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Baseball: Arundel, Northwest survive and advance to Maryland 4A final

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Dalton Durocher was there when the Arundel baseball team needed him in the Maryland 4A semifinals Tuesday. It was his one-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning that scored Matt Shin with the winning run in a 3-2 victory over Bowie at the University of Maryland.

And Durocher will be on the mound for the state championship game, either Friday afternoon or Saturday night against Northwest, which beat Sherwood, 7-6, in 10 innings in the second semifinal.

As for the Arundel prom on Friday night, the senior is not quite sure how long he will have his dancing shoes on and his date is less than thrilled with his sprained right foot.

“She’s not exactly the happiest, but it’s all good,” said Durocher, who minutes after Tuesday’s victory had already quickly changed out of his cleats to put on a protective walking boot on his right foot, with crutches nearby. “If it has to be in a boot, I’ll make it work.”

Durocher was injured sliding into home in a 7-5 victory over sixth-ranked Old Mill in last week’s regional semifinals. While he was able to pitch in that game and in Friday’s regional final, he has been wearing the boot to make sure he does not further injure his foot.

“Just a little pain I have to deal with,” Durocher said.

Arundel starting pitcher Steve Ghiardi struck out 14 in seven innings, but Bowie’s Brady Barr hit a pair of run-scoring doubles that gave the Bulldogs (19-3) a 2-1 lead. The Wildcats (17-5) tied it in the bottom of the sixth on Mike Heverling’s two-out double, but left two runners on in that inning and squandered a chance to score in the seventh.

With the bases loaded and one out, Durocher hit a high pop-up just to the edge of the outfield grass. Second baseman Bennett Garner made the catch and threw home to nail a runner trying to score from third.

Durocher, though, did not waste his second chance to win the game. With runners on first and second and one out in the ninth, he lined a single to left field.

“He’s not going to let too many of those opportunities go by,” Arundel Coach Jason Lively said.

The second semifinal also required extra innings after Northwest (15-6) rallied from a 6-1 deficit, scoring five runs in the fifth inning. Max Banks, the hero of the Jaguars’ regional final victory, came through in the clutch again. He drove in the tying run in the fifth, pitched seven innings of relief and led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a double.

After advancing to third base on a sacrifice bunt, Banks scored on Scott Ardoin’s suicide squeeze bunt on the next pitch.

Colin McMahon had helped Sherwood (12-8) build its lead with a run-scoring single in the first and a two-run home run in the third, his fifth of the season.

The Maryland 4A final, previously scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, is expected to be moved to either Friday afternoon or Saturday night to accommodate Arundel’s prom.

J.M. BENNETT 6, LA PLATA 1: The defending champion Clippers won their 43rd consecutive game in a Maryland 3A semifinal at Joe Cannon Stadium in Hanover.

La Plata (18-6) threatened twice, loading the bases in the second and fifth innings, but managed to scratch out just one run in the fifth against Clippers ace Joey Cavaluzzo.

Bennett (21-0) will play North Harford in Saturday’s final. Maryland recruit Kevin Mooney pitched a perfect game as North Harford beat North Hagerstown, 4-0, in the other semifinal.

PATUXENT-PATTERSON MILL, ppd: The Maryland 2A semifinal at Blair was rained out and rescheduled for Wednesday at 4 p.m.

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