Joe Cannon Stadium was nearly empty when Centennial's baseball team formed a circle near home plate as the boombox in the dugout blared "Sweet Home Alabama."
Several players took turns dancing in front of their parents and fans whose cameras flashed from the railing above the dugout.
Sophomore infielder Danny Townsend dropped to his stomach and did the worm, and senior center fielder Steve Seh and 6-foot-3, 280-pound junior first baseman Derek Leek shook their bodies to their teammates' delight.
It was a fitting celebration for a team that had just captured the Maryland 3A title with a 10-1 victory over C. Milton Wright because the Eagles certainly made all the right moves Saturday, just as they did all season.
"That's what kind of team this is -- we're always doing crazy stuff," said senior starting pitcher Jon Dupski. "This is just an awesome team to be around. We've been serious about baseball all season, and even coming over here on the bus everyone was quiet and just focused on winning the state title, and now we get to celebrate."
Forgive Centennial (21-4) for turning the baseball diamond into a disco for a few minutes. The players needed to release some energy because their stellar play against the Panthers seemed effortless.
The two-time Howard County champions scored 10 runs largely because of their patience, not power. All of the Eagles' 10 hits were singles, and they were even more effective when they decided not to swing. The Eagles drew six walks off Mustangs' pitchers, including four with the bases loaded in the six-run fifth inning that turned a close game into a rout.
Five players collected at least one hit, and six drove in at least one run -- led by Seh's game-high three.
"Our hitters' best friend was their pitch selection, and we were really patient out there, and that was a big difference in the game," Centennial Coach Denis Ahearn said.
And Dupski was the other deciding factor. Combining a fastball and a curveball that caught the corners of the plate all night, the dominating left-hander allowed one run on five hits with four strikeouts to pick up his 11th victory in 12 decisions this season, one short of the county record. Atholton's Matt Revelle went 12-1 to lead his team to the 2A title in 2002.
After the Mustangs (19-5) pulled to 4-1 on Steve Donithan's run-scoring single in the second inning, Dupski allowed one hit until Ahearn decided to let his senior relievers -- Todd Abicht and Kyle Murray -- pitch the final two innings.
And when Murray retired the final hitter to end the game, the team sprinted to Dupski -- now playing first base -- and dove on top of him as the Eagles' fans gathered at the ledge overlooking the team's dugout and savored the final image of a memorable season.
"This is what we worked for all season -- to win this game," said Seh. "Everyone on our team did something to make this happen, and now we're the state champions, and that's how we're going to be remembered forever."
The Eagles, who won their first state title on the same field three years ago, also have their eyes on the future. Centennial had four seniors in their starting lineup -- Dupski, Seh, second baseman Mike Lance and right fielder Bryce Becker -- and expect to get back a solid nucleus next season.
The team started two freshmen -- left fielder Alex Bechta (3 for 4, 2 RBI) and third baseman Austin Harclerode -- against C. Milton Wright and should also have back 10 other players, including junior catcher Dan Shillingburg (2 for 4, 1 RBI) and sophomore shortstop Scott Swinson, the team's No. 2 starting pitcher behind Dupski.
"I think everyone knows what we've got going here, and we have a shot to win the state title next year," Shillingburg said. "But I think everyone will remember this state championship because no one on our team had ever won one before."