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McDevitt brings end to Blue Devils' season

June 01, 2003|By ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - With the final rooster perch at stake, the Greencastle-Antrim baseball team laid an egg Friday evening at Memorial Park.

The Blue Devils fell 9-3 to Bishop McDevitt in the District 3 Class AA consolation final, which determined the district's third and last bracket spot in the PIAA state tournament.

The Crusaders quickly erased any lingering memories of their prior matchup against Greencastle this season - when the Blue Devils rallied for two runs in the seventh inning to win 2-1 in the Mid-Penn tournament's third-place game - by taking a 7-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

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"We laid an egg there in the first inning," said Greencastle coach Chris Seller. "Our pitchers have just been tremendous all year long. We're really fortunate to be able to be where we are. But there are times they come out and just don't do much, and it was a shame it was tonight."

The Devils (18-8) used four pitchers Friday, needing two just to get through the first inning as things unraveled early. McDevitt (17-5) struck for seven runs on six hits, two hit batters, a walk and an error off pitchers Evan Brown and Chris Scott. A.J. McElwee put the first runs on the board with a three-run double, and Vince Comasco capped the rally with a three-run triple.

"Lose today, you go home. Win, you keep playing," said McDevitt coach Brian Robison. "We got up early and set the tone."

The Crusaders extended their lead to 8-0 in the third on Brad Sanders' RBI single against Brett Thrush and tacked on their final run in the fourth against Nick Schreiber, as Tom Johnstonbaugh scored on a bases-loaded 6-4-3 double play.

Meanwhile, Sanders (7-2) - who struck out seven in a complete-game pitching effort - cruised, allowing no runs and only one hit through four.

Greencastle finally got to him in the fifth, using singles by Chris Scott, Schreiber and Eric Ile to cut the lead to 9-1.

After adding two more in the sixth on Brett Hoffman's RBI double and Scott's RBI single, the Devils almost seemed poised for some more seventh-inning magic when their first two batters reached to start the inning.

"I don't think we were even thinking about that last game until that last inning," said Robison.

But Sanders, who took the loss against Greencastle in the Mid-Penn tourney, wasn't about to let it happen again, striking out three of the next four batters to end the game.

"We never gave up. There's no give-up in us," said Hoffman. "But that first inning pretty much did us in. That was too much to come back from at the start. Everybody was down after getting hit like that."

Hoffman, Scott and Schreiber each finished with two hits.

Marcus Speaker and Johnstonbaugh each had three hits for McDevitt, while Sanders and McElwee each had two.

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