Old Mill rally sinks Westminster, 5-3

Patriots get to Owls' ace for three in the seventh

May 18, 1999|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Old Mill center fielder Brandon White said he knew it was just a matter of time before he and the 15th-ranked Patriots got to Westminster ace Mike Taylor in yesterday's Class 4A East quarterfinal.

After spending most of the game lagging behind the right-hander's heater, however, they did it with little time to spare.

Trailing by a run, Old Mill scored three in the seventh inning, including two on White's triple into the gap in right-center, as the Patriots came from behind to beat the host Owls, 5-3.

White, who entered his final at-bat 0-for-3, said he was anxious for another chance.

"I saw all the pitches that I wanted to see, but just didn't get a hold of them right," said White. "He was throwing the same straight balls to everybody. Once we got a couple chances to see him, it was just a matter of time."

Old Mill (15-6) advances to tomorrow's region semifinal against the winner of yesterday's game between Glen Burnie and Annapolis.

To Patriots coach Mel Montgomery, a season playing the likes of top-ranked Severna Park and No. 2 Arundel paid dividends.

"We waited until the end to get the hits that we needed, and they were some big hits," said Montgomery. "This team has a lot of guts. That's a pretty good team [in Westminster], but our guys don't quit, and it's because of the league we play in. We have tough games like this every day."

For Westminster (8-13), that was little consolation.

"I told the kids to put themselves in a position to win, and they definitely did that," said Owls coach Scott Tobias. "This was the best all-around performance we've had all year. It's a little bit of a knife in the back when they come back and score three runs to beat you."

The Owls took a 1-0 lead in the second when Rafe Bridges led off with a triple into the gap in right-center and scored on Mike McFeeley's single to left. With two on and none out, however, Westminster blew a chance to extend the lead when Scott Carnegie fouled out to first and McFeeley was thrown out trying to take third.

Taylor, meanwhile, cruised through the early innings, striking out the first four batters he faced and not allowing a hit until the fifth, when with one out No. 9 hitter Joe Capri smacked an RBI single to right to tie the game at 1-1.

Old Mill then took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Dan Carpenter doubled and scored on consecutive wild pitches.

After Westminster scored twice in the sixth to regain the lead, the Patriots put two runners in scoring position with none out in the seventh on a pair of walks and a passed ball. White then tripled both runners home to give Old Mill a 4-3 lead, and Jason Galloway followed with an RBI single to make it 5-3.

"Mike came out and pitched a very nice ballgame for us, but leadoff walks always come back to haunt you, don't they?" said Tobias, who added that despite Taylor's late wildness, he never considered pulling his ace.

"He deserved that," said the Owls' coach. "That was his game."

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