Gaithersburg scored nine runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to slam the door on Whitman, 12-7, to take second place in the Montgomery County AA league at Woodward.

The Trojans, who won Montgomery County AA crown a year ago, advance to the state playoffs along with county champion Peary.

Gaithersburg will meet Prince George's AA champion Bowie on Tuesday at Prince George's Community College, while Peary hosts Crossland at Springbrook.

"Well, I wouldn't exactly call this a well executed ballgame by either team," said Trojan coach Joe Mencarini. "Errors played too big a part but we beat a good team and we're ready for Bowie."

Gaithersburg pitcher Andy Powell, who lost four of his first five outings this season, threw hard yesterday, picking up his third straight victory on an eight-hitter. Powell also aided the offense with a pair of singles and an RBI.

"We're all just playing well together now," said Powell. "We're a young team and it just took us some time to learn each other's style. We're peaking at the right time."

Whitman scored first as Ralph Bernardo, three for four on the day, blooped a two-out, first-inning Texas leaguer to left, scoring Tom Rodden.

But the Trojans answered with three runs in their half of the inning as Jim Garlington hammered a triple and scored on Powell's liner to center. Powell then came home on a throwing error by third baseman Chris Meade. Mike Shipe's smash to left scored Ricky Izze.

Whitman, tied the contest in the top of the fourth, scoring two runs on one hit and four Gaithersburg errors. The Trojans loaded the bases on a walk and two errors in bottom of the fourth but Whitman starter Jeff Zelna retired Powell on a fly to left and got Mark Starnes to pop to the third baseman.

Meade led off the Whitman fifth with a walk and moved to second as Bernardo was nipped at first. Joe McShea lashed a single to left, his second hit of the day. John Troxler bobbled the ball long enough for Whitman coach Steve Rushing to wave Meade home, but Troxler recovered and hurled a perfect strike to catcher Scott Jung for the putout.

Gaithersburg went to work in the bottom of the fifth, the first six batters reaching base on two singles, two walks, a hit batter and an error.

After a sacrifice fly by J.R. Jarvis, scored Troxler, six more batters reached first on run-producing safeties by Powell and Jung, two walks and another error.

Gaithersburg sent 15 batters to the plate, in the inning while collecting only four hits.

Following the barrage, Rushing gathering his team on the sidelines for a pep talk, and the Vikings responded.

After a single by Tresy Ellis, a walk to John Duval, and a error on Chris Wier, Tom Rodden slammed a three-run triple into the left-center alley. Rodden then scored on Meade's grounder to third. Whitman trailed, 12-7, but could get no closer. The Viking leadoff batter in the seventh reached second, but Powell shut the door.