No repeat for Chambersburg

June 06, 2000|By DAN SPEARS

* Five errors ended any hopes the Trojans baseball team had of defending their Class AAA state title.

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - The PIAA baseball tournament only gives a team one chance to lose, but the Chambersburg Trojans needed six or seven cracks to actually do it.

cont. from sports page

Finally though, the Trojans' barrelful of mental and physical mistakes caught up with them, and the defending Class AAA champions were eliminated in the first round 7-6 in nine innings by West Chester East at Veterans Stadium.

"You only get one chance," Chambersburg coach Bob Thomas said. "That's the thing in this tournament. You don't win, you don't advance, and that's what happened today."


After getting three runs on two errors in the seventh to tie things at 6-6, the Vikings (16-10) took advantage of one final Chambersburg error in the ninth. Steve Kollias struck out, but the ball bounced off Adam Witter and he couldn't find it as Kollias advanced to first. Bill Muldowney bunted him to second and Kollias went to third on Ryan Dodds' single.

Chad Chamness, who already had two hits, then threw down a squeeze bunt that scored Kollias. The Vikings had tried the play once already in the eighth, but it didn't work.

"After we didn't do it in the eighth, I really thought we were done," Vikings coach Ed Pappas said. "But that's our game. I don't think we know how to do it any other way."

For Chambersburg (21-4), this was definitely not the way things had gone this season. The Trojans jumped to a 4-0 lead in the third, capped by a two-run triple by Aaron Edwards. After East had rallied to 4-3 with two runs in the sixth, they jumped back to a 6-3 lead on triples by Edwards and Shawn Chilcote and a single by Greg Hershey.

Things fell apart, though, in the seventh. Two singles, an error and a fielder's choice made it 6-5 with two outs, and Dodds hit a ball to deep left center off Ben Lefever. William Lerner-Diaz got a great jump on the ball and was under it to win the game, but he dropped it, and Muldowney came all the way around from first to tie the game.

"Did you watch the Yankees game on Saturday?" Thomas said. "They booted the ball all over the place and dropped one, too. We had it in the bag and let it get away. There's not much more to say than that."

It got worse in the bottom half. Witter singled to lead off the inning, but then got greedy and tried to go all the way to third on Merle Guyer's sacrifice bunt. He was nailed by a step on the throw, and it came back to haunt the Trojans after Edwards and Lerner-Diaz both singled.

"It was just a bad play," Thomas said. "We told him we were getting the bunt down, we just didn't tell him to go to third. But give them credit, the third baseman tracked down a bad throw and made the play."

Chambersburg stranded eight runners in the final four innings - and capped off its day of bad decisions when Greg Hershey swung at a 2-0 pitch with two runners on in the ninth and lined it easily to the center fielder.

"We had the chances, just didn't get the hits," said Thomas of his team, which did get 14 hits on the day. " ... But we still shoulda won this game."

West Chester East 7, Chambersburg 6



Kane, Muldowney (6) and Mullery. Lefever, Stottlemyre (7) and Witter. WP-Muldowney. LP-Stottlemyre.

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