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Knowing his role - Metzger's bunt leads Warriors into 1A semis

May 20, 2002

bobp@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - It wasn't by accident that Derrick Metzger avoided an accident on Friday afternoon.

In fact, there was no accident about it ... He was just playing Boonsboro baseball.

Metzger, the No. 9 hitter, laid down a perfect bases-loaded, two-out bunt in the fourth inning that reliever Toby Stoner sent down the right-field line to allow the go-ahead runs to lead Boonsboro to a 10-7 victory over formerly undefeated Southern Garrett to win the Class 1A West title.

The Boonsboro shortstop put his team ahead an inning earlier by whistling a liner through the pitcher's box that knocked Stoner to the ground for an RBI and a short-lived 5-3 lead for the Warriors.

There was no accident in what Metzger was trying to accomplish in the two situations.

"I was trying not to crap my pants," Metzger said laughing. "I was trying to stay back and make contact on the ball."

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Metzger, combined with a 4-for-4 day by Nathan Himes and a 3-for-3 with a walk outing for Marty Kaetzel, gave Boonsboro enough population on the basepaths to end Southern's 21-game winning streak and send the Warriors in the Class 1A semifinals against Colonel Richardson Tuesday at 7 p.m. at McCurdy Field in Frederick, Md.

Metzger changed the complexion of the game by softly rolling a bunt down the third-base line. Stoner lunged off the mound, but instead of shoveling the ball to the plate for a possible force, he tried to make a fall-away throw to first that went to right field.

"It was a called play," Metzger said. "When I hit it, I said 'Coach, why? That's going to be an out at the plate.' We worked on bunting a lot. We did it for an hour (Thursday). It paid off."

Boonsboro coach Fred Kreiger just played to Metzger's strengths to get the lead.

"You know our style. We like to bunt and slash," Kreiger said. "He may be the best bunter we have had and he's got good wheels. He makes the defense play him differently and he poses a lot of problems."

The play turned a 7-6 lead over to Nathan Kaetzel, the third of four Boonsboro pitchers in the game. He shut down Southern in the sixth before the Warriors added three much-needed insurance runs in the sixth.

Boonsboro scored on two Southern throwing errors and a Steve Weaver sacrifice fly to take a 10-6 lead.

Nathan Kaetzel struggled in the seventh, loading the bases with one out before giving way to Craig Henson. Henson allowed a run-scoring fielder's choice to Chad Panther - a diving play by third baseman Mike Fravel - before closing out the game.

"We've had some unbelievably tough games," Kreiger said. "Our league (Monocacy Valley Athletic League) is good and we have played six big games against the top three teams in the league in the last couple of games. It got us prepared."

Boonsboro scored in every inning to put continued pressure on Southern Garrett's four pitchers. The Warriors erased a 2-0 first-inning deficit with single runs in the first two innings on an RBI double by Nathan Kaetzel and a run-scoring single by Metzger.

The Warriors re-tied the game again in the third on Marty Kaetzel's single before taking a 5-3 lead on Metzger's laser up the middle and RBI by Himes.

Boonsboro was able to overcome two runners thrown out at the plate and a disputed foul call on near Southern homer in the third.

Keith Overdorff gave Boonsboro a four-inning start before giving way to Josh Mitchell, Nathan Kaetzel and Henson to nail the win.

"We have four No. 1s on our staff and we keep running then out there and they did a good job," Kreiger said. "We forced them to use a lot of pitchers. I thought we were in the catbird seat because they played three games in three days."

Boonsboro 10, S. Garrett 7

S. Garrett 2010301-7114

Boonsboro 111223x-10112

D. Palmer, Stone (3), D. Tressler (6), B. Reams (60 and B. Palmer; Overdorff, Mitchell (5), N. Kaetzel (5), Henson (7) and Himes. WP-N. Kaetzel (6-1). LP-Stoner. S-Henson (1).

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