Everyone wants a piece of defending national American Legion baseball champion Mayo Post No. 226.
Florida's Panama City squad, in the area after winning a weekend tournament in West Virginia, tried to make Mayo its sixth straight victim yesterday at Arundel High.
But the tired visitors limped awayfrom an 8-1 loss having discovered the main reason Maryland's high school-age baseball has been getting so much national attention.
"Iwouldn't have come here if they hadn't won a national title," admitted Panama City coach Bob Thayer, whose team had beaten South Carolina's top team in the first game of this eight-day road trip.
"We beat teams that were just as good as them over the weekend, but they've got a solid club. We were kind of fatigued after going sightseeing inD.C. all day today."
Mayo (15-7) had plenty to show the visiting Floridians, who were fourth in their state tournament last year. The home team got 10 hits off pitcher Shane Norris, led by leadoff hitterScott Young (3-for-3), who had a double and scored three runs for Mayo.
Chris Dinoto (2-for-3) had run-scoring singles, which gave Mayo leads of 1-0 and 6-0 in the first and fourth innings. Doug Stockman's third-inning single scored Dackron Coleman for a 5-0 lead, and Chris Durocher's fifth-inning RBI double accounted for Mayo's final run.
Mayo starter Larry Dobson (2-2) struggled early, walking four of the first seven batters while trying to stay away from the fastball.
The visitors thrived on opponents' heaters in the Elkins (W.Va.) tournament, but Dobson had a no-hitter going until Scott Mills -- Panama City's 12th batter -- singled to deep left center.
"At first I tried to throw it outside, but I was having problems getting it there. So I decided to come with (the fastball)," said Dobson, who gave uptwo hits, allowed four walks and struck out four in five innings of work.
After Dobson escaped jams in the first two innings, Mayo increased its lead to 3-0. Young and Jerry Mills scored the runs, capitalizing after Eric Scott reached on the third baseman's error.
"By the third inning, I had settled down," said Dobson, who threw 79 pitches. "They were still hitting the ball, but they were hitting it straight to the defense."
Dobson, who scored Mayo's fourth run on a passed ball in the second inning, went to first base after being relieved by Brian Rolocut and was on the end of the game-ending double play.
Panama City blew two early chances to take the lead.
With oneout and men on first and second in the first inning, Dobson induced Kevin Miller to fly out to second baseman Scott Young. Young then threw out Steve Breland at first base. In the next inning, Dobson fannedShane Norris with one out and men on second and third. The next batter, Brent Skipper, grounded out to shortstop.