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The Sheriff with a gun

Taylor comes to Williamsport's rescue

Taylor comes to Williamsport's rescue

April 03, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - Andy Taylor did everything a "Sheriff" should do for the Williamsport baseball team.

He came on to protect and serve the Wildcats.

Taylor, who gets his nickname after Andy Griffith's classic TV character, came to Williamsport's rescue in the fifth inning to hold off Boonsboro and keep the Wildcats' undefeated Tuesday in an 8-4 Monocacy Valley Athletic League victory.

Taylor relieved Ben Jordan with the bases loaded and none out in the fifth and got out of the jam unscathed to protect Williamsport's 7-4 lead.

He followed by serving a leadoff home run in the sixth for the four-run lead, which the Wildcats built with a seven-run third on the strength of Dustin Bachtell's grand slam.

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"I was hoping to get out of (the jam) with a 7-6 lead and we walked off the field ahead, 7-4," Williamsport coach Rod Steiner said. "That really gave us a lift."

Jordan lost his edge in the fifth, issuing a bases-loaded walk to Josh Mitchell to score Boonsboro's fourth run. Steiner opted for Taylor, who responded by striking out Alex Malphrus and D.J. Wilson before getting Andrew Landsman to ground back to the mound to end the threat.

"I was nervous at first because that's the first time I've ever been in a situation like that," Taylor said. "I knew I was going in cause Coach told me. I didn't really think about it because it happened so quickly. It felt good when I held them down and it carried over when I came to bat."

Taylor's homer off Malphrus was the final blow to knock off the Warriors, but Boonsboro (2-1, 2-1) didn't do itself any favors by leaving runners in scoring position in each of the last four innings, particularly in the fifth.

"We have some players who are very experienced and we have some who are very inexperienced," Boonsboro coach Fred Kreiger said. "When we got to that part of the game, we had guys up who had a combined six at-bats for the season. I thought we could get back into it, but we couldn't get the hits when we needed them."

Williamsport (5-0, 5-0) erased a 1-0 Boonsboro lead in the third by sending 10 batters to the plate. Patience won out for the Wildcats as they forced Craig Henson to extend his inning by taking pitches. Josh Bowers and Jordan started the rally with back-to-back RBI doubles and wore Henson down to the position where Bachtell hit his grand slam.

"We missed a sacrifice bunt to get a run in and it worked out," Steiner said. "We were playing for one run because of the pitching we have this year. We kept working in there and finally he was forced to come across the plate with a pitch."

Henson, Malphrus and Nathan Himes all drove in runs for Boonsboro, while Josh Bowers had two hits for Williamsport, which managed just six hits - four coming in the third.

"Williamsport is a good team," Krieger said. "They are going to win a lot of games and have to be one of the favorites in the league."

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