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Timing is everything to Wildcats

May 18, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - Hits are like comedy.

Each is more effective when they are well timed.

The Williamsport baseball team had the proper delivery and got the last laugh in a 14-1 victory over Clear Spring Monday in the Maryland Class 1A West quarterfinal.

David Warrenfeltz did the set up with a three-run home run in the first and starting pitcher Andy Taylor delivered the punchline with a second-inning grand slam to overwhelm the Blazers. And what made it worse for Clear Spring, both blasts came with two outs.

"Timely hitting in the playoffs ... You would like everyone to hit, but you just want to get them at the right time," Williamsport coach Rod Steiner said.

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If Clear Spring needed any proof, all it had to do was look in its own first inning for affirmation.

The Blazers had runners on first and second with one out but were unable to get the clutch hit to drive in a run against Taylor that would have given Clear Spring an early momentum edge.

"That was big for us," Steiner said. "(Clear Spring) played well and they were ready for this. They were more ready than we were. They were up for this game because they knew they didn't have anything to lose. Our guys go out and think if they play a good game they are going to win. It doesn't always happen that way."

Williamsport looked as if it was going to go down quietly in the first after leading off with two outs, but Andy Taylor singled and Will Roney doubled to get Warrenfeltz to the plate. The catcher launched a fly to left off Clear Spring starter Cody Beard that just kept drifting and carried over the fence for a home run.

"That three-run home run was big," Steiner said. "That helped us. If we would had gone out without scoring in the first, they would have had the momentum."

The Wildcats had the bases loaded with two outs in the second. Andy Taylor followed with a shot over the center-field fence to give himself a 7-0 lead to work with. Will Roney, Warrenfetlz and Leo Schill followed with consecutive singles to complete a five-run rally.

Taylor took advantage of his cushion to shut down the Blazers on just one hit while striking out five through the first three innings.

"Andy spotted his pitches well," Steiner said. "He has been underrated all year with Nick (Adenhart) around, but he's pitched well for us. He pitched well against South Hagerstown the other day and didn't get anything out of it."

Williamsport added three runs in the third, capped by Ben Jordan's RBI double and Josh Bowers' sacrifice fly.

Clear Spring got its run in the fourth when Phil Saloom and Scott Keeney led off with back-to-back doubles to erase the shutout.

The Wildcats finished the victory with three runs in the fourth as Schill led off with a home run to right center before Jordan was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Bowers grounded into a fielder's choice.

Williamsport finished with 14 hits, led by Aerik Taylor with three singles. Andy Taylor, Roney, Warrenfeltz, Schill and Phil Jordan added two hits each.

The Wildcats advance to face Smithsburg on Wednesday at a site to be determined. Smithsburg defeated Northern Garrett 5-1 on Monday.

Williamsport is awaiting word on the availability of Adenhart, who suffered tightness in his elbow in his last start, for the playoffs. He missed Monday's game because of a doctor's appointment.

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