Simultaneously, in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday, Dulaney shortstop David Durmowicz and third baseman Jack Felt experienced the same best feeling in the world in the Lions’ Class 4A baseball quarterfinal against visiting Winston Churchill.
After Durmowicz led off the inning with a ground-rule double to left, Felt drove him in with a sharp single past third base to give Dulaney a 4-3 win over the Bulldogs from Montgomery County.
Durmowicz touched home plate, Felt rounded first base and, soon after, the entire Lions team was a mass of celebration near first.
Dulaney, which is in its fourth state tournament in a bid to bring home the program’s first championship, improved to 13-0 as it gets set to play Wednesday against Sherwood, a 7-0 winner over Urbana.
With Durmowicz on second and cleanup hitter Todd Mozoki on first after being walked intentionally, Felt was able to shrug off his 0-for-3 performance at the plate to that point. He didn’t waste any time, pouncing on reliever Chris Hacopian’s first-pitch fastball.
“I hadn’t hit the fastballs earlier in the game, so I knew it was coming right there and I wanted to make the most of the pitch. Fortunately, I was able to get it done when it counted the most because I had really struggled in my first three at-bats,” Felt said. “Best feeling of my life — having my teammates chasing me out there. It was incredible.”
Dulaney pitcher Wilson Farlow battled valiantly into the seventh inning. He gave up two earned runs on five hits before exiting with two outs and nobody on in the seventh. Colson Felt came in to get the final out of the inning and pick up the win.
Trailing 3-2 going into the bottom of the fifth, the Lions manufactured the tying run with Mozoki producing a one-out single that scored Reid Bark, who got on with a bunt single earlier in the inning.
Churchill sophomore starting pitcher Jeremy Davis was strong after a rocky two-run first inning, scattering seven hits before giving way to the Hacopian in the fifth inning.
To start the seventh, Durmowicz had the same approach as Felt — looking for a fastball and not waiting to get the winning run into scoring position with the hard double to left on the first pitch.
“He was a really good pitcher, hitting his sports really well. We knew he was throwing mostly fastballs and blowing it by everyone. I just sat for my pitch, saw it middle in and crushed it,” Durmowicz said.
“It’s a feeling like no other. You really can’t describe it with words, when it hits off the bat it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, perfect.’ And then coming around [to score], that’s one of best feelings I’ve ever felt. Winning the state quarterfinals, my senior year and we’re making a run.”
Dulaney coach Andrew Fava knows the quality test Churchill presented will be a big help during the rest of the playoffs.
“It was a really solid team we were playing — they went out there and fought,” he said. “You never know one county to the next, what the level is and those guys were an excellent team and we were very fortunate to have pulled that one out.”
Durmowicz finished with a single and double and two runs scored, and Bark singled twice and scored two runs. Chruchill, which finished with an 8-5 mark, got two singles and two runs from leadoff hitter Matt Roche. Hacopian reached base all four plate appearances with a run-scoring double and three walks.
Following Wednesday’s semifinal games, the state championships are set for Friday at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf.
WC 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 – 3 5 1
D 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 – 4 9 1
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2B: WC – Gumagay, Hacopian; D – Durmowicz