Turning to Dupski again, Centennial takes off with title

Senior pitcher sets tone against C. Milton Wright

offense soars in 10-1 win

Class 3A baseball

High Schools

May 30, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

All season long Jonathan Dupski was Centennial's lights-out pitcher. The senior left-hander turned out the lights one final time last night and ended C. Milton Wright's championship hopes by throwing five innings and allowing one run as the Eagles cruised to a 10-1 victory in the Class 3A state final at Joe Cannon Stadium.

The third-ranked Eagles (21-4), playing in their sixth state final, won their second state title in four years. The seventh-ranked Mustangs (17-6) remain winless in three state championship games.

Dupski, who pitched five innings Wednesday in a semifinal win over Leonardtown, kept the hard-hitting Mustangs off balance with his curveball and changeup to go with an 83 mph fastball that tailed away from right-handed hitters. He allowed five hits, struck out four and walked none.

Dupski improved his record to 11-1 and tied the all-time Howard County record for wins in a season.

"This is indescribable," Dupski said. "I love my team and couldn't ask for a better group of seniors. I couldn't throw as hard as normal but relied on my off-speed stuff. It took me a couple innings to get loose. It's awesome that all three of our senior pitchers got to pitch in this game."

Todd Abicht pitched the sixth and Kyle Murray pitched the seventh for the Eagles.

Centennial jumped on Mustangs starter Mike Roberts for two runs in each of the first two innings. Centennial's first four batters reached base as Mike Lance walked, Alex Bechta singled, Steve Seh singled in a run and Dan Shillingburg singled in another.

C. Milton Wright scored once in the top of the second on singles by Ryan Farrell, Bryan Ford and Steve Donithan. The Eagles struck again in the bottom of the inning on singles by Bryce Becker and Brian Hesson, an error and two wild pitches.

The score remained 4-1 until Centennial broke the game open with a six-run fifth inning. Bechta led off with a single and stole second. Seh singled him home, and Shillingburg singled. The Mustangs brought in relief pitcher Eddie Scarborough, who struck out Dupski, but Scott Swinson walked to load the bases. Seh was thrown out at the plate while trying to score on a wild pitch. Austin Harclerode was hit by a pitch, and Becker, Hesson and Lance all walked, forcing in three more runs.

Bechta hit an RBI single and Seh was hit by a pitch, forcing in another run. Bechta, a freshman, finished 4-for-5. Seh and Shillingburg each had two hits.

"From the beginning of the season I told this team that its season would end up with a win, and they lived up to that," said Eagles coach Denis Ahearn. "It was a diverse bunch that came together, and our freshmen and sophomores all contributed. Dupski got us through some tough spots this season and deserved to start."

Mustangs coach Bryan Linz said: "Centennial is a solid team and earned it. You have to throw strikes and hit the ball, and we didn't do a lot of either tonight. No one thought we'd get this far but us, and with the group we have back, we expect to be here again next season."

CMW 010 000 0 - 1 6 1

C 220 060 x - 10 10 2

Roberts, Scarborough (5), Thurston (5) and Cole; Dupski, Abicht (6), Murray (7) and Shillingburg.

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