A lot of people from outside Anne Arundel County came to see Tim Giles at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans last night. They weren't disappointed.
It was showtime, and the headliner who has led Arundel to the area's No. 1 ranking lived up to the billing.
Giles (9-1) pitched a two-hitter through five innings and put on a show with the bat, as Arundel (20-1) moved within one game of the sixth state championship in coach Bernie Walter's 20-year tenure with a 4-1 victory over 10th-ranked Dulaney (13-7) in the Class 4A semifinals.
Arundel will go after its first state title since 1991 at 7 p.m. Saturday at McCurdy Field in Frederick against Gaithersburg (17-2).
Gaithersburg routed LaPlata, 11-3, in yesterday's other semifinal and is the top-ranked team in the Washington area.
Giles is a right-handed pitcher who bats left-handed, and he showed why he was the best player in Anne Arundel County this season.
The 6-foot-2 senior homered over the 380-foot sign in right-center field for two runs in the first inning to give Arundel a 3-0 lead.
The Wildcats' other run came home on a single by catcher Mike Cozzone.
On his second trip to the plate in the third inning with two out, Giles missed a home run by a foot, as his shot hit off the top of the fence at the farthest point in right-center, about 390 feet away.
Giles was removed from the mound after five innings because of the state pitching rules, which allow 14 innings in a week. Giles went nine innings Friday and homered in the bottom of the ninth to nip Chesapeake in the 4A, Region IV semifinals.
Before giving way to junior right-hander Brandon Agamennone in the sixth, Giles retired the last 10 Lions he faced. Giles did not walk a batter, struck out seven and gave up two hits.
Agamennone got the first two batters he faced in the sixth but gave up a single to Will Keiple, who stole second and came home on a single by Jeff Berman.
Dulaney went down order in its last inning when Agamennone struck out the side.
Arundel added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth with two out, as Tommy Taylor bunted for a hit and moved to second on a balk by Dulaney starter and loser Rodney Maenner.
Cozzone doubled Taylor in to make it 4-0, and Giles was intentionally walked by reliever Berman, who ended the inning by picking courtesy runner (for Cozzone) Jamie Stoddard off second base.
Dulaney was the surprise winner in its region, upsetting defending state champion Perry Hall, 6-5 in the region title game.
The Lions defeated Poly, 7-2, in the semifinals.