Old Mill raps Broadneck, 9-1

Couzantino shines at bat, on mound

Pats break out with 6-run third inning

High Schools

Baseball

April 26, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Nick Couzantino had good stuff with sound defense behind him, and everybody in the starting lineup had at least one hit in a 16-hit attack as No. 6 Old Mill shelled No. 4 Broadneck, 9-1, in Millersville yesterday.

Couzantino helped his cause with a three-run homer during a game-deciding, six-run third inning that chased Broadneck starter Tim Vecchioni (2-2).

Catcher Bernie Harvey and third baseman Matt Buchholz had three hits each for the Patriots. Tyler Young, Justin Dove and Zack Montgomery had two hits each, with one of Young's being a bases-empty home run.

"We hit the ball, and this is what our team is capable of doing," said Old Mill coach Mel Montgomery.

The result left Old Mill and Broadneck with identical Anne Arundel County league and overall records of 8-4 and 11-4.

Couzantino (5-1) mixed four pitches - fastball, curve, change and slider - to hold the usually hard-hitting Bruins to six hits. The junior right-hander struck out five and walked three on 92 pitches.

"I wasn't getting a lot of break on my slider, so I let that go and stayed with my other pitches, " said Couzantino, who did not have a 1-2-3 inning until the sixth but closed the game by retiring the last seven batters he faced.

"I had pretty good command, didn't get as much velocity as I wanted, but kept it away from their big hitters, " said Couzantino. "My defense makes me more confident. A strikeout is the same as a fly out to the fence."

Broadneck loaded the bases with none out in the first but came away with one run - on a wild pitch. Brandon Sanders' diving catch in short right field ended the Broadneck threat.

"I'm not sure how ready we were to play, and they were playing on a high level," said Broadneck coach Sean Tettemer. "We didn't match them, and a lot of that had to do with their pitcher throwing us off balance. [Even] good hitters find ways to get themselves out [against that kind of pitching], and he got some great help from his defense, too."

The heart of the Bruins' lineup, their 3-4-5 hitters in Matt Lewis, Preston Pehrson and Jon Taylor, were a combined 2-for-8 with no RBIs. Pehrson had the two hits, harmless singles in the third and fifth innings, but Couzantino struck him out with the bases loaded in the first.

Sophomore shortstop Greg Phelps made three outstanding plays, and third baseman Buchholz started a doubleplay on a grounder by Lewis in the third inning.

The Patriots play top-ranked Severna Park (12-2, 11-0) at 7 tonight at Joe Cannon Stadium.

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