WILLIAMSPORT — Williamsport’s baseball team may have needed an extra inning, but it was worth it.
The Wildcats scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on Monday to earn their first victory of the season with a 3-2 MVAL Antietam win over Smithsburg.
Zach Lucas led off the bottom of the eighth with a double off Smithsburg reliever James Shifler. Lucas took third on Tyler Byers’ groundout.
Ryan Butts nearly hit a two-run home run to left to end the game, but it curled just foul. Butts later reached on a walk.
Brandon Allen drove home Lucas with a single, followed by Brandon Green’s game-winning single to score Butts. Green also scored Williamsport’s first run in the fifth inning on a wild pitch.
“I’m proud of the way that we kept battling today,” said Williamsport coach Dave Warrenfeltz, “Getting those two runs in the eighth says a lot about our team’s character.”
Lucas (1-0) earned the win with three innings of one-run relief, but starter Brendon Colliflower pitched a brilliant game for the Wildcats (1-2). Colliflower struck out eight and walked in five innings of one-run ball.
“I think Colliflower pitched an outstanding game. Lucas too,” Warrenfeltz said. “But you have to tip your cap to (Smithsburg’s) pitchers, especially (Josh) Miller.”
Miller not only won the longevity award for the game — pitching seven innings for the Leopards (0-3) with nine strikeouts and three walks — but he also exposed flaws in the Wildcats’ lineup. Six of Miller’s strikeouts came against the middle of Williamsport’s batting order.
“We definitely have room for improvement, but like I’ve said before, this team is a work in progress,” said Warrenfeltz. “We need to get better every day, but it’s definitely easier to work after a win.”
Smithsburg struck first in the fourth inning when J.R. Rinehart singled to drive in Devin Baker. The Leopards took a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth when Brad Spickler scored on Kyle Dinterman’s sacrifice fly.
“The loss is tough, but that’s the game,” said Smithsburg coach Trey Cobb. “Sure, we would have liked a win, but we played the way we’re supposed to. We played every pitch.
“Yes, we want to win, but this kind of play — hard, tough play — will carry this team.”
Williamsport 3, Smithsburg 2
Smithsburg 000 100 01 — 2 5 0
Williamsport 000 010 02 — 3 8 3
Miller, Shifler (8) and Durning. Colliflower, Lucas (6) and Butts. WP — Lucas (1-0). LP — Shifler (0-1).