocity and had to mix in my other pitches," said Banks.

When a pitcher's pitch count is as low as Banks' normally is, the three days' rest is not a factor. But it also helps, as happened yesterday, when teammates build a huge lead, which lets a pitcher throw strikes and make batters hit.

"We had a good practice [Thursday] and came out ready to play today. We hit the ball real well," said Banks, who showed in the first inning he intended to bounce back from his loss Monday.

The Falcons' Scott Loschiavo singled to center off Banks to open play and was bunted to second by Jayson Jennings. But Ryan Bellerby then bounced a high hopper at Banks, who jumped, speared it, and caught Loschiavo hesitating on his way to third base.

Running at Loschiavo, Banks chased him back to second base and tagged him out as he slid into the bag. Dan Burke flied to Dixon in right, ending, as it turned out, the Bruins' hopes.

Then the Falcons went to work on losing pitcher Matt Stover. They didn't let him get out of the first inning.

Pub Date: 5/01/99

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