Poly connects, wins city title, 8-5


City missed its chance at a big inning, but Poly didn't.

The Engineers scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning and went on to an 8-5 victory, clinching the Baltimore City A Conference baseball title yesterday afternoon.

Poly was pumped up from the get-go with its boisterous cheering that spilled onto the field.

"Fire is a key word for these boys, because they have a lot of heart for a young team," Poly coach Chris Vaccaro said.

The host Engineers (14-2) picked two Knights off base in the third to dismiss what could have been a big inning for the visitors. Instead, City (11-3) managed just a run on four hits, and Poly came to bat with the score tied at two.

Catcher Todd Jacobs' RBI single was followed by Melvin Hicks' triple and back-to-back homers by Anthony Fitzgerald and C. J. Jones as the Engineers scored five times to take a 7-2 lead.

"That was crucial, really hurt," said City coach Bill Walker. "Not being aware of the situation really hurt us."

After each team scored a run in the first, Poly took the lead at 2-1 in the second on Austin Carter's single. City tied it up in the third on Dominique Scott's single that scored Jay Lawson (3-for-4), who got on base with the first of his two triples.

Scott moved to second on a single by Turner, but Vaccaro called a pickoff play for the Engineers; pitcher Rio Tatum's throw to shortstop Fitzgerald nabbed Scott with plenty to spare for the first out of the inning.

After Tatum recorded a strikeout, Rob Carr got an infield hit. With Ben Becker batting, Turner hesitated to steal third, but Jacobs came out from behind the plate and ran right at Turner, freezing him. Jacobs led the rundown that got Turner out.

A fired-up Poly came into hit. Alexi Pappas' single to left was misplayed, and he went all the way to third. Jacobs scored Pappas, and Hicks would have had a two-run homer to right-center had he not slipped and fell rounding third.

Fitzgerald lifted a shot over the right fielder's head for a two-run homer, and Jones' liner to right took a weird bounce past Brandon Hopp and he circled the bases.

Poly scored its final run in the fifth on a wild pitch by Brandon Simons, who went all the way for the Knights.

City threatened in the seventh, scoring three runs to cut their deficit to 8-5 with one out. Then Tatum was replaced with second baseman Cory Cascio, who struck out two batters to end the game.

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