Gloucester Catholic, a perennial New Jersey power, put on a crowd-pleasing infield pre-game show at the Baseball Factory Invitational, but No. 12 Arundel put on a better show once the game began.
Arundel routed the Rams, 11-3, at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans last night to go to 3-0 and take the Baseball Factory tournament title.
No. 8 Old Mill took the consolation at Arundel High, beating Steinert (N.J.), 12-5. Alex Buchholz went all the way on a seven-hitter for the Patriots (6-3) while Shawn Summers hit his third double in two games and had three RBIs.
Gloucester staged a phantom infield practice before last night's final by taking the pre-game warm-up without using a baseball. The players went through all the motions of an infield practice in pantomime and even pretended to throw the ball around after an out during the game.
Everything Arundel did was for real with catcher Brian McCormick hitting a two-run homer in the third inning and a two-run single in a five-run seventh.
Center fielder Joe Zimmerman had a double among his two hits and scored two runs, and a pair of junior pitchers in Chris Wuthrich and Jeremy Moreland came through for the Wildcats (8-1).
"I'm really pleased. We had to extend our pitching with the three games in two days to win this and our kids did the job," said Arundel coach Bernie Walter. "We played well in all aspects, hit the ball, ran the bases well, played well defensively and got very good pitching."
Wuthrich got his first start of the season and came through with a four-hitter into the fifth when he was picked up by Moreland.
"I'm glad Coach Walter put confidence in me to pitch this game," said Wuthrich. "I had good control and my team did the job behind me."
Wuthrich struck out three and walked two before Moreland bailed him out of a fifth-inning jam. Moreland got the last two outs and finished the game giving up only an infield hit, no walks and one strikeout.
"We came together as a team this weekend, " said Zimmerman, who took honors as the team's Most Valuable Player while McCormick was the tournament MVP.
McCormick, a Riverdale Baptist transfer, said it was his best game as a Wildcat and added that, "Our pitchers threw strikes and we made the plays. That was the difference."
Arundel advanced to the final with a 5-2 victory over Steinert (N.J.), while Old Mill blew a six-run lead and lost to Gloucester Catholic, 12-11.
Zimmerman belted a two-run homer for Arundel in the top of the fifth to give the Wildcats a 5-2 lead behind Dustin Mitchell. Mitchell gave up just one hit - a first-inning, two-run homer to Steinert's Grant Harm.
Mitchell (3-0), who struck out seven, tired in the seventh walking two batters. Jeff Feigl, who three-hit Shenendehowa (Clifton Park, N.Y.) in a 2-1 win on Friday, was summoned by Walter.
Feigl (4-0) notched his first save of the year by retiring the side in order on a fly ball and two ground balls.
"Dustin was outstanding and just tired in the last inning," said Walter. "Jeff came in and got it done for us. Steinert is a pretty good ball club."
Old Mill (5-3) took a 9-3 lead into the sixth thanks in part to Tim McMullen's homer and a pair of doubles by Shawn Summers in its semifinal. Gloucester, however, rallied for nine runs to stun the Patriots.