Arundel senior Nick Ownby came on in relief in the bottom of the fourth inning yesterday with his team trailing by one run to No. 14 Severna Park and went on to throw 3 2/3 scoreless innings to lead the Wildcats to an 8-4 victory.
It was the sixth win in a row for Arundel, which started the season 1-4 but now is 7-4 and in first place in the Anne Arundel County league at 6-1. In the past five games, five different pitchers have earned wins for the Wildcats.
Ownby entered the game with a runner on first base with one out and the Falcons (6-4, 4-3) leading 4-3. He induced a ground-ball forceout at second, and then he picked off a runner at first to end the inning.
The right-hander gave up just one hit, struck out three and did not walk a batter.
"My fastball was moving quite a lot, and my curveball was sinking and biting, " said Ownby, who faced only two batters over the minimum the final three innings. "I think I was really hard to hit. I got the win, and it was amazing coming in like that."
After Ownby got the Wildcats out of the fourth, they scored two runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings and one more in the seventh.
Designated hitter Mitch Reese went 3-for-3 with an RBI, starting pitcher Steve Jenkins had three hits and an RBI, and shortstop Brandon Gill, who made a couple of superb defensive plays, had two hits and two RBIs for the Wildcats.
"We have been developing," said Arundel coach Bernie Walter, who recorded his 590th career win.
"The issue was how we were going to put this staff together. I knew these kids could play and pitch. They have responded very well and worked hard to get where they are. It's been a staff by committee."
Severna Park coach Jim McCandless lamented his team's lack of offense. Losing pitcher Pat O'Keefe picked up three of the team's five hits, including a double, and had two RBIs.
"We need to do a better job hitting," McCandless said. "We're not swinging the bat the way we are capable."