The Taneytown Cardinals apparently figure the worst is behind them as they set their sights on a second straight South Penn Baseball league title.
The Cards, Western Division champs, will meet Eastern title-winner New Oxford, Pa., starting at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Memorial Park in Taneytown.
"We're not going to have a letdown," said Taneytown coach Steve Bosley, who last week predicted that the winner of the Cards' second-round playoff with Cashtown would win the league title.
Taneytown did manage to nip Cashtown in the finale of the best-of-three series Sunday but had to rally from a 6-0 deficit to
score a 10-9 victory.The Cards had lost, 9-8, Saturday after winning the opener Thursday.
But Bosley expects a different type of game against New Oxford --low-scoring games. The Cards scored 34 runs in three games against the Pirates, while Cashtown plated 20. New Oxford, though, gave up just one run while sweeping Littlestown in two games for the East title.
"The whole team's been playing well," Twins coach Jack Greenholt said. "We're getting good pitching right now."
One area where the Cards may have a clear advantage is playoff experience. While Taneytown has been one of the best teams in the SPL over the past five yearsand has reached the finals several times, New Oxford (which played in neighboring McSherrystownuntil two years ago) hasn't been to the league finals since the mid-1970s, Greenholt said.
Greenholt and histeam have been playing underdog much of the season -- few expected the Twins to beat Littlestown -- but he thinks his squad can give Taneytown a run.
"I know a lot of people wrote us off," said Greenholt, who has played and coached for the New Oxford/McSherrystown club since 1968. "We haven't played Taneytown since the middle of June. We're just the same bunch of guys starting to do everything right."
The Twins stunned Taneytown, 10-5, to open the season but lost to the Cards, 9-3, 9-6 and 7-0, in their last three meetings. Taneytown was losing, 6-3, going into the final inning of the third meeting, but rallied for the win.
Greenholt said he plans to start Dave Bankert, who has missed the playoffs thus far with a tender shoulder, in Thursday's game. Bosley said Bryan Harman will start for the Cards.
If Bankert starts Thursday, Greenholt said he'll probably follow with Doug Golden, who tossed a shutout Sunday, and Bevenour, who won Saturday.
Bosley said Liberty High grad Scott Sharp will follow Harman in the Cards' rotation -- assuming Sharp has returned from his summer stint in New England's prestigious Cape Cod League.
Otherwise,Chris Grove gets the call, with Ron Sell penciled in for game three.
Theseries continues at 2 p.m. Saturday in New Oxford and returns to Memorial Park for a 2 p.m. game Sunday. The best-of-five series would continue the following weekend if needed.
In other sports this weekend:
* The Freedom Soccer Tournament kicks off the fall rec season Saturday and Sunday at Eldersburg Elementary and Oklahoma Park in Eldersburg.
* The National Softball Association will have its men's Class B state tournament Saturday at the Carroll County Sports Complexnorth of Westminster. Lehigh/Stambaug's of the Carroll County Men's League is the lone county representative in the 12-team field, and the title game is slated for about 7 p.m.