Martinsburg overcomes mistakes, Berkeley Springs

March 25, 1997


Staff Writer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The rule in Dennis Etherington's dugout is that the equipment isn't packed until the final out is made.

It's a good thing the Martinsburg coach enforces that rule, because the Bulldogs could have easily packed it in early Tuesday.

Instead, No. 5 Martinsburg hung around and scored six runs in the fourth inning to tie the game, then scored the winning run on an error in the bottom of the sixth to beat Berkeley Springs, 8-7, at P.O. Faulkner Park.


The game was stopped after six innings because of darkness.

"When we were down early, I told them we were going to have our turn," Etherington said. "It wasn't pretty, but they did their jobs."

Berkeley Springs jumped in front 6-0 in the first inning, helped along by a Matt Keenan two-run homer and three Martinsburg errors. The Bulldogs (1-0) committed five errors in the game.

After Keenan's home run put the Indians ahead 2-0, Martinsburg starter Brian Weir struck out the next two hitters and got his pitching counterpart Greg Unger to pop up. But Martinsburg shortstop James Franklin misplayed the ball and Unger reached on the error.

The Indians took advantage, getting three straight hits to take a 5-0 lead. Two more errors brought across another run and put runners on the corners. But Weir picked off Mike Klein to end the inning and avoid further damage.

Berkeley Springs led 7-1 going into the bottom of the fourth when the Bulldogs' bats woke up. Pinch hitter Jason Stone doubled to left, Vic Lupis walked, and Franklin reached on an error to load the bases. After a fly out, Ronnie Albright cleared the bases with a double to the fence in left-center.

Albright's double chased Unger, who switched positions with third baseman Scott Miller. Jason Dirting hit a drive to right field that was misplayed and Weir singled to plate Albright. Dirting and Weir later scored to tie the game, 7-7.

Tim Washington led off the Bulldogs' sixth with a double to left-center and moved to third on an error. But pinch runner Nathan Hitt was caught too far off the bag on Mark Lehman's safety squeeze attempt. Stone singled, his third hit of the game, and Lupis walked to load the bases.

Franklin drilled a grounder at Unger, who gloved the ball and dashed for the force play at third. But when he turned for the bag, the ball popped out of his glove, allowing Lehman to score the winning run.

"This early in the season you're gonna have mistakes," said Berkeley Springs coach Gary Gaither. "We hoped it wouldn't happen, but I'm not surprised. This is a good lesson for us to not think a game is in the bag."

Albright had three hits for the Bulldogs. Weir and Washington each had two.

Klein and Gavin Gloyd had two hits apiece for the Indians.

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