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Gaels' opener bit too Grace-ful

March 24, 1999|By JACK HILL III

Goretti needs six-run seventh to beat Trojans

The St. Maria Goretti baseball team expects to score plenty of runs this season.

Tuesday afternoon, even that was almost not enough.

The Gaels broke open a high-scoring affair with six runs in the top of the seventh inning for a season-opening 15-9 victory over Grace Academy at the Hagerstown Colt field.

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Right fielder Anthony Sowers, who batted second in the lineup, finished with four runs batted in, three hits, three stolen bases and two runs scored to spark Goretti's offense.

"We needed that," Sowers said. "We all really came through when we needed to. We all stepped up and put the ball in play. ... We can be at the bottom of the lineup and be just as confident as if we were at the top of the lineup."

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Sowers' confidence in his teammates showed up in the final inning.

Hitting eighth and ninth, Chad Brashears and David Kolsun reached on fielding errors to start the rally. Trey Cobb was intentionally walked to load the bases. Brashears then scored the winning run on a wild pitch, while the other two runners also moved up one base.

Sowers then delivered a two-run single to center to increase the Gaels' advantage to 12-9.

"Anthony Sowers came through with a big hit in that last inning," Goretti coach Bill Fowkes said. "Anthony is a good hitter."

Cobb performed well in the leadoff spot of the Gaels' batting order as he ended the day with four runs scored, three hits and two RBIs.

Josh Carter had three RBIs, one on a solo homer.

Runkles got the win as he struck out four batters in two scoreless innings of relief.

Carter started the game for the Gaels and went four innings. He allowed four runs - all in the third inning.

"I think that Josh Carter did a pretty good job in his pitching debut as a freshman," Fowkes said.

"Carter also did a nice job of hitting the ball."

Joel Stevens collected two RBIs and two hits, Brandon Hendrickson added two RBIs and two runs scored and Nathan Sweeney had three RBIs for Grace Academy.

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