RBI pop-up cuts down quest by Dulaney for a state title

Watkins Mill wins, 3-2, rallies from early 2-0 hole

State Class 4A baseball

High Schools

May 27, 2000|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Early misadventures and a seeing-eye pop-up in the fourth inning cost Dulaney its first try at a state baseball championship at Joe Cannon Field in Harmans last night.

The two-out pop-up just eluded diving Dulaney right fielder Dan Tinker's glove in the fourth, scoring what proved the winning run in a 3-2, Class 4A title victory by Montgomery County's Watkins Mill.

Chris Segura's pop fell a few feet inside the foul line, scoring Brad Epstein, who had led off with a double.

"I trapped it on the ground right under my glove," Tinker said. "I was playing deep and just didn't get there in time. I knew from the second it dropped that it would be a big run."

Watkins Mill (20-2), from the Gaithersburg area, won its 18th straight game to claim its first state title.

No.11-ranked Dulaney (16-8) jumped on top 2-0 in the first inning when Jeff Dyke slashed a one-out double over the center fielder's head to the fence. Scott Headdfollowed with an RBI single off the third baseman's glove.

After Trevor MacMeekin flied out to center field, Tinker walked to load the bases. Flynn Hoban hit a grounder to third baseman Ryan Moran, who tried unsuccessfully for a force at third base while a run scored.

Dulaney starting pitcher Mike Clark struck out to end the rally.

"It was a rough way to end the first inning," Dulaney coach Ron Audlin said. "We left too many guys at third base tonight and just didn't get the big hit. Our defense was good, and the pitching did the job."

Watkins Mill almost scored in the bottom of the first, but on Tommy Kramer's single, Tinker threw a strike to catcher Headd, who tagged Jeff Haeder sliding home.

Watkins Mill tied the game in the bottom of the second inning with two unearned runs. An error by Dulaney first baseman MacMeekinstarted the rally. Then Epstein singled to center field. Mike Coleman hit into a forceout at second base, and Nick Arragon followed with an RBI single.

Segura continued the inning when he reached on a fielder's choice bunt to third baseman Nick Stewart. The Wolverines scored their second run on a wild pitch. Brian McKenna hit into an inning-ending double play ball to the pitcher to end the inning.

Dulaney had runners picked off first base in both the second and third innings.

The Lions had a chance to tie in the sixth, but a running, diving one-out catch by Segura in center robbed them of their last chance. David Gobeli had reached on an error to begin the inning.

"Their center fielder killed us," Audlin said.

Clark pitched a complete game and struck out five for Dulaney, which had won eight of its last nine games to turn around what was once a 7-7 season.

"We got to the show beating Old Mill, 6-0, but we just couldn't finish it," Audlin said.

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