Lansdowne pitcher Brian Sullivan will admit, with a grin, that he pitches better when angry at himself. Yesterday, Sullivan got mad.
And Dundalk could not get even.
Sullivan threw a two-hitter, and Dan Muller's RBI single in the fifth inning gave No. 9 Lansdowne all the offense it needed as the Vikings won their second straight Class 3A, Region II title with a 1-0 victory over Dundalk at Dundalk Community College.
Lansdowne (16-3), the region's top seed, moved to the state semifinal on Tuesday at Arundel High at 4 p.m. or 7 p.m. The Vikings, state finalists last year, will be the second seed and play third-seeded Thomas Stone.
L Dundalk, the region's second seed, ended its season at 14-5.
Lansdowne infielders made two errors in the first inning that let Dundalk put a runner on third with none out. Sullivan became angry with himself and stayed that way.
"When I get mad at myself, I throw better and get them out," said Sullivan (4-2). "Usually my [teammates] don't mess up, and it makes me try harder."
Sullivan kept Dundalk quiet by mixing pitches and changing speeds. He threw mostly fastballs to the Owls, but also tossed in a good curveball. And, his new pitch, a split-finger fastball, even made an occasional appearance.
The left-hander struck out five, and gave up only a fourth-inning double to Mike Dziemburski and a fifth-inning single to Gene Woods.
"He threw well," said Lansdowne coach Ron Bareford. "He's been doing a nice job all year."
Lansdowne found little offense itself, thanks to Dundalk pitcher Rich Estes. The right-hander allowed only five hits and struck out eight. Estes relied on a fastball, a tricky curve and the occasional knuckler.
"He pitched beautifully," said Dundalk coach George Scheulen. "He had all of his pitches. He had it all going for him."
The Vikings scored the game's lone run in the fifth. Estes hit Victor Queen to start the inning, and he moved up on Andy Stocksdale's sacrifice. Queen then stayed put as Bob Wheelton reached on an error.
Muller then came up. The left-handed batter waited on an Estes curve and hit a seeing-eye grounder to left field, scoring Queen.
"He threw it right across the middle," said Muller. "The last time, I tried to pull it. This time, I waited for his curveball and made contact."
Dundalk had its chances, but could not get clutch hits. The Owls twice put runners on third with less than two outs, but could not bring them in.
After the first inning, the Owls' best threat came in the fifth when they put runners on second and third with one out. Sullivan then struck out Hurley on a split-finger and got Travis Thornton to ground out.
"We had men on third base twice," said Scheulen. "We just
couldn't get them home. [Sullivan] made some wonderful pitches."
* Fallston 7, Bohemia Manor 2: Senior first basemen Rob Myers went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs as No. 12 Fallston defeated Bohemia Manor in the Class 1A, Region III title game at Harford Community College.
The Cougars (20-2), the region's top seed and winners of 17 consecutive games, advanced to the state semifinals on Tuesday at Dundalk Community College or McCurdy Field in Frederick where they will meet Brunswick.
Brunswick beat Francis Scott Key, 5-1, yesterday. Fallston will be seeded No. 1 in its first state semifinal appearance.
* Wicomico 7, Edgewood 1: Wicomico erupted for six runs in the bottom of the sixth as it defeated visiting and No. 7 Edgewood (14-6) in the Class 2A, Region IV championship game.
Wade Greason doubled in Smokey Burgess in the top of the first inning for Edgewood's only run. Wicomico tied it in the third, and it remained that way until the bottom of the sixth.