With his hot bat and blazing fastball, senior Pat Boucher put an end yesterday to two decades of Severna Park frustration.
After giving up a run in the first inning, Boucher shut out Old Mill on three hits the rest of the way, striking out 11 and adding three hits at the plate as the top-ranked Falcons defeated the visiting No. 12 Patriots, 7-1, for their first playoff win in 20 years.
"It's been a long time," said Boucher, who, like his teammates, hadn't been born when Severna Park defeated Woodlawn in a regional game in 1978. "I hope we can just move on from here."
The Falcons (18-2) will get that chance when they travel to either Queen Anne's, Meade or Annapolis -- depending on what happens today -- for tomorrow's Class 4A East region semifinals.
To get through this one, Severna Park first had to figure out Patriots starter Steve Fogler, who used an array of off-speed pitches to throttle the Falcons early.
"Once we waited for the fastballs to come or for him to bring the curveballs down to the zone, we started hitting," said Boucher.
The Falcons scored twice in the fourth on Matt Sansbury's two-run single to right, one run in the fifth inning on another run-scoring single by Keith Brunst, and four times in the sixth. Three of those final runs came on Boucher's two-out home run to center.
From there, Boucher took command. The Patriots (11-8) threatened in the seventh, loading the bases with two outs, but ** Boucher then struck out Derek Dawson on a high fastball to end the game.
Pub Date: 5/14/98