With the tying and winning runs in scoring position yesterday, Dan Prevatt ended the game with a strikeout, lifting No. 3-ranked Archbishop Curley to its second Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference baseball title in three years with a 5-4 victory over No. 12 St. Paul's.
With two outs, Walter Hill's bases-loaded single drove in two runs in the bottom of the seventh to pull St. Paul's, the home team at Curley, within 5-4.
Prevatt had walked Brent Weiss, whom Curley assistant coach Tim Norris considers "the most dangerous hitter in the area," to load the bases. Weiss advanced to third on Hill's single.
With St. Paul's two best runners on the corners and an 0-1 count on David Beach, Prevatt came to his set. Hill broke for second, drawing a throw to left-handed first baseman Steven Gale .
As Weiss edged toward home, plate umpire James Boyd called time. Beach had requested it, not realizing the play was on. Hill took second unattended on the next pitch, which Beach swung at for strike two.
The right-handed Prevatt then got Beach -- who had doubled in a run in the first inning -- to swing through a curveball to end the game. Prevatt said he had been throwing Beach fastballs all day and decided to go after him with his curve.
"Danny just did an outstanding job under pressure," said Al Frank, who completed his 39th season as the only coach Curley has ever had. He is the metro area's all-time winningest coach (522-389).
Prevatt (9-2) struck out six on his way to pitching a six-hitter. He was the difference in the game, not allowing the Crusaders (20-15) to get the ball in the air in crucial situations at homer-friendly Curley.
In securing their sixth A Conference title overall under Frank, the Friars hit four bases-empty homers.
Prevatt and Justin Tester each hit home runs that cleared the 330-foot sign toward right-center. Lynn Fuller added one down the line just over the 310-foot marker. The last home run, by Frank Herzog, was 360 feet to left-center.
It's likely that all four off starter Bryan Prenger would have been caught at bigger Joe Cannon Stadium, the designated neutral site for the tournament. St. Paul's edged Curley, 2-0, on Thursday to force an extra game. At that time, MIAA executive director Rick Diggs had scheduled neither a time nor a site for the game.
Both teams were notified Thursday evening that they would play yesterday afternoon at Cannon. Yesterday morning, Diggs moved the venue to Curley.
"Part of me thinks if we're at Joe Cannon, those fly balls are outs," said Crusaders coach Paul Bernsdorf. "It was either play here or not play. Those were my choices."
According to Cannon supervisor Larry Braun, Diggs did not contact him about playing there yesterday before the 4A state public school title, set for 7 p.m. Braun said that Diggs did not allow him enough time to prepare the stadium.
"I don't set the league policy, so we just show up and play," Bernsdorf said.
C 101 012 0 -- 5 10 1
SP 100 010 2 -- 4 6 0
Prevatt and Herzog; Prenger, Zandler (6) and Weiss. 2B: SP -- Beach. HR: AC -- Prevatt, Fuller, Tester, Herzog.