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Mercersburg storms back: Blue Storm gets three straight hits in 7th to hold off Indians

April 13, 2000|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Mercersburg storms back: Blue Storm gets three straight hits in 7th to hold off Indians

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - As Wednesday's baseball game between Berkeley Springs and Mercersburg Academy showed, it's not always a case of somebody stepping into the spotlight, but the spotlight finding them.

cont. from sports page

Blue Storm junior Mike Flanagan found himself directly under the bright lights as he stepped into the batter's box, the game tied with one out and runners on first and third in the bottom of the seventh.

"I was ready to hit, I was anxious," Flanagan said.

Flanagan got a fastball over the plate and drove it into deep center field, giving the Blue Storm a 4-3 victory over the Indians.

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"(Indians' pitcher Mark Rockwell) was throwing nice straight fastballs down the middle," Flanigan said. "I just gave it a ride. You couldn't ask for a better pitch."

Flanagan's shot capped Mercersburg's run of three straight hits from its 3-4-5 hitters, as David Cline and Ben Larson set the table with consecutive singles up the middle.

"We told them to get up there, and the first good pitch they see, to rip at it," Blue Storm coach Karl Reisner said. "Larson's hit was the key. His hit put us in a position to win the game."

Cline moved to third on Larson's hit, allowing Flanagan to sit and wait for a pitch he could drive.

Rockwell gave him one he liked, and Flanagan drove it over the drawn-in outfield to end the game.

"The momentum was just right," Flanagan said. "We needed to step up there. We were due."

Mercersburg manufactured a 3-0 lead after three innings, scoring twice in the second on Alex Laddbush's RBI groundout and Josh Grahe's RBI single, and adding a run in the third as Cline reached on an error, stole second and went to third and home on consectutive sacrifice flies.

Berkeley Springs tied it at 3-3 in the fifth, using three straight singles from Joe Luttrell, Rockwell and Mike Swink for the first run, adding the second on Davey Kesner's RBI groundout and scoring the third off a throwing error.

The Indians could have had a 4-3 lead, but an attempted squeeze play backfired when the pitch bounced in the dirt, making a bunt impossible.

The errant pitch left Jamie Mason in no man's land, and he was tagged out at home.

"We had them on the ropes," Indians coach Gary Gaither said. "We tried different things to get them scrambling. They were down, we were moving. If the pitch doesn't bounce in the dirt, we get that bunt down on the squeeze play.

"My boys were in it till the end, and I'm happy to see it."

Mercersburg 4, Berk. Springs 3




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Rockwell and A. Schetrompf. Cline and Laddbush. WP - Cline. LP - Rockwell.

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