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Prep Baseball: Wildcats grind out victory over Leopards

March 27, 2013|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT — Off the record, no one lost Wednesday’s Smithsburg-Williamsport baseball game.

For everyone involved, it was a fine display of two teams making progress in the early season.

For the record, Williamsport pulled out an 8-7 MVAL Antietam victory as Brandon Toloso drew a bases-loaded walk with one out in the bottom of the seventh to complete the Wildcats’ comeback.

In the process, Williamsport used its trademark style of tenacity, something Smithsburg is learning to use.

“I’m proud as heck of these guys,” said Smithsburg coach Trey Cobb. “They gave us a great effort today. If they do what they did today every day out, we are going to win some games.

“Williamsport is a great team and well-coached. They get in there and grind it out for seven innings. That’s what good teams do. That’s what we are going to do, grind it out. It’s unfortunate we had to take the loss, but I’ll take this one.”

On this day, Williamsport (1-1, 1-1) was just a little better grinding.

The Wildcats fell behind 6-3 after three innings before coming back with three in the fourth and one in the sixth to force the game into a final inning showdown. Nick Sauble pitched 2 1/3 innings of sterling relief to allow the Wildcats to move into position.

“The two innings that Sauble threw were huge,” said Williamsport coach David Warrenfeltz. “He took the momentum out of their dugout and moved it into ours.”

Smithsburg, which took advantage of Williamsport mistakes to get its lead, created its break in the seventh to regain the lead.

Justin Smith drew a leadoff walk and took second on a sacrifice bunt before Sauble was lifted for Blake Harne. James Shifler greeted Harne with a single that bounced away from center fielder Riley Arnone, allowing Smith to score and put Smithsburg back on top 7-6.

But Williamsport, the defending Class 2A state champion, had the last chance.

Hunter Malloy drew a pinch hit walk to lead off the seventh and gave way to Jack Kelly on the bases. Kelly stole second and tied the score on Tristan Baker’s double to center.

Brandon Allen followed with a single off Smith, who came on in relief. With runners on first and third with one out, Sinjin Shoop went up trying for a suicide squeeze bunt, but pulled back allowing Allen to steal second.

With runners at second and third, Shoop was intentionally walked to load the bases.

“We put ourselves in that position,” Cobb said. “We knew we would be able to get the force at home to save the run. It puts extra pressure on the pitcher, though. Justin did what he had to do, but it wasn’t his day.”

Toloso walked on five pitches to drive in the winning run.

Williamsport took a 1-0 lead in the first when Shoop led off with a double against Smithsburg starter Josh Miller before scoring on three consecutive one-out walks, the last drawn by Nick Williams.

Smithsburg picked up three runs in the second inning and three more in the third to take a 6-2 lead against Arnone, with the help of three Williamsport errors. Joey Schwartz and Alex Hedjuk both drove in runs in the second and Kyle Dinterman had a two-run single in the third.

Williamsport cut the deficit to 6-5 in the fourth as two runs scored on Arnone’s fielder’s-choice grounder and Jordan Buchanan’s RBI single. The Wildcats tied the game at 6 in the sixth on Arnone’s RBI single.

“We made mistakes, but they got timely hits,” Warrenfeltz said. “We battled back in the sixth and showed a lot of heart to score two in the seventh.”

Shoop and Allen had three hits each for Williamsport, while Arnone, Buchanan and Baker had two each. Smith had two hits for Smithsburg.

Williamsport 8, Smithsburg 7
Smithsburg    033    000    1    —    7    5    1
Williamsport    110    301    2    —    8    12    4
Miller, Tracy (5), Smith (7) and Durning. Arnone, Sauble (5), Harne (7) and Byers. WP — Harne. LP — Sauble.

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