Centennial gets in gear, routs Long Reach, 16-3

Eagles' 5th breaks it open in 3A East

Thomas Stone captures 4A East crown

High Schools

May 22, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Trailing by a run after three innings yesterday, No. 5 Centennial came alive offensively and went on to defeat host Long Reach, 16-3, and win the Class 3A East region baseball championship.

The Eagles (19-4), who won a state title in 2001, will play the Leonardtown-McDonough winner at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Joe Cannon Stadium in the state semifinals.

Steve Seh hit two home runs, including a grand slam that broke the game open in a five-run fifth inning. Seh was 3-for-5 with seven RBIs.

"He's been one of the best hitters in Howard County for two years, and one of the hallmarks of a great hitter is that they do it in big games," said Long Reach coach Tim O'Brien.

Jonathan Dupski went 2-for-4 with a crucial two-out double to tie the game in the fourth inning. The senior left-hander also pitched six innings, allowing three hits and one unearned run, struck out six and walked two.

He escaped a bases-loaded situation in the first inning after Long Reach scored.

"I focused too much on fastballs in that inning and didn't mix it up," said Dupski, who is headed to Towson University. He has a 9-1 record and entered the game with a 0.56 ERA. "This was redemption for me because I lost the regional championship game my sophomore year."

Long Reach (15-9) had won eight of its previous nine games. It lost to Centennial, 15-14, earlier this season.

Freshman left fielder Alex Bechta went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, and his bunt in the fourth started Centennial's comeback.

Class 4A East

Thomas Stone 2, No. 3 Chesapeake 1: The 11th-seeded and host Cougars capped their surprising run to the regional championship with another win over an Anne Arundel County team, this time bringing down the top-seeded team in nine innings.

Thomas Stone, which had beaten Glen Burnie, Arundel and Old Mill to reach the regional final, scored on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings. It finished the job in the ninth with a bases-loaded single.

Left-hander Tom Schlein struck out eight and walked none during a complete-game five-hitter for Chesapeake (20-2), but the Cougars' offense struggled against Stone's Jon Kale, who earned the win in relief two days after recording a save in his team's upset of No. 1-ranked Old Mill.

Class 3A North

C. Milton Wright 11, No. 12 Fallston 10: Ryan Farrell hit a line drive down the right-field line with one out in the bottom of the seventh to score Nick Bescesi with the game-winning run. The second-seeded and host Mustangs (16-5) rallied from two runs down in the final two innings to advance to the state semifinals, where they will play the winner of Bethesda-Chevy Chase/Urbana.

John Thurston and Brett Gustafsson had RBI singles in the bottom of the sixth for the Mustangs after the fourth-seeded Cougars took the lead with a five-run fifth. Gustafsson's line drive to center with a full count and two outs scored Nick Alexander to tie it at 10. Thurston's single earlier in the inning scored Eddie Scarborough to make it 10-9.

Class 2A North

Eastern Tech 13, Overlea 5: Bryan Moffa and Tim Jones both went 3-for-4 with two doubles and Doug Kottraba was 2-for-3 with two RBI to help the visiting Mavericks advance to the state semifinals for the second straight season.

The Mavericks (18-5), whose appearance in last year's final four was the first in school history, secured their return trip with a nine-run sixth inning that erased a 5-4 deficit.

Ricky Albright was 1-for-2 with two walks and a run for Overlea, which was seeking a return to the state semifinals after a one-year absence.

Class 2A West

Liberty 2, South Carroll 1: Starter Wade Keenan pitched five hitless innings, and reliever Shawn Houck got out of a jam in the seventh as the Lions advanced to the state semifinals for the first time since 2001 by upending the top-seeded hosts.

Liberty's Brett Caplan scored Matt Anuszewski on a squeeze play in the sixth for the game-winner.

The Lions (18-3) will play Eastern Tech in the state semifinals Tuesday.

Class 2A South

Southern-AA 6, Atholton 2: The Bulldogs scored four runs in the first inning on the way to a a win over the host Raiders, setting up a state semifinal meeting on Tuesday with 2A East champion J.M. Bennett.

Class 1A North

Havre de Grace 7, Sparrows Point 6: Shane West delivered a walk-off, three-run homer in the seventh, giving the host Warriors (13-8) their first regional championship since 1998.

Class 1A West champion Williamsport awaits in Tuesday's state semifinals.

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