Johnson-led Old Mill wins East, 3-0

3-hitter tops G. Burnie

Dulaney takes North

Baseball state regionals

May 21, 2000|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Junior left-hander Steve Johnson spun a three-hitter with three walks and 12 strikeouts in shutting out defending Class 4A state champion and 15th-ranked Glen Burnie, 3-0, yesterday as No.9 Old Mill won its first East Region title since 1990.

Johnson (7-3), who threw 101 pitches, out-dueled freshman Josh Larkins (5-1), who gave up two first-inning runs before settling down and pitching an outstanding game for the Gophers (13-9).

Larkins, who showed great poise under pressure, was lifted after retiring the first batter in the sixth inning. It what an admirable move by Gophers coach Bruce Sider, who put the well-being of his young pitcher before winning."He kind of got up in pitches, and I needed to get him out of there," said Sider of Larkins, who came out after throwing 96 pitches."He looked like he was getting tired and laboring out there."

Larkins' final line was five hits, five strikeouts, two walks and two earned runs that came on a bases-loaded walk to Jimmy Jackson and a single by Nick Koscielniak in the first.

Reliefer Chris Lusby replaced Larkins and retired three in a row before giving up back-to-back walks with one out in the seventh.

Matt McCormick replaced Lusby and threw a wild pitch that allowed Dan Carpenter to move to third. Carpenter came home on Jackson's sacrifice fly, capping the scoring.

Winning their seventh region title overall, and the sixth under coach Mel Montgomery, the Patriots advanced to a state semifinal meeting with the winner of the West Region final between Wootton (12-6) and Watkins Mill (16-2).

Old Mill (16-7) won state titles in 1980 and '89 and will attempt to become the fourth different Anne Arundel County team to win a 4A state title in the last four years.

Johnson was in total command yesterday until the bottom of the seventh, when he momentarily lost it, but got it back to end the game in style.

Mixing his breaking pitch with his fastball, Johnson set down eight Gophers in a row after Keith Williams' one-out triple in the sixth and threw just 78 pitches through six innings.

The speedy Williams drew a walk on four pitches to start the bottom of the seventh.

Suddenly, Johnson could not find the plate. He walked Jeff Kellner and hit Cory Dukehart with a pitch to load the bases.

But he regained his composure to strike out Jim Whisman, pinch-hitter Chris Newton and one of the leaders from last year's state champion, senior catcher Matt "Hooter" Smith, to end it.Dulaney 13, Perry Hall 6: Designated hitter David Gobeli hit a grand slam in the fifth inning and finished with five RBIs to lead the Lions (15-8) over the Gators (18-6) in the 4A North Region title game. Lions catcher Scott Headd hit a two-run double in the fourth and a two-run homer in the seventh.

Dulaney pitcher Mike Clark, who escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, threw 116 pitches and struck out five.

Senior left fielder John Wanger, who also pitched three innings of relief, homered for the Gators and teammate Chris Middlecamp tripled.

Class 3A River Hill 16, Northeast 8: Arin Gelletly and Jesse Pickett each had three-run homers as River Hill (11-10) had a 17-hit attack in beating host Northeast (16-7) for the East title. Gelletly and Pickett each had five RBIs. Chris Becraft went 4-for-5 and Miguel Montanez was 3-for-4 for the Hawks.

River Hill starter Matt Cornelius scattered five hits, and Jack Campbell and Gelletly each threw two innings of hitless relief.

Class 2A Lackey 4, Hammond 3: Lackey scored four runs with two outs in the third inning to earn the Class 2A South title. Hamond (18-5), which stranded 11 runners, was led by Jason Harriman (3-for-3).

MIAA B Conference Cardinal Gibbons 15, Mount Carmel O: Craig King struck out eight over five innings to lead the Crusaders (23-6) over the Cougars in the second round of the tournament. The win was Gibbons' 17th straight. Justin King and Craig King were each 3-for-3 for the winners.

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