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'Cats make it a quick day

May 17, 2001

'Cats make it a quick day



By AL DITZEL

alfredd@herald-mail.com

Williamsport 9

Clear Spring 4

Clear Spring0000004-484

Williamsport243000x-9131

Haupt, Mills (2) and Line. Embly and Allen. WP-Embly (6-2). LP-Haupt (3-2).



WILLIAMSPORT - Almost before it began, the Clear Spring-Williamsport Class 1A West baseball game was essentially over.

Top-seeded Clear Spring made four costly errors and had a couple of other defensive breakdowns in the fist three innings as Williamsport rushed to a nine-run lead en route to a 9-4 decision. The Wildcats will play at Southern Garrett, a 10-4 winner over Westmar, on Friday, tentatively at 4:30.

If not for a Williamsport courtesy runner missing second (and third) base in the fourth inning, the Wildcats (11-11) would have ended the game in five innings. Instead, Clear Spring rallied for four unearned runs in the seventh to make the score look closer than reality.

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"We gave them too many runs,'' Clear Spring coach Jim Hutson said. "But, we didn't give them that 10th run and we battled back some in the seventh. Nine runs is just too much. Obviously, down 9-0 we were probably probably just playing for pride. I'm proud of this team and this season - 15-7 for Clear Spring. That's about as good a record we've had in about 10 years.''

While Clear Spring (15-7, No. 10 Herald-Mail poll) struggled in the field, Williamsport pitcher senior Jason Embly kept the Blazers batters off balance with a variety of pitches, with his curveball setting up the other pitches.

"I think (Embly) is the best pitcher around, Williamsport catcher Matt Allen said. "He's the only pitcher on this team who can spot the ball inside or outside.''

"(Embly) probably doesn't throw the ball harder than the low 70s (mph),'' Williamsport coach Rod Steiner said. "He did a nice job of mixing up his pitches."

"I wanted to get ahead of the hitters, keep them off balance with my curve and slider,'' said Embly, who if not for an outfield error in the seventh would've had a shutout. Embly finished with eight strikeouts - three looking.

"Clear Spring is a good team,'' Steiner said. "They just made too many mistakes early.''

Williamsport scored twice in the first inning. Brent Hoover and Allen singled and Adam McAllister doubled to left center scoring Hoover, and when the ball got through the outfield, courtesy runner Jamie Grossnickle scored all the way from first base.

The Wildcats scored four runs in the second as Allen had a line-drive RBI single to right and Eric Fitzgerald added an RBI single.

Williamsport tacked on three runs in the third inning as Allen had a two-run single.

Allen finished with three hits and three RBI.

"I haven't hit too well this year,'' the junior said. "Last year, I came up and did well. I've had some problems this year, but it's starting to come around.''

That can be said for the whole Williamsport team.

"We've been up and down,'' Steiner said. "We're not quite (peaking) yet.''

McAllister, Embly and Derrick Sweigert had two hits for Williamsport. Gerad Haupt had two hits for Clear Spring.

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