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Victory is Taylor-made

April 22, 2004|BY ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - Much like his namesake in television's Mayberry, the Williamsport baseball team's sheriff doesn't need a gun.

The stick Wildcats senior Andy Taylor carries is powerful enough.

Taylor went 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI to lead Williamsport's 14-hit attack, which more than compensated for star hurler Nick Adenhart's "off-day" as the No. 4 Wildcats beat Brunswick 9-4 in MVAL Antietam action Wednesday.

"(Taylor) came up big," said Adenhart, who allowed his first three earned runs of the season. "I was having a little bit of an off-day. I wasn't really locating anything really well, but I battled through it and was able to throw strikes."

Adenhart, the highly touted senior right-hander who's expected to be selected high in the first round of June's MLB amateur draft, threw a season-high 112 pitches, including 61 for strikes, over five innings. He gave up six hits, four walks and struck out 12, improving to 4-1 in front of more than a dozen big-league scouts, including front-office representatives from at least four teams - the Dodgers, Brewers, Mets and Angels.

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Gary LaRoque, the assistant general manager for the Mets, who have the third overall draft pick, was one of the confirmed attendees Wednesday. He declined to comment on Adenhart or the game.

"When you see assistant GMs here, you know they're serious about the first round," Williamsport coach Rod Steiner said.

For Adenhart, all the watchful eyes and radar guns (which clocked his fastball in the low 90s) behind the backstop made it another normal day on the mound.

"It's been like that for about two years," he said. "It really hasn't been that much pressure. It's just something I've learned to block out."

Adenhart walked the first two batters he faced in the top of the first inning and allowed his first earned run on Preston Tarleton's RBI single up the middle, which gave Brunswick (3-7, 1-4) a 1-0 lead.

Williamsport (10-1, 6-1) answered with three runs in the bottom of the first and never trailed again, as Taylor blasted a two-run homer over the left-field fence, Will Roney doubled and Dave Warrenfeltz followed with an RBI single off Brunswick's Blaine Keyser, who gave up seven runs in 3 1/3 innings.

The Wildcats made it 5-1 in the third on Taylor's solo shot to left-center and Leo Schill's RBI single to right and 7-1 in the fourth on Josh Bowers' RBI double to right-center and Taylor's RBI single to left.

"I thought fastball and then swung at whatever," Taylor said. "I just wanted to hit the ball hard and put it in play."

His bat was still sizzling from Williamsport's 13-12 win over Smithsburg on Tuesday.

"He went 4-for-5 last night," Steiner said. "He's gone from .280 to being close to a .500 hitter just like that."

Brunswick cut its deficit to 7-3 with two runs in the top of the fifth off Adenhart, as Keyser doubled, Tarleton walked and Josh Via and Patrick Curry hit RBI singles.

"We showed some guts," Railroaders coach Roger Dawson said. "We went in with the intention of beating (Adenhart). Getting three earned runs ... I'm tickled to death with the effort."

Williamsport rounded out its scoring with a run each in the fifth and sixth.

Brunswick completed its scoring on Greg Lowery's two-out RBI single in the seventh off reliever Ben Jordan, who allowed one run on one hit and a walk while striking out six in two innings.

Jordan went 3-for-4 with a triple, Warrenfeltz was 3-for-4 and Roney and Leo Schill each had two hits.

Via and Lowery each had two hits for the Railroaders.

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