South's season is ended

Rebels waste early lead in 2A West playoff loss

Rebels waste early lead in 2A West playoff loss

May 21, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

How quickly things turned for South Hagerstown's baseball team on Thursday.

The Rebels turned five hits and three South Carroll errors into a 4-0 lead through three innings, but the Cavaliers used six hits and three South errors for seven runs from the fourth inning on to eliminate the Rebels 7-5 in the Class 2A West semifinals.

South (10-9) couldn't have asked for a better start. David Miner retired the Cavaliers in order in the top of the first, then Bryson Appel finished a nine-pitch at-bat - featuring five two-strike foul balls - with a leadoff home run to left for a 1-0 lead in the bottom half.

"That's why he's my leadoff man," Rebels coach Ralph Stottlemyer said. "He's a solid hitter, and for a kid his size, he has some power, too."


The Rebels added three runs in the third off South Carroll starter Ryan Harrison, helped by two errors by second baseman Brad Groft. An errant pickoff throw brought home the first run before Phil Powell hit an RBI double and Jeremy McAfee's sacrifice fly scored Powell.

"I felt great at that point," Stottlemyer said.

With one out in the fourth, Chris Luette doubled off Miner, who then walked Brad Mayr. Cody Krause's single to right scored Luette and left runners at first and second.

On the next pitch, Dan Gerjets hit a soft roller right to Miner, who quickly pounced on the ball and tried to force out Mayr at third.

"I saw the ground ball to David and I thought we were out of it," Stottlemyer said.

But Miner's throw sailed to the right, scoring Mayr and advancing the runners one base.

After Miner struck out Ryan Mullen, Jason Parker doubled to right to score Krause and Gerjets and tie the game.

South Carroll (19-3) took the lead in the sixth when Gerjets reached on a fielder's choice, moved to second on Mullen's single, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Parker.

"They just executed it," Stottlemyer said. "They were definitely thinking one run was all they needed."

The Cavaliers added two more in the seventh on Tyler Kraus' double, Luette's RBI single and errors by Miner - who moved to shortstop when McAfee came on to pitch - and left fielder Doug Palmer.

"They put the ball in play and we had to make the plays and we didn't," Stottlemyer said.

Appel led off the bottom of the seventh with a hard grounder that Cavaliers first baseman Gerjets snagged before stepping on the bag for the first out. Patrick Hutzler struck out, and though Miner followed with a rocket to left for a solo homer, it was too little, too late.

"That boy made a heck of a catch at first there to get Bryson," Stottlemyer said. "If that gets through and Hutzler gets on and then David smacks one ... "

If only.

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