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Shifler triumphs in first start

May 01, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - Boonsboro sophomore Zach Shifler had an early indoctrination to varsity baseball.

Making his first appearance and facing the area's fourth-ranked team, the lefty overcame a shaky start and the Warriors took advantage of some shoddy Williamsport defense for a 5-4 victory Friday in an MVAL Antietam game.

Shifler allowed an infield hit to Ben Jordan and balked him to second before retiring Josh Bowers on a grounder. Then, on a 1-0 pitch, Nick Adenhart greeted Shifler with a 365-foot homer to left-center field to give the Wildcats (12-3, 8-3) a 2-0 lead.

Shifler settled down and allowed only two baserunners before tiring in the sixth inning. He struck out three and did not issue a walk.

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"No matter what, I'm always nervous before I pitch," Shifler said. "I threw a fastball right over the plate (to Adenhart), but my off-speed changeup was really working today."

Boonsboro (7-8, 3-6) tied the game in bottom of the first off Williamsport's Phil Jordan on a walk to Corey Robinson and Jeremiah Mills' home run to left.

Alex Malphrus reached on an error and eventually scored on a single by Cody Poffenberger, who came around to score on a stolen base and throwing error. Malphrus scored again in the third on Jay Love's double for a 5-2 lead.

Shifler yielded a leadoff single to Bowers in the sixth. Love came on in relief and got Adenhart on a popup and Aerik Taylor on a comebacker. Will Roney drove in Bowers on a double to center and Roney scored on a single by Warrenfeltz.

However, Corey Broadwater, who had been the starting first baseman earlier in the game and had been removed, was inserted as a courtesy runner.

Boonsboro coach Brian Smith questioned the move, the umpires concurred and the third out of the inning was recorded.

"It was my mistake," Williamsport coach Rod Steiner said. "The umpires said the player that was a starter could not be used as a courtesy runner. But we lost the game with our defense in the first inning."

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