Chambersburg comes up empty in late innings

May 18, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg baseball team approached a fork in the road to victory Wednesday against Cumberland Valley, and the Trojans took the wrong turn.

After rallying for three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to forge a 5-5 tie, Chambersburg managed just one baserunner over the final three innings, while Cumberland Valley tacked on eight runs to turn the Mid-Penn semifinal into a 13-5 drubbing at Henninger Field.

The Trojans (13-6), who have lost three straight, will host Central Dauphin today at 4 p.m. in another seeding game for the PIAA District 3 Class AAAA playoffs.

Chambersburg's normally potent offense was rendered virtually powerless in the final three innings by CV starting pitcher Sam Funt, who retired 11 of the final 12 Trojans he faced.


Meanwhile, CV (13-7) flattened Chambersburg with a five-run fifth inning and tacked on three more in the sixth to nearly put the Trojans away via the 10-run mercy rule.

"Lately we've been preaching line drives and grounders," said CV coach Michael Whitehead. "We want to put the ball in play and make them field it."

That strategy worked against Chambersburg, which struggled in the field. The Trojans committed five errors - all by the middle infield - giving more offensive opportunities to a CV team that pounded out 13 hits.

"Fielding has been a problem for the last three weeks," said Chambersburg coach Bob Thomas. "I don't know if it's in their heads or what's going on. ... The thing about it is they're not tough plays."

The defensive miscues erased a solid start by the Trojans. Catcher Ty Hollenshead threw out Mitch Michaud to end the Eagles' scoreless first inning, and the Trojans took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the frame. Back-to-back walks to Ryan Massamilla and Zach Frelin and a single by Derelle Owens loaded the bases. Alex Benedict then reached on an error, which scored Massamilla and Frelin.

But the Eagles answered quickly. In the top of the second, Greg Herrold led off with a triple and was driven in on a two-run home run by Justin Filson. An error by Trojans shortstop Marshall Gilbert extended the inning, which was capped with an RBI double by Alex Bobb to give CV a 4-2 lead.

A pair of throwing errors led to another Eagles run for a 5-2 advantage. The Trojans responded in the fourth when Massimilla launched a solo home run and Ryan Lehman belted a two-run double to knot the game at 5-5.

Lehman and Massimilla finished with two hits each for Chambersburg.

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