With none out in the Dulaney half of the sixth inning yesterday, a strange wind swept across Poly's infield, lifting dirt and debris 30 feet into the air and halting play for several seconds.
It was the only reprieve the 10th-ranked Engineers got all day.
Dulaney starter Jeff Berman went the distance, allowing four hits and striking out 12, and the Lions offense took care of the rest en route to a 7-2 win in a Class 4A, Region II semifinal.
The Lions, 12-6 and seeded third in the region, advance to today's (4:45 p.m.) regional final against third-ranked Perry Hall at Dundalk Community College.
The game is a rematch of last year's regional final, in which Perry
Hall pulled out a thriller in 10 innings.
Though the Lions' win over Poly didn't classify in the same category, it did provide some exciting moments.
Berman, also 2-for-4 with three RBI, had one of them when he struck out six straight Poly hitters in the second and third innings.
"When my fastball is working as good as it was today, my curve is that much more effective," said Berman (4-1), who has struck out 88 in 54 innings. "Everything was working well today."
The pitcher allowed just two hits -- both singles -- through the first six innings, and even helped himself by picking off Poly's Leroy Glowackiat second base in the fourth.
"He's probably the best pitcher I've ever had, and today was one of his better performances," said Dulaney coach Ron Audlin. "Berman just overpowered them."
He got plenty of support from an offense that produced at least one hit in every inning but the fifth, and tapped starter Joe McKenzie for five runs in the first 1 2/3 innings.
The Lions scored one in the first, four in the second and two more in the fourth, by which time every one of their starters had reached base.
Will Keible led the 12-hit attack by going 3-for-3, scoring three runs and making a sprawling catch in left to retire Derrell Montgomery in the first. Jason Jacobs, Erin Arizzi and Berman also added two hits each.
"The kids played their best game of the season," said Audlin.