Relying on Brown, basics, Northeast captures title

No. 4 Eagles turn aside Westlake, 6-2, in final

Class 3A baseball

May 29, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Eric Brown was tough when he had to be and No. 4-ranked Northeast used some old-fashioned, inside baseball to spark its offense in posting the Pasadena school's fourth state baseball title, 6-2, over Westlake of Charles County yesterday at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans.

It was a Maryland record 20th state title for Anne Arundel County.

The Class 3A championship was the first for the Eagles fourth-year coach Marshal Kawecki, and the school's first since 1992 under the late Harry Lentz, who won three.

"It feels absolutely great, because these guys are not the most talented group, but they play together as a team," Kawecki said. "The county championship game [loss to Arundel] had us wondering about ourselves, but they came back big in the playoffs. Eric beared down when he had to."

Brown (9-1), a 6-foot-4 right-hander, scattered nine hits on 115 pitches, striking out seven and walking two. Down 4-0, the Wolverines (19-6) had Brown on the ropes in the fourth and fifth innings, but Brown persevered.

"I had my best stuff in the tough situations," said Brown, who used a fastball, curve and slider, the latter pitch the one he relied on when he needed to get a crucial out.

Brown survived a bases-loaded situation in the top of the fifth by striking out Westlake's Nos. 3 and 4 hitters on his slider. Jose Gutierrez, who finished with a pair of doubles and two RBIs, went down swinging on a 1-2 slider.

Cleanup batter and catcher Robbie Jacobsen went down swinging on three pitches to end Westlake's most serious threat. Gutierrez doubled in two in the seventh with two outs on a ball over the head of left fielder Ryan Michaelis, who fell down while tracking it.

Brown got the final out on a pop-up to second baseman Scott Pervola, who collided with shortstop Steve Bowen during the anxious moment to wrap it up.

Northeast (20-6) took a 6-0 lead into the final inning by scoring in the second, third and fifth innings. In each case, the hit-and-run or bunt played prominent roles in the scoring.

"Execution is what we have been preaching all through the playoffs," Kawecki said.

"Making the easy plays and doing the little things is what it takes."

Westlake 000 000 2 - 2 9 4

Northeast 013 020 x - 6 8 0

Halsey and Jacobsen; Brown and Smith. 2B: W--Gutierrez 2, Pashkevich.

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