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Blue Devils walk away with win in opener

March 27, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - When it comes to baseball, the jury might still be out on Greencastle-Antrim.

But when it comes to the waiting game, the Blue Devils proved they could win a Mid Penn title.

First, Greencastle waited for a half-hour before Harrisburg arrived at Barkdoll Field for Friday's game. Then, when the Cougars finally made the scene, the Blue Devils stood around some more at home plate and strolled to a 17-1 season-opening victory, halted by the mercy rule in the fourth inning.

Harrisburg pitchers issued 11 walks, and 10 of those runners scored. Add seven errors, two passed balls and 10 wild pitches to the mix and the Blue Devils' patience was plated in gold.

"We can't go up there and beat ourselves," said Greencastle coach Chris Sellers, who told his team walks were as important as hits on this day. "It's just a matter that (Harrisburg's) sport isn't baseball. We had to go up there and take what they were giving us."

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Greencastle starter Bobby Group stayed relatively sharp in the first inning, despite getting ready twice to pitch. The Blue Devils netted the opening-day butterflies and complacency of waiting in the first with the help of a diving stab by third baseman Adam Wiestling to end the inning.

The Blue Devils made quick work of Harrisburg with seven runs in their half of the first off Joseph Singleton. Brett Sellers started the onslaught with a two-run homer to right-center field, while Singleton helped with four walks and four wild pitches.

"If someone is going to give us 11 walks, we'll take them," Chris Sellers said. "We were aggressive when we had to be and ran the bases well. That's our game ... getting on base and being aggressive."

Josh Crunkleton's RBI single was Greencastle's only hit in a three-run second inning for a 10-0 lead. Two walks and two errors fueled the rally.

The Blue Devils closed it out with seven runs in the fourth with the benefit of just one hit.

Greencastle only needed six hits in the win, with Chris Scott leading the way with a single and three walks.

Group pitched all four innings, allowing an earned run in the fourth. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out six.

"We'll see how we go," Chris Sellers said. "This will be the easiest game we will have all season ... I don't know if that is a good thing. We did what we had to. Winning ugly is still winning."

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