Centennial stays perfect, 15-14

Playing 1st game in April, Eagles hand Long Reach first defeat in county

Baseball

High Schools

April 16, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

In what was a Howard County showdown between two teams with perfect league records, the Centennial baseball team shook off the rust and stayed unbeaten yesterday with a 15-14 victory over Long Reach.

The game featured the end of an 18-inning scoreless pitching streak by Centennial's Jonathan Dupski, who faced six batters in relief, allowing three runs and three hits, walking one and hitting a batter.

Centennial (6-0 overall, 5-0 league), which has played just once since March 31, now stands alone atop the standings just ahead of No. 6 Mount Hebron (7-0, 4-0).

Eagles starting pitcher Todd Abict had not pitched in April, until yesterday. Long Reach (5-3, 4-1) jumped him for six runs in the first two innings. Centennial treated Abict's counterpart, E.J. Naimaster, even more roughly with seven runs in the first two innings.

The Eagles finally drove Naimaster from the game with a five-run third inning. Leading 12-6, they seemed on their way to an impressive victory.

But the Lightning scored eight times in the sixth inning to go ahead 14-12. The rally featured a three-run double by Jereme Scott (3-for-5) and a two-run home run by Scott Peddicord (2-for-4). Robbie O'Brien was 3-for-4 with four RBIs and pitched in relief.

Centennial's Steve Seh had three hits in the first three innings, including a pair of RBI doubles.

"Long Reach is one of the better hitting teams in the state, so I suspected the game might be like this, and I'm just glad we held our own with them," said Seh, whose bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh ended the game.

" ... We're undefeated, and we want to keep it that way as long as possible."

Dupski, who retired only one batter in the sixth inning in relief of Brian Bauder, had an RBI single in Centennial's two-run sixth inning during which the Eagles tied the score at 14.

"I've never pulled him off first base before to pitch," said Eagles coach Denis Ahearn of Dupski. "He was shocked and caught off guard. I put him in a bad position, and it wasn't the best decision on my part. I was just impressed by what we did mentally by never quitting."

The Eagles' defense also struggled, committing four errors.

Kyle Murray closed out the game for Centennial on the mound by retiring all four batters he faced.

Centennial's Brian Heson, a sophomore switch-hitter, went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a walk, and was retired on a drive to the fence in right field.

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