Byers' 'Bonds blast' stocks East

May 31, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

When Boonsboro's Matt Byers stepped to the plate in the fourth inning, you could hear his teammates shout out "Barry Bonds."

After all, they had witnessed a Bonds-esque blast in the second inning by Byers that helped the East post a 7-3 win over the West in the first Mid-Maryland Baseball Classic Tuesday night at Municipal Stadium.

The lefty turned quickly on a fastball from Clear Spring's Cory Baker and the ball hit off the second row of signs at the top of the right center field wall. All Williamsport's Phil Jordan could do was take two steps back and just watch.

"You know you're going to get mostly fastballs in an all-star game and I got one right over the plate," said Byers, who was rewarded for his two-run blast with most valuable player honors.


"That makes it feel great to go out on a good note to hear your name winning (MVP)," said Byers.

The East jumped on Baker for two first-inning runs on a leadoff double by Catoctin's Jake Yocum, single by Boonsboro's Cody Poffenberger and three straight walks.

"I hadn't thrown in maybe 15 days and didn't really expect to start," said Baker. "I was nervous and just didn't have any location."

After Byers' blast, the West scored single runs on an RBI infield single by Williamsport's Tyler Beard in the third and solo runs in the fourth and sixth to cut the deficit to 4-3.

Faulty fielding produced a pair of errors and Brunswick's Andrew Derr had a two-run single for valuable insurance.

Brunswick's Aaron Main pitched two innings in relief to get the win. Four East pitchers did not walk a batter.

In the Big School Classic, the East waited until the final four innings to unleash its bats and end in cruise control with a 14-3 victory over the West.

"We just got kicked pretty good," said North Hagerstown's Shawn Reynolds, coach of the West. "We knew the (East) had some big bats and their pitching in Carroll County and Frederick County was really strong this year."

Six East pitchers toiled one inning each and held the West to three hits the remainder of the game with the win going to Liberty's Robbie Mathias.

The West drew first blood with three runs in the first inning on four hits off South Carroll ace Dan Gerjets, but the runs were unearned as the East had two errors and another that was scored an infield hit.

North Hagerstown's Justin Eaver reached on one of the errors and Kent Worthington of the Hubs had one of three infield hits in the inning.

After a two-run fourth, the East took a 4-3 lead off losing pitcher Billy Naile of Tuscarora on a run-scoring double by Gerjits and RBI single by Linganore's Justin Hoover.

Back-to-back five-run innings in the sixth and seventh made it easy picking for the East which included an inside-the-park home run by Gerjits.

Notes: Williamsport's Tyler Beard suffered a broken bone in his right foot, landing awkwardly after catching a pop fly in short right field. He was back on crutches during the second game ... Name of the year could well go to Carroll Christian infielder Storm Blizzard, who batted twice in the Big School Classic ... Event organizer Dave Foltz said he was happy with the first year. "We hope to get more local and regional sponsors next year. Pat Datillio was really important to us this year."

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