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Fully loaded: 'Cats make it count for 'W'

April 03, 2007|by TIM KOELBLE

WILLIAMSPORT - Boonsboro had two bases-loaded situations in the first three innings in which the Warriors could not produce a run.

Williamsport had one bases-loaded situation, and it came at the right time in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Wildcats took advantage - with some help from Boonsboro - for a 7-6 MVAL Antietam victory on Monday.

Andrew Duff led off the seventh for Williamsport with a double, but was gunned down heading to third on Nick Bodnar's sacrifice-bunt attempt, which was fielded by Boonsboro pitcher Aaron Dixon. He whirled and gunned to Jacob Pendergraft, who backpedaled to tag Duff.

However, Boonsboro shortstop Josh Anders booted a potential double-play grounder by A.J. Jamison, leaving runners at first and second. Chad Bikle followed with a walk, bringing Aaron Hershberger to the plate.

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With the infield playing up at the cut of the grass, Hershberger's bouncer was fielded cleanly by Anders, who then one-hopped his throw past catcher Kyle Kane with Bodnar streaking across the plate for the winning run.

"You teach runners not to make the first or third out of an inning at third base, but (Duff) saw the third baseman off the bag so he broke," said Williamsport coach Larnie Vickers. "But like we've done, we were able to manufacture a run when we needed it."

Anders was filling in for regular shortstop Jared Ferguson, who has been out with an arm injury. Anders is normally the starting right fielder.

Williamsport (4-1, 2-0) jumped on Dixon with a six-run second inning on four hits and three walks. Duff and Travis Sluger hit RBI singles and Bikle drove in two with his single.

Boonsboro (3-1, 1-1) left the bases loaded in the first and third innings.

Starter Andrew Dagenhart squirmed out of a first-inning jam by striking out Mike DeBarge. After allowing an unearned run in the second, he got out of the third inning with two more punchouts, fanning Chris Selby looking on a 3-2 pitch and then DeBarge to end the threat.

"We've left a lot of runners on base because we haven't gotten that timely hit this year," said Boonsboro coach Max Shaffer.

Dixon kept the Warriors in the game after he got his effort together, allowing only three hits after the second inning while he and his team climbed back into the game.

Down 6-4, Boonsboro scored twice in the top of the sixth after Williamsport freshman Jason Hammond hit Pendergraft and walked Kane.

Anders reached on a throwing error by Bikle at short that allowed Pendergraft to score. Tim Cole then drove in Kane with a bloop single into center.

"(Dixon) looked like he got stronger as the game went on," said Shaffer. "I thought he pitched well enough to win."

Other than the second inning, Williamsport didn't exactly tear the cover off the ball.

"The bats really weren't there, just enough to be just enough," said Vickers, "but that's high school baseball."

Vickers received a solid three-inning relief effort from Hammond, who picked up his first varsity victory. He threw four innings and allowed two hits and three walks.

"I was pleased with some of his location," said Vickers. "He keeps learning."

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