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Warriors paint Rebels into corner

March 31, 2005|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - It was only the third inning, but the Boonsboro baseball team was starting to look like a house in need of an "Extreme Makeover."

South Hagerstown had just tied the score and Warriors coach Brian Smith sensed a need for some remodeling. So he made a move that chipped away at the Rebels' focus, and then Boonsboro rePaintered.

Smith chose an opportune time to point out a rules violation by South and used the move to settle down starting pitcher Brandon Painter and jump start the Warriors. It resulted in a quality start by Painter and a seven-run fifth inning, leading to an 11-7 win over South on Wednesday in the MVAL Antietam opener for both teams.

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Boonsboro had just committed consecutive errors to allow South to tie the game at 2-2. With No. 5 hitter, first baseman J.J. Myers, at the plate, Smith challenged South's batting order, claiming that Myers was wearing a different number than the one that appeared on the official lineup card.

"That's why I went out for the ineligible number," Smith said about the errors that preceded the move. "I thought I'd go out and help (Painter) out. I hated to do it - it got all the parents in a big brouhaha - but the rules allow us to do it."

Umpire John McAllister was forced to eject Myers for the mixup. Painter gathered himself during the delay and started a run of six strikeouts in the next seven batters.

"I filled out the lineup card this afternoon and had (Jake Johnson) penciled in to start at third," South coach Ralph Stottlemyer said. "Earlier this afternoon, someone came down to tell me that he was taken to the hospital at 3 a.m. and was about to have stomach surgery. I changed the lineup, but I forgot to change the number. It was my fault."

Painter bounced back from a shaky first when he allowed South (0-1) a run on Jason Beard's sacrifice fly in the middle of four walks.

"We made a couple of errors and I was trying to throw strikes to keep us in the game," Painter said. "I started to calm down in the second inning and then when we got the lead, I was able to calm down and relax."

Painter went six innings, allowing four runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out seven.

Boonsboro took advantage of the Rebels' shaky defense in the fourth and fifth innings and roughed up reliever Zach Bucher for nine runs, but only two were earned thanks to five South errors. In fact, Bucher struck out five in his two-inning stint.

"Those routine popups we didn't catch and the bad throws killed us," Stottlemyer said. "I told them before the game that the infield was slow. Just make the catches and get set for throws, but we didn't do that."

Boonsboro scored two in the fourth on Cory Robinson's RBI single. Robinson headed to second on a wild pitch and came all the way around on catcher Patrick Hutzler's throwing error.

Kyle Kane keyed Boonsboro's seven-run fifth with a two-run triple to left and scored on an overthrow from the outfield. The Warriors constructed the rally with a number of first-and-third base-running plays.

Leadoff hitter Matt Byers led Boonsboro with three hits and an RBI.

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