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Errors doom Wildcats

April 29, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - The Catoctin baseball team handled Williamsport's known commodities.

It was the unknown commodity that did in the Wildcats.

Catoctin took advantage of four Williamsport errors to score five unearned runs off reliever Ben Jordan in the seventh inning Wednesday for a 6-5 MVAL Antietam victory.

Williamsport's defense broke down, allowing Zach Ausherman's three-run double to cap the rally and formally erase another in the long line of quality starts by Nick Adenhart.

"You can't give them eight outs in a inning," Williamsport coach Rod Steiner said. "I can count five plays that we should have made that would have got out of the situation. Ben couldn't have thrown the ball better ... You still have to make the plays behind him to win."

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Williamsport's defense has spent most of the season without being tested. With Adenhart striking out 103 of the 175 batters he faced this season - including nine Wednesday - and the offense averaging 9.8 runs per game, the Wildcats have been spending a lot of time loitering in the field.

The Cougars (7-6, 4-3) held their own against Adenhart, forcing him to rely on his breaking pitches and using patience to eat up his pitch count.

Catoctin coach Mike Franklin wore an elastic sleeve on his right arm after throwing Tuesday batting practice.

"I was throwing batting practice from 30 feet to get them ready for a 95 mph fastball." Franklin said. "We just wanted to get our bats in the right position to take (Adenhart) on."

Williamsport's woes started when Jordan dropped Justin Greenup's foul popup. Greenup reached when third baseman Aerik Taylor misplayed his grounder. Catoctin scored on a wild pitch and tied the score when Will Roney dropped Jake Yocum's fly to center. Will Delawter drew a walk to load the bases and set up Ausherman's double.

Adenhart hit a two-run homer off Delawter in the seventh, but Williamsport stranded runners on first and third.

Delawter matched Adenhart in front of 14 major league scouts, holding Williamsport to four hits.

"This was one of the biggest games in my life," Delawter said. "To go up against a guy like (Adenhart) and come away with the victory is something."

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