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Williamsport shoots down North

May 09, 2000|By AL DITZEL

WILLIAMSPORT - Williamsport's baseball team needed a little shot Monday against North Hagerstown.

Playing lethargically, the Wildcats supplied their own shots - physically and verbally. Joel Benchoff hit a two-run homer giving Williamsport a lead and four-run rally in the fifth inning and three more runs in the sixth iced the Wildcats' 13-8 victory over North in a Monocacy Valley Athletic League contest.

cont. from sports page

Benchoff's fifth home run of the season gave Williamsport a 5-4 lead after three innings. Then, in the field in the fifth inning, some Wildcats gave themselves a verbal shot. One player yelled, "shot!'' and the others, one at a time, would respond with "shot.'' The players, who were quiet earlier in the game, suddenly became vocal.

"It's something the seniors came up with," Williamsport coach Rod Steiner said. "I was yelling the whole game and nothing. That's just something they do to get themselves going. That's fine with me.''

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"Last year, at a game against (Francis Scott Key), there was a lacrosse game going on behind us,'' said Josh Berger, who was the starting pitcher for Williamsport Monday. "Like out of nowhere, they'd yell 'shot!' We thought it was the baseball team so we'd yell 'shot!' back. We found out later it was the lacrosse team.

"We've done it ever since. It's kind of goofy and no one knows what it's about, so it breaks us up some.''

It was the shot the team needed.

"I wasn't really happy with the attitude in the dugout,'' Steiner said. "We carry 18 players - that's the most we've ever had - and it's tough for some guys who aren't playing all the time.

"We're hitting the ball really well right now, and the guys expected me to talk about the homers and hits after the game, but the first thing I talked about was Les Martin, our center fielder. He was 0-for-4 or something like that at the plate, but went out there and played a great center field.

"Some guys take their hitting with them in the field and you just can't. We made some errors today and we need to play better Friday (when Williamsport travels to Allegany in the Class 1A West tournament).''

Hitting and timely pitching were the keys Monday for No. 7 Williamsport (11-5). Mike Stevens hit a solo homer in the fourth inning to tie the game at 6-6 and Gary Naile hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to bolster the Wildcats' lead.

"We felt like we gave one to (North) last time,'' Benchoff said of a 4-3 loss to North on April 11. "It's good to beat them. We think we have a better team and I think we showed it today.''

Relief pitcher Kyle Wilson struck out five in two innings for his third save of the year. Wilson used a big-bending slider to keep North hitters off balance.

"I just try to get the ball over for strikes,'' Wilson said. "I have a good defense in back of me and we can score some runs.''

Benchoff had three hits and three RBI, Berger had three hits and Stevens had two hits and three RBI for Williamsport.

Matt Johnson had three hits, including a triple, and Bobby Long hit a home run and had two RBI for North (10-7).

Williamsport 13, North 8

North2021300-894

Williamsport023143x-13151

Bishop, Bellon (4), Heefner (6) and Long; Berger, Anders (4), Wilson (6) and Benchoff, Allen (5). WP - Anders (6-1). LP - Bellon (3-1). S - Wilson (3). HR - N: Long (4th, none on); W: Benchoff (3rd, one on), Stevens (4th, none on), Naile (6th, one on).

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