Prep notes - Knights' shift getting a little shorter

May 04, 2001

Prep notes - Knights' shift getting a little shorter

Johnny Vander Meer they aren't, but the Middletown baseball pitching staff tried its best to pull off back-to-back no-hitters this week.

Marc Crawford was two walks away from a perfect game on Tuesday when he no-hit Francis Scott Key, 10-0. Then Thursday against Williamsport, Chris Rhoades allowed just two hits in a 10-0 whitewash of Williamsport.

"We've played some pretty good ball over the last couple of weeks," Middletown coach Mike DiSimone said.

The stats back him up. Middletown is 5-2 since a disastrous two-day stretch in the Frederick County Tournament, and one of those losses was in extra innings to Brunswick.

"We've been making quality pitches and not getting behind. That makes it easier," DiSimone said. "And then offensively, we've taken advantage of mistakes ... for a big inning. That's what we've relied on."


The big question is if it will keep going. Middletown has a doubleheader on Saturday and then closes with archrival Walkersville on Monday before the playoffs.

"We've got a lot of baseball to go, so it's been nice to have two games and only 10 innings to play," DiSimone said.

Go home and start again

Boonsboro baseball coach Fred Kreiger had a less-than-spectacular Wednesday when the Warriors took on Francis Scott Key.

First, the game was delayed by about an hour when the Warriors couldn't get into school to change into their uniforms because of a bomb threat.

After things got started, the Warriors jumped out to an early lead, only to have their momentum halted when the concession stand caught on fire.

The blaze was put out, but the Eagles were not. FSK scored nine times in the top of the fourth to take the lead, but Boonsboro rallied to tie the score at 12-12 in the twilight in the bottom of the sixth. With the bases loaded and two outs, the Warriors hit a shot that knocked over the third baseman, but he recovered to make the out.

With darkness upon them, the game was suspended and will be finished when the two teams play again on May 9 in Carroll County.

And oh by the way, it was his wife's birthday. So much for that nice dinner he had planned.

"You'd have had to have seen the whole thing to believe it," Kreiger lamented.

This is what we call hot

Walkersville cleanup hitter Pat Calloway was batting just .217 three weeks ago. Ten games later, Calloway stands at .407 after going 17-for-31 in that span. He's hit two doubles, a triple and three homers - two of them against Catoctin on Wednesday. He's only struck out one time in his tear.

Minus-3 equals one

While the effects of the new minus-3 bats required in high school baseball this season won't be known until next fall, here's one piece of evidence for their success in keeping balls in the park.

Hedgesville's boys have hit one home run this season in their own park - and that just came this week.

"We definitely haven't made the adjustment to using your whole body," Hedgesville coach Ben Merica said. "But we've done some work recently and trying to drive it deep. ... Our extra bases and slugging percentage are going up."

Hedgesville has a cozy little venue that's just 295 feet down the left-field line, with a 372 power alley in left. It's only 331 to center and 348 to the right-center power alley.

"I've been here 17 years, but I'd say there's no more than 30 homers to the middle of the park," Merica said. "Most of them seem to carry farther toward the 372.

"If the wind carries from the west, it'll go. But knock on wood, we haven't had that much this year."

Spring Fling

Chambersburg will host its ninth annual softball tournament this weekend at Guilford Park. The Trojans open the tournament under the lights tonight against Upper St. Clair at 7:30.

Chambersburg completes pool play at 11 on Saturday against Neshaminy. Delone Catholic, Seneca Valley (Pa.) and Archbishop Spalding of Baltimore comprise the second pool, with the two pool champions playing for the title at 4:30.

The Cavaliers, behind ace Jessica Saunders, beat the Trojans 3-0 in last year's final. Saunders is back, opening her season with a 3-0 victory over Thomas Johnson.

Playoffs ... already

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> West Virginia softball teams open the Tri-State's jammed postseason slate on Monday, when Jefferson travels to Hedgesville Monday in the opening game of the Class AAA Region II Section 1 tournament. Top-seeded Martinsburg will play the loser of that game on Tuesday in the double-elimination affair, while the Bulldogs turn around against the winner on Wednesday.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The MPSSAA seeding and draws for the baseball and softball tournaments will be held on Monday, with the first round of both tournament starting a week from today.

Check The Morning Herald and Daily Mail for complete playoff schedules for Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Staff writer Dan Spears compiled this week's notebook. He can be reached at or 301-733-5131 ext. 2334.

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