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Kellinger's big bat carries Boonsboro

May 13, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - Throughout the season, Boonsboro's opponents have shown overwhelming caution while pitching to slugger Keith Kellinger, in hopes of making someone else beat them.

In Monday's first round of the Class 1A West baseball playoffs, Beall took their chances against Kellinger, and their chances took a beating.

Kellinger's first-inning, two-run homer set the tone for a three-hit, five-RBI day and the Warriors easily dispatched the Mountaineers, 10-0.

Kellinger got under an outside pitch from Beall starter Eddie Kimble, but got enough of it to just clear the short right-field fence for a 2-0 lead.

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"Everybody is pitching around him, because everybody knows who he is," Boonsboro coach Fred Kreiger said of Kellinger, who was among the area leaders in home runs each of the previous two seasons. "He's working hard, and he's starting to go the other way, which is starting to pay off.

"If you get a chunk of it (in this park), it may go out, and that's what he did. It was against the wind, so he hit it good."

Kellinger followed it up with a two-run double to the fence in left-center to score Brad Stotelmyer and Marty Kaetzel for a 4-0 lead in the third.

D.J. Wilson's bloop single to right scored Kellinger for a 5-0 lead.

Boonsboro (8-8) scored three runs in the fourth on four walks, two hit batters and sacrifice flies from Stotelmyer and Kaetzel.

The Warriors went up 9-0 in the fifth when starting pitcher Craig Henson walked, took second and third on wild pitches and scored on Justin Baylor's sac fly. Two walks and an error later, the bases were loaded for Kellinger, who hit a hard grounder back up the middle to plate the game-ending run.

The offensive support was more than enough for Henson, who allowed two hits and three walks while striking out four in four low-stress innings of work.

"We got to respect Beall. They had a tough season, but we still have to come with one of our aces," Kreiger said. "We were able to get the lead and save him a little bit."

Boonsboro's next test in defending its title comes at Southern Garrett for today's quarterfinal at 4 p.m. Last year, the Rams were 21-0 before losing at Boonsboro in the regional final.

"They came in here 21-0 and we were able to beat them, so I'm sure they have an ambush waiting for us," Kreiger said.

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