With Little At Stake, Eagles Crush The Scorpions, 14-7

May 15, 1991|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff writer

All that was at stake for Centennial boys baseball in Monday's finalregular-season game against Oakland Mills was a little bit of pride.

The Eagles already had clinched the No. 2 seed in the Region I, Class 3A playoffs. And first place in the league was out of reach after last Friday's loss to Hammond.

But Centennial blasted the Scorpions and their ace pitcher, Joe Coughlan, 14-7, as though a championship was riding on the outcome.

The Scorpions probably suffered a letdown because they had no chanceof making the Region I, Class 3A playoffs despite posting an overallwinning record. Monday's loss dropped them to 10-8.

"It was just one of those days when Joe (Coughlan) got off to a bad start and we didn't have much incentive to come back," Oakland Mills coach Joe Shepherd said. "Of course, we play to win every game, but our hearts weren't quite in it."

The Scorpions started fast on a two-run homer byTravis Williams in the top of the first inning.

But the Eagles scored four times in the bottom of the first on walks by Sam Yurko and Brian Bickerton, a double by Austin Groves and a triple by Jon Loden.

Oakland Mills scored one more run in the top of the second inningon a walk by Rob Finkill and a single by Alex Laird.

But Centennial came back with three more runs in the bottom of the second on a pair of walks, a triple by Groves and a sacrifice fly by Loden.

Groves, Centennial's leading hitter, went 2-for-4. Loden, Centennial's hottest hitter, went 2-for-2 with a sacrifice fly. He was also hit in the head by a pitch but was uninjured and continued to play.

Bickerton, Centennial's second-leading hitter, went 1-for-1 with two walks.He was hit in the hip by a pitch, but continued to play.

Designated hitter Brian Kujawa had the best day, however, going 3-for-3 and awalk. Brent McGraw was 1-for-4, including a two-run double.

In all, Centennial blasted 11 hits, drew six walks, had two hit batters and reached base on one Oakland Mills error.

The Eagles scored threemore runs in the fourth inning and four in the fifth inning. Scorpions relief pitcher Brian Lopez, who took the mound in the fourth, was hit hard.

Centennial starter Jason Weinstein pitched the first five innings, allowing four hits and five runs. Five walks hurt Weinstein.

An unassisted double play by right fielder Kujawa helped Weinstein out of a jam in the fifth inning.

Brent Mertes, in his first outing after being brought up from Centennial's junior varsity, walkedfour batters in the sixth, which led to two Scorpion runs.

Ron Pulinski, making his first appearance of the year for Centennial, retired the Scorpions in order in the seventh.

Centennial is scheduled to play host to either Liberty or North Carroll on Friday in the regional semifinal. The final is scheduled Saturday at the highest seed'shome field. South Carroll is seeded number one.

In other action Monday, Hammond earned the top seed in Class 2A, Region II by beating Howard, 3-0. Matt Cyran homered for the Bears.

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