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Long Reach allows too many Warriors to reach

March 27, 2005|By CHRIS CARTER

BOONSBORO - Most teams whose pitchers combine for a three-hitter can expect to leave the field with a victory.

Unfortunately for Long Reach, those same pitchers combined for 10 walks and a hit batsman and Boonsboro made the most of each one to knock off the Lightning, 7-4, and salvage a season-opening split at the Chuck Zonis Easter Tournament on Saturday.

Westminster took advantage of the same miscues to stake a 15-4 win over the Warriors in the first game.

"This year we're going to have to take advantage of our opportunities. If they're going to keep giving us extra outs, then we're going to take them," Warriors coach Brian Smith said. "But in the first game, we were giving (Westminster) the extra outs and they capitalized."

The Warriors (1-1) corrected the mistakes that spoiled their season-opening game and got a strong performance from junior Cameron Shifer against Long Reach. After surrendering a run on an RBI double in the first inning, Shifler settled down to retire 10 of the next 11 batters and stake a win in his first varsity start.

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"(After the first inning) I just started hitting my locations," Shifler said. "I found out how the ump was calling strikes and just put it in there."

While Long Reach struggled with giving out bases on balls, Shifler succeeded, surrendering just one free pass.

"He did a really nice job out there. He was in control," said Long Reach coach Tim O'Brien. "He hit his spots and showed great command."

After trailing through two innings, Boonsboro got on the board in the third. Matt Byers opened the inning with a walk, stole second and reached third on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Jeremiah Mills' fielder's choice scored Byers to tie the game at 1-1.

The Warriors took the lead for good when Cody Poffenberger doubled to right field - the first Boonsboro hit - in the fourth, scoring Josh Lewis. Poffenberger later scored on a groundout by Byers for a 3-1 lead.

As Shifler kept the Lightning off the board, the Warriors added to their lead. A two-run single by Miles Brown in the fifth and a two-run triple by Branden Painter put the Warriors ahead, 7-1.

Long Reach rallied with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, but fell short before the game was called due to darkness. Kenny King and Geoff Schmitt led the Lightning with two hits apiece.

-- In the first game, Westminster scored 12 runs over the final two innings to turn what was a close game into a runaway victory. Kyle Kane and Poffenberger each had two hits and Cory Robinson had an RBI double to pace the Warriors, who committed three errors in the loss.

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