Few pleasant memories flooded North County Coach Wayne Feuerherd’s mind as his team prepared to face Arundel in Wednesday’s Class 4A East Region semifinal. Still lingering was a loss in the 1996 4A East Region final to Arundel during Feuerherd’s playing days, marking the last region final appearance for the Knights. What’s more, North County had lost nine of its last 10 games against the Wildcats, the freshest wound coming in a 5-4, 12-inning defeat in April.
Though it took a gritty, extra-inning effort, Wednesday saw North County exact a bit of revenge during a 6-5, 10-inning victory at Arundel. Koby Overstreet came up big for the Knights, striking out eight batters in relief while recording two hits and three RBI.
The lead exchanged hands three times until a sacrifice fly by Arundel’s Will O’Hara evened the score at five in the top of the sixth inning.
In their last meeting, O’Hara belted a walk-off home run for the win. This time, Mike Tackovich played the role of hero, singling home Jake Turpin to put North County up 6-5 in the top of the 10th. Overstreet struck out two Arundel batters before retiring the third to secure the Knights’ school-record 17th win.
“It was a good win, but we’ve still got the next game in mind and other goals that we want to reach,” Feuerherd said in a Thursday phone interview. “We’re happy but we’re not satisfied because we’re not where we want to be yet.”
To reach that point, North County must get by South River, which beat Broadneck, 4-0, in the other East Region semifinal. The Vikings needed nine innings to beat South River in the regular season for a 1-0 victory that helped wrap up the Anne Arundel County title. Friday’s playoff game will be held at North County at 4 p.m.
The winner of that game will play the winner of Bowie and Eleanor Roosevelt. Top-seeded Bowie beat Wise, 8-4, while Roosevelt beat C.H. Flowers, 2-1, to advance to Friday’s South Region final at 3 p.m.
In other 4A playoff baseball action, Wootton defeated defending state champ Northwest, 2-0, to advance to the West Region final against Churchill, which upset Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 5-4.