The top-ranked Arundel baseball team matched every offensive move made by Severna Park, then made some more in posting a 9-5 victory over the No. 9 Falcons in Gambrills yesterday.
With their ninth win in a row, the Wildcats (16-2) ran their league record to 13-1 and clinched a berth in Wednesday's county championship game with two games left.
The defending county champion Falcons (12-6, 8-6) were eliminated from the county final.
Both teams scored in every inning from the second through the fourth, but Arundel outhit Severna Park 13-8 with four doubles and two triples.
Each team committed four errors, but Severna Park committed three alone in a crucial fourth inning, resulting in Arundel's last three runs.
Second baseman Jesse Trout had two doubles and two RBIs; Nick Pleyo doubled and tripled; Bart Maxwell had two hits (including a triple); catcher Brian Puglise was 3-for-4 with a double; and Bobby Goldbeck had two hits.
"We don't have home run power, but we hit a lot of doubles," said Arundel coach Bernie Walter. "Lively [Jason] threw a lot of strikes, and we turned two double plays."
While it wasn't one of his more outstanding performances, Arundel right-hander Jason Lively ran his record to 6-0. Lively yielded eight hits, struck out two and walked two in going the distance with a 61-34 strikes-to-balls ratio.
"Jason has a nice curveball and slider, and his fastball doesn't overpower people, but it's good enough to get outs, " said Puglise, who played on Arundel's last state champion as a freshman in 1998 before spending last year in Chicago. He returned this year when his dad's job brought the family back to Maryland.
Falcons junior Tim Pollock had three hits, including a double and homer, but Lively got him to hit into the Wildcats' second 6-4-3 double play of the game in the seventh inning.
"We swung the bat a little bit, but we did what we've done in the past," said Severna Park coach Jim McCandless. "We have a big inning then we have a lull after that."
Pollock's homer came with two out and no one on in the third, and catcher Mike Prim led off the fourth with a homer. After Prim's homer cut Arundel's lead to 6-5, the Falcons put two men on with one out.
Arundel's shortstop-second base combo of Sean Dolan and Trout then turned a inning-ending double play that fueled the Wildcats' turn at-bat.
Taking advantage of three Severna Park errors, Arundel got RBIs from Pleyo and Maxwell to take control of the game at 9-5 after four innings.
In contrast, Severna Park did not capitalize on Arundel errors in the fifth and sixth, leaving two stranded on base each inning.