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Storm rumbles to win

April 25, 2001

Storm rumbles to win



By DAN KAUFFMAN

dankauff@herald-mail.com

Mercersburg 10

Musselman 9

Musselman20123010-9136

Mercersburg40004101-1095

Kees, Mahoney (6), Levie (8) and Weatherholtz. Cline, Brackley (5) and Streicher. WP-Brackley (2-0). LP-Levie (0-3). HR-Me: Brackley (5th, none on), Laddbush (5th, two on), Cline (6th, none on).



MERCERSBURG, Pa. - In an odd game filled with plenty of clutch hits and fielding gems - not to mention a few too many errors - it was Musselman's miscues that hurt the most.

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Mercersburg Academy pushed across the winning run on two walks (one intentional) and three infield errors in the eighth inning for an anticlimactic 10-9 victory over the Applemen on Tuesday in chilly, windy conditions.

"We'll take it anyway," Blue Storm coach Karl Reisner said. "We didn't play very well today, we got lucky. That's just the way it is."

Bobby Levie came on in relief for Musselman and walked Mike Marron to open the bottom of the eighth. David Cline then hit a potential double-play ball to second, but Craig White's flip to shortstop Chris Price was mishandled. Price came up limping, but stayed in the game.

Chase Brackley followed with a shot to third baseman Mike Mahoney, who stepped on third to force out Marron, but his throw to first sailed high, leaving Cline on third and Brackley on second.

Musselman intentionally walked Ben Larson to load the bases. Mike Flanagan then hit a weak roller toward third that Mahoney had to rush. Mahoney never fielded it cleanly, and Marron raced home with the winning run.

"We've got four sophomores in the infield out there at that time, and we couldn't make the plays when we needed them," Applemen coach Jeff Cunningham said. "The teams were as even as the scoreboard."

The scoreboard operator didn't get much rest in this one. Musselman (12-8-1) scored twice in the top of the first on doubles by Bobby Weatherholtz and White and an RBI single from Brandon Combs.

Mercersburg (8-3) responded with four runs on three hits - including RBI singles from Brackley and Mike Flanagan - and took advantage of two of the Applemen's six errors.

Combs' RBI double in the third pulled Musselman to within 4-3, but Flanagan robbed Jason Bozzi of a two-run homer later in the inning, leaping high to grab the slicing drive down the right field line before tumbling over the makeshift fence. Bozzi was called out on the play.

"Mike is an exceptional outfielder, and it was brutal playing out there with the wind," Reisner said. "He made a great play."

Musselman managed to take the lead in the fourth, taking advantage of two of Mercersburg's five errors, and added three more runs in the fifth on four straight singles, a wild pitch and another Blue Storm error for an 8-4 lead.

But Mercersburg surged back in the bottom of the fifth off Musselman starter Wes Kees on Brackley's solo homer to right and Alex Laddbush's three-run homer to left into the wind to tie the game at 8-8.

"The three-run homer was a quality pitch," Cunningham said. "(Laddbush) got on his front foot, but he made good contact. The kid just hit a quality pitch."

Cline's solo homer in the sixth gave the Blue Storm a 9-8 lead, but Musselman pushed a run across in the seventh on an error, a groundout and a wild pitch to force the extra inning.

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