Arundel reigns behind Hibbs

Sophomore's record pitching, hitting give Wildcats 10th title as C.M. Wright falls in 4A

Arundel 5 C. Milton Wright 3



Sophomore Tyler Hibbs set pitching and batting records to lead top-ranked Arundel (23-3) to its unprecedented 10th state title with a 5-3 victory over C. Milton Wright (17-9) last night in the Class 4A baseball championship game at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.

"We were stuck on nine for a while [2001 was last]. But we got No. 10 tonight and that should put us in the National Federation record book," said Arundel's 32nd-year coach, Bernie Walter. "They want double figures to get in there."

Hibbs pitched the last four innings to win his fourth consecutive playoff game and post his 13th win of the season, tying the Anne Arundel County and school record for wins in a season set by Mike Wesneski (13-0) in 1979.

"Tyler is a key, premier player, a star in every sense of the word. I couldn't have a better player on my team. He's a three-way player - pitches, hits and plays defense," said Walter about Hibbs, who also plays third base.

In addition, Hibbs hit his school-record 22nd career double, 17 this season.

"Feels a lot better than last year," said Hibbs, who took the loss as a freshman in last year's final. "I knew I was in relief tonight, and I was ready. Setting the records is exciting and I've got two more years."

Hibbs, who struck out nine, escaped jams in the fifth and sixth innings while his teammates added runs in the sixth and seventh for some breathing room. Ricky Sillaman's fielder's choice scored the fourth run and Shawn Pleffner tripled and scored on an error to make it 5-2.

"Tyler is a great pitcher and has been doing it for us all year," said junior center fielder Jason Daniels. "Their pitcher threw strikes and mixed them up well."

Hibbs replaced Joel Roberts, who gave up three hits, a run and struck out two over the first three innings.

Left-hander Nick Bisesi (9-6), who went all the way in C.M. Wright's 3-1 semifinal win over Eleanor Roosevelt, went the distance last night on an eight-hitter.

"Bisesi showed all the heart in the world," said C.M. Wright coach Tony Blackburn. "He came back on short rest for us and he deserved a better fate today. We tried to do too many things at once. Little things hurt us. I give the ball to him in the morning at school [when he's pitching] and tell him I don't want it back."

Bisesi struck out six and walked one.

In the three-run third inning, Corey Overholtzer led off with his second hit and Daniels reached on an error. Hibbs then stroked his double down the left-field line to score Overholtzer with Daniels taking third. A wild pitch scored Daniels.

Hibbs later scored on a throwing error by Mustangs catcher Nick Alexander.

C.M. Wright, ranked 13th, answered in the bottom of the third with a run as Mike Rappazzo singled in Greg Walter, who had doubled.

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