Coming from behind may be the most nerve-wracking way to win a baseball game, but Fallston seems to be getting used to it.
The Cougarsopened up their season by coming from six runs down to beat Howard County's Hammond. Along the way, they've come back in several other games to win, including a rally Thursday to win 6-5 over Aberdeen. Going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Cougars trailed, 5-3.
Alex Moore drove in the winning run -- his third of the game. Thesenior outfielder, batting .450, singled to center with two men on, scoring Scott Frost from second base.
Earlier, Frost had driven inJeff Hall, who opened the inning with a single. Shane Dougherty thenbrought over Colin Bradley, who was pinch-running after Paul Stromberger's walk, with a fly ball to center.
"We're the type of team that scores runs in bunches," said Fallston coach Mark Puckett. "We're capable of putting up a big inning. You don't want to be in that situation, down two or three runs in the seventh inning, but we've done it a couple of times before."
At this point, Puckett will take the wins any way he can get them. The Cougars (8-5 overall, 7-5 county) need to win every one of their remaining five games for a chance to make it to the Class 2A regional playoffs.
Early in the season, Puckett worried about the Cougars' consistency -- with good reason. Sometimes, they have played near-flawless baseball, while other times theyhave struggled. In their first meeting with winless Aberdeen, the Cougars pounded the Eagles, 16-2.
During one week in April, the Cougars scored 49 runs en route to wins over Bel Air, Aberdeen and North Harford, but at other times they have trouble putting a lot of runs on the scoreboard.
"We've had our ups and downs," said senior Stromberger, the Cougars' designated hitter against Aberdeen after a knee injury forced him out of his starting shortstop assignment temporarily. "One game our defense is the problem. Another time it's offense. Another time, our pitching goes. Right now, we'd just like to score a few more runs."
The Cougars suffered a big blow early in the season when their top starting pitcher, Jeff LiPira, broke the ring fingeron his pitching hand in gym class. LiPira, a junior, also contributed with his bat compiling a .340 average.
Against Aberdeen Thursday, Puckett started junior Jason Sealy, but control problems sent him to the bench in the second inning. Kris Kapinos came on to pitch well through the next five innings. He gave up four hits, six walks and struck out three before Puckett brought in Frost to finish off the seventh inning.
The Cougars got behind early when Aberdeen scored one run in the first inning and another on Chad Zimmerman's second-inningtriple. The Eagles might have gotten more runs in the second, but the umpire called Luis Aviles out for missing second base after he appeared to score from first on Zimmerman's hit.
Fallston tied the game on Moore's two-run double in the second, but the Cougars stranded runners on second and third.
Zimmerman brought in a run for the Eagles in the fourth with a walk. Aberdeen got one more run on an error to take a 4-2 lead.
Scott Frost singled in Fallston's third run inthe fifth inning, but the Cougars again stranded two runners in scoring position.
Aberdeen increased its lead back to two as Aviles drove in a run with a double down the right field line in the seventh.