Bishop blessed for Hubs

May 01, 2000|By DAN SPEARS

North lefty strikes out nine to beat Boonsboro

North Hagerstown pitcher Patrick Bishop has been plenty lucky this season. Until the first pitch of Monday night's matchup with Boonsboro, it had been all bad.

That changed in a hurry at Municipal Stadium, as the left-hander struck out nine and his defense turned three double plays behind him for a 4-1 victory in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League.

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It was the first win of the season for Bishop, but his three losses have been to Brunswick and Walkersville twice.


"That's the first time all year that there's been defense behind me," Bishop said. "Usually, they have one bad inning and then I'm fighting the rest of the way."

This time, Bishop and the Hubs (8-5) took the fight out of the Warriors (3-12). Bishop's curveball and fastball tailed away from a predominantly left-handed lineup for Boonsboro, and when the Warriors got a bat on the ball, the North defense made all the big plays.

The first came in the fourth after North took a 2-0 lead. With runners on the corners and no one out, Preston Semler crushed one to right center, but his sure double was caught on the dead run at the warning track by Patrick Hutzell. John Quail had gone all the way to third on the play, and was doubled off.

"Keith made a heck of a play," North coach Shawn Reynolds said. "That gets through, it's a different story. We'd be battling to get out again."

North got two more in the fifth on RBI singles by Frank McCallister and Joe McGhee before Bishop got another double play to end the fifth.

Then in the sixth, Bishop bailed himself out. A leadoff walk and an infield single put two on, but Bishop needed just 12 pitches to strike out the side, including a nasty 1-2 curveball to Quail, who entered the game hitting .571.

"That was big," Reynolds said. "John's a hitter and it was only a three-run game. He's one of the best in the league."

The Warriors stayed in it thanks to solid pitching from a staff that has taken a beating this season. Adam Miller and Josh Lashley allowed six hits and got a whopping 16 fly-ball outs, most of them in the boring category.

"They pitched to location, and that's something we've had trouble doing," Boonsboro coach Fred Krieger said. "We had the right idea, but just gave them a couple of extra outs, and we're not good enough to do that yet."

Even if they had been good enough, Bishop probably wouldn't have let them get away with it. A leadoff single in the seventh by the Warriors was wiped out by another double play, and Bishop struck out Semler to end the game.

"That last one had a little bit extra on it. I knew it was the one I wanted," Bishop said. "For us, it normally gets to a mental thing because we've had to make the plays. Tonight, I think we broke out of that slump."

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