Cats reel in win against Cougars

May 11, 1999

By MARK KELLER / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

WILLIAMSPORT - Catoctin's trip to Williamsport Tuesday could be summed up in two words: Gone fishin'.

The Wildcats' Josh Berger had the Cougars biting on his curveball off the plate to the tune of eight strikeouts, and Williamsport scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 7-5 win in a Monocacy Valley Athletic League game.

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"He just kept us off balance all day. He's throwing a little cutter that's a little outside, and we're going for the home run swing," said Catoctin coach Tom Sherald. "If we had the discipline to lay off of it, I think we could've gotten him in trouble. Because the reality is, most of them weren't strikes ... they were in the dirt. But that's easier said than done."

And the Cougars (6-12, 6-11) proved that, reaching out across the plate time after time for a pitch that, when Berger placed it right, they rarely got a bat on.


"You've got to study the hitters, and when you see a weakness ... a lot of guys like to mix up pitches, but why throw another pitch if that one's gonna get them out?" said Williamsport coach Rod Steiner. "When you get on top, the hitters get defensive and they start helping you out. And that's what Josh did as the game went on."

But even with Catoctin's assistance, Williamsport (12-8, 10-8) trailed 3-2 in the sixth. They needed a bit more from the already helpful Cougars.

Catoctin obliged. Ryan Grabill singled, and Justin Neikirk laid down a bunt that Catoctin catcher Josh Bollinger fielded, but threw over the head of first baseman Ben Hillis. Grabill and Neikirk advanced on the overthrow.

After a groundout, Berger grounded to Brad Nesbit, who was drawn in at second base. Nesbit couldn't handle the ball, allowing Berger to reach and Grabill to score the tying run.

Chris Legort relieved starter Jeff Eyler and struck out Gary Naile. Matt Porac, who hit a solo homer in the first inning, singled up the middle to plate Berger. Matt Bowman was intentionally walked, and Les Martin drove in two with a double.

"Our guys, they see Matt Porac jack a home run out and for four innings, we're all lifting fly balls," Steiner said. "We told them you have to get the ball down the way they were hitting, and in the last two innings, that's the way they started hitting - line drives and ground balls."

Catocin negated Porac's homer with two runs in the third. Kevin Favorite walked, Nesbit singled and both scored on Jason Brantner's single to left-center.

The Cougars added one in the fifth when Favorite tripled and scored on a single by Nesbit.

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