Top-ranked Arundel (19-1) cruised to a 7-1 victory over No. 5 Old Mill (14-6) to take its third straight Class 4A, Region IV championship in Gambrills yesterday.
Arundel, seeking its sixth state title in coach Bernie Walter's 20-year tenure, will be the top seed in the Class 4A semifinals Tuesday at Joe Cannon Stadium. The Wildcats will meet No. 4 seed Dulaney, a 6-5 winner over Perry Hall yesterday.
Junior right-hander Brandon Agamennone (7-0) scattered five hits, including a homer by Patriots' Drew Lewis in the fifth. He walked two and struck out nine. His teammates scored once in the third and six times in the fourth.
" 'Aggie' is an outstanding pitcher, but he got a little tired today after losing his concentration after we got the six runs," said Walter.
Arundel took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on a grounder to short by Mike Fairbanks (2-for-4), scoring courtesy runner Jamie Stoddard from third. Stoddard was in for catcher Mike Cozzone, who led off the inning with a single to left off losing pitcher Kenny Pumphrey.
Pumphrey (4-2) attempted to pick Stoddard off first, but his throw was in the dirt and went all the way to the fence in foul territory. Stoddard raced to third and later scored on Fairbanks' ground ball.
Old Mill catcher Ryan Scott reached on an error by Arundel third baseman Brian Sands to start the top of the fourth with courtesy runner Chad Isbell taking his place. Agamennone caught clean-up hitter Ryan Dempsey looking on a third strike for the first out.
Agamennone then struck out Jimmy Greer on a curveball with Isbell running on the pitch. Plate umpire Charlie Morse felt that Greer interfered with Cozzone attempting to throw out Greer at second.
Isbell stole the base but later was called out after Morse conferred with his three partners and Walter.
"I felt that the batter crossed over the plate and forced [Cozzone] to throw the ball high to second," said Morse. "I called the interference right away and went out to talk to the other guys to be sure."
The controversial play ended the inning and seemed to take the starch out of the Patriots, but coach Mel Montgomery, whose team went back on the field and got hit for six runs, said it wasn't a factor.
"We just didn't hit the ball," said Montgomery. "That's why we lost.