When Anne Arundel Community College trailed Allegany by five runs early in yesterday's Region XX Division I JuCo baseball tournament, Pioneers pitcher Jimmy Simms thought back to the regular-season contest in which his team had rallied from 10 runs down to beat the Trojans, 11-10.
This time, however, there would be no miracle comeback as No. 2 seed Allegany (32-10) racked three Baseball
Pioneer pitchers for 14 hits en route to an 8-4 victory in a loser's-bracket game that eliminated Anne Arundel.
Third-seeded Anne Arundel (19-13) scored two runs in the top of the ninth to cut the lead to four, but could get no closer.
K. C. Murphy hit a double and Rich Spiegel singled to start the Pioneers' rally in the ninth. Russ Curry then singled to center field to score Murphy, trimming the lead to 8-3. Two batters later, Frank Updike reached first on an infield hit to load the bases.
Steve Melynchuk singled to center field, scoring Rich Gantz, a pinch runner for Spiegel, to make it 8-4. The bases remained loaded, but Simms grounded out to short to end the game.
"You thought there was a little magic left in us," said Simms, who pitched two innings of scoreless relief against Allegany and tossed a two-hitter Tuesday in a 7-0 victory over defending national champion Essex.
"It [the 11-10 Pioneer win] is something that sticks with you. You come from behind 10-0 and you know you are a good team. Everybody had a little fight left in them, but we tried to rally too late."
Anne Arundel coach Clayton Jacobson elected to go with right-hander Glenn Shiring yesterday instead of Simms because he felt his star pitcher couldn't go nine innings on three days' rest.
Murphy paced Anne Arundel, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored, and Curry went 2-for-3 with one RBI.
Allegany's John Debernardis went 4-for-5 with two RBI.
Shiring (3-3) pitched four innings, giving up six runs (three earned) and nine hits. Allegany winning pitcher Ted Campbell (5-3) yielded eight hits and three earned runs and struck out six in going the distance.
Today's game between Hagerstown and the Trojans will decide who goes to the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series. Allegany must win twice to advance, Hagerstown once.