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Cougars escape for spot in final

May 17, 2002|BY AL DITZEL

alfredd@herald-mail.com

THURMONT, Md. - Catoctin prides itself on doing the little things on offense to score runs. But, as coach Mike Franklin said, "you can't beat a three-run homer."

Chris Legore, who struggled pitching, ripped a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning igniting Catoctin's rally as the Cougars defeated Brunswick 7-6 Thursday to advance to the Md. Class 1A South final today at 4 at Poolesville.

Brunswick (9-13) battered Legore on the mound for a 5-1 lead after Wayne Toms' solo homer in the fourth. On came T.J. Eiker, who shut the door on the Railroaders' offense, but Catoctin needed runs.

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Brian Baugher (4-4) had allowed only an unearned run through four innings but Catoctin (13-9) rallied.

"I have to admit I was down," Eiker (2-3) said.

"The whole bench was a little down," Legore said.

"You can't have a fire without a spark," Franklin said. "First, we got a runner on. That was a spark. Then, we got another hit and that was another spark. That set up the flame."

Legore, who earlier this season hit a three-run homer off Brunswick, was the one hitter the Railroaders talked about heading into the game.

"We talked about that chest-high fastball," Brunswick coach Roger Dawson said. "We didn't want to put it there."

Legore, who now has five home runs on the season, including three in his last three games, got a fastball just above his chest and drilled over the left-center field wall to cut the deficit to 6-5.

"My vertical went up about 20 inches," said Eiker, who allowed one run in the final 3 2/3 innings. "I was jumping so high."

"I was a little mad," Legore said of his at-bat. He said he was disappointed with his pitching and just wanted to do something. "I just took it out on the ball."

"There's no substitute for senior leadership," Franklin said. "That was huge."

Catoctin put together the game-winning rally in the sixth. Zach Ausherman singled and moved to second on a wild pitch with two outs. Justus Yocum singled to tie the score and then Legore drilled an RBI single to give Catoctin its first lead of the game.

Another key play was when Brunswick tried to play some little ball. Holding a 6-1 lead with one out in the fifth, the Railroaders had runners on second and third with one out. Dawson decided to try the suicide squeeze.

"If I had anything I could take back, I'd take that back," Dawson said. "Honestly, I was playing for one or two security runs."

With the runner on third breaking early, Jesse Ault popped up the bunt to first base. Legore, who had switched there off the mound, threw threw to third for the easy double play.

"They execute as well as any team in (Frederick) County," Franklin said. "I know I breathed a big sigh of relief. What do they say? It's better to be lucky than good? We were lucky there."

Catoctin 7, Brunswick 6

Brunswick 2021100-6191

Catoctin 010042x-7100

B. Baugher and Bowman. Legore, Eiker (4) and Nesbitt, Ausherman (5). WP-Eiker (2-3). LP-B. Baugher (4-4). HR-B: Toms (4th, none on). C: Legore (5th, two on).

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