Loch Raven proved its point.

The visiting Raiders wanted to show Dulaney they could play better than they did in their first meeting this season -- in which Loch Raven made seven errors to give the Lions eight unearned runs.

This time, No. 15-ranked Loch Raven, led by center-fielder Chris Luca, put on a defensive clinic and made just one error. Paul Kollman scattered seven hits and went the distance, and Todd Smith hit a two-run homer to help the Raiders top No. 14 Dulaney, 5-1, in a Baltimore County Central Division game.

Loch Raven (13-1, 11-1) played solid defense, used smart base running to manufacture runs and got good pitching and clutch hitting.

"They played the full game," said Dulaney coach Ron Audlin. "They played flawless defense, and they were the whole package."

The Raiders backed Kollman with a number of strong defensive plays. Luca made a tough shoestring catch in the first, a diving grab in the fourth and capped his day by throwing out a runner in the seventh.

Joe Wilhelm also made several good plays at shortstop, and first baseman Jeff Dahlem came up with some slick scoops of low throws.

"We wanted to play better," said Loch Raven coach Tim Nordbrook. "We felt if we played better and didn't make the errors that we'd be in there."

Said Smith: "Defense is definitely the strength of our team. We make the plays we need to make."

Smith helped the Raiders jump to a quick 2-0 lead with his homer in the top of the first. Luca led off with a single, and Smith followed with a shot that just carried over the fence in left.

The Raiders used some clever base running to manufacture single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth for a 5-0 lead.

Matt Anderson led off the fourth with a single, and courtesy runner Mitch Sanders moved to second on a fly ball to left. He then went to third on a ground out to third and scored on a Justin Kazaras single.

Smith reached on an infield single in the fifth. Bryan Mosser of Dulaney (9-4, 7-4) had Smith picked off, but he reached second when a throw hit him. Smith then stole third and scored when the throw went into left field.

Anderson set up the final run by doubling to start the sixth; Sanders went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Mark Little single.

Scott Chester doubled to open the sixth for the Lions and later scored on the lone Loch Raven error.

Pub Date: 4/26/97

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