Howard scored 11 runs in the last three innings to defeat River Hill in the Class 2A South Region baseball quarterfinal yesterday, 13-10.
The No. 11-ranked Lions (18-4) won their ninth straight game and 18th in their last 19 starts.
Tony King (10-1) picked up his 10th win after relieving starter Matt Sands who pitched four innings plus two batters. Howard sophomore clean-up batter Mike Burke went 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Anthony Aceves was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, including a home run and a double. Kevin Pumphrey was 2-for-4 with three RBIs. And lead-off batter Richie Grantham went 2-for-3 with two walks and two RBIs.
River Hill starting pitcher Dave Sharfstein held Howard's 12-run-per-game offense to two runs through four innings and the Hawks led, 4-2.
But a walk to Richie Grantham, who reached base four times, a double by Anthony Aceves, a hit batter (John Brown) and a two-run single by Burke put the Lions ahead 5-4 in the top of the fifth inning.
The Hawks had scored in the first inning on a two-run single by Arin Gelletly, and in the third inning on a two-run single by Jeff Chen.
Chris Becraft led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run off Sands. A single by Jesse Pickett led Howard coach Rich Jenkins to replace Sands with King, who allowed a single and hit a batter to load the bases with no outs.
Then King recorded a strikeout and retired Brandon Massie on a two-strike RBI squeeze bunt. Howard catcher John Baker picked a River Hill pinch runner off second base to end the inning with River Hill ahead, 6-5.
But Howard scored three runs in the sixth inning. Singles by Adam Snyder and Rob Fink sparked the rally. Gelletly replaced Sharfstein and allowed a two-run triple by Kevin Pumphrey and an RBI single by Grantham for an 8-6 Howard lead.
"I haven't been much of a hitter this season," Pumphrey said. "I just came through at the right time."
Jenkins said he planned to call for a double steal with Pumphrey batting. "Sometimes the best decisions are the ones you don't make," Jenkins said.
The Lions clinched the win with five runs in the seventh inning on singles by Darren Monge and Snyder, an RBI single by Pumphrey, an RBI triple by Grantham and a two-run home run by Aceves.
River Hill chased King and scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning led by Chris Kowgios' two-run single. But reliever Mike Burke retired Gelletly on a hot grounder to end the game.
"I was sweating it out there," Howard's Grantham said. "We weren't really ready at first."
No. 3 Calvert Hall 7, No. 6 Curley 6: Brent Gossman came on to get the final out with the tying run on second base in the top of the seventh, as the Cardinals (22-7) held on to win the first game of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs yesterday at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans.
Chapelgate 12, Boys Latin 4: Dan Parlette homered and hit two doubles to lead the Flames (10-7) past the Lakers in the first round of the MIAA B Conference Tournament.