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Wildcats' offense hammers Leopards

April 17, 2010|By TIM KOELBLE

SMITHSBURG -- Williamsport delivered its own lightning strikes on Friday against a bewildered Smithsburg baseball team.

The Wildcats sandwiched a rain delay with a four-run first inning and a nine-run sixth inning on the way to a six-inning 15-3 victory over the Leopards.

"We've stressed patience at the plate looking for quality pitches to hit," said Williamsport coach Larnie Vickers.

The Wildcats had nine hits, and seven were for extra bases -- including three home runs. Combined with nine walks and six Smithsburg errors, Williamsport (6-6, 4-3) cruised to the MVAL Antietam win.

Sophomore lefty Zach Lucas (1-0) was given a 4-0 lead before going to the mound in the bottom of the first. The Wildcats had one big hit in the top of the inning -- a grand slam by Zach Sauble -- after Smithsburg starter Aaron Schroyer hit a batter and walked two.

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Sauble's drive, his third of the year, traveled just far enough to left-center. Smithsburg center fielder Justin Morgan got a piece of the ball, but it dropped for a slam.

"Four runs eases the mind of a pitcher because he can go out and pound the strike zone and be aggressive," said Vickers.

Indeed, Lucas was effective for 4 1/3 innings before giving up three runs to the Leopards that made it 6-3 before rain and lightning delayed the contest.

Until the fifth, Lucas allowed four hits and the Leopards stranded all four runners, including two in the second -- at second and third -- without scoring, as third baseman David Carr made an excellent field-and-throw play to retire the side.

"Lucas had a good mix of pitches, located and threw strikes," said Vickers.

Ryan Butts knocked out Schroyer to start the Williamsport second with his first varsity home run.

When play resumed to begin the top of the sixth, Williamsport scored nine runs as 13 batters came to the plate. It was the only inning Williamsport had two singles, along with doubles from Connor Arnone, Lucas and Jason Hammond. The inning was capped by Logan Jamison's three-run home run.

Arnone and Butts had two hits each for Williamsport.

"Our pitching is not good enough and we need to take more pride in our defense," said Smithsburg coach Trey Cobb. "We've got to begin playing to our capabilities."

Ryne Willard hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning, and Gouff and Morgan added two hits apiece for the Leopards (4-5, 2-5), who went 0-3 this week.

Williamsport 15, Smithsburg 3
Williamsport 410 109 -- 15 9 1
Smithsburg 000 030 -- 3 8 6

Lucas, Cline (5) and Butts. Schroyer, Daniels (2), Wiley (5), Akers (6) and Gouff. WP -- Lucas (1-0). LP -- Schroyer (2-2). HR -- W: Sauble (1st, three on), Butts (2nd, none on), Jamison (6th, two on); S: Willard (5th, one on).

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