Atholton shuts down Mt. Hebron Atholton Tournament baseball

April 16, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

The championship game of the Atholton Tournament between Mount Hebron and Atholton came down to a pitcher's duel as expected, because pitching is the strength of both teams.

And this time, Atholton's Richard Blankenship (2-0) pitched a little better than Mount Hebron starter Eric Volland (0-2).

Blankenship went the distance on a five-hitter and walked just one to win the 4-1 decision. The senior right-hander struck out nine.

Mount Hebron scored in the third on a leadoff single by Brian Benicewicz, who stole second base, and an RBI double by Ron Bates.

A fine defensive play by Atholton second baseman Matt Rushing ended the rally. Rushing backhanded a sharp grounder by Hylock and threw him out.

Blankenship also surrendered a leadoff single to Mike Cudzillo in the seventh inning, but a diving catch by Wally Emrich in left field curbed a would-be rally.

For Blankenship, it was his second straight complete game. He was also the hitting star with RBI singles in the fourth and sixth innings.

Atholton (4-1) initiated the scoring with one run in the first inning. Peter Yoder singled to right field and Kevin Nickey doubled him home. Yoder was running on the pitch and thus was able to score from first base on the hit to left field.

After Mount Hebron (2-2) tied it 1-1 in the third inning, Atholton scored in the fourth on a single by Ryan Schneider, a stolen base by pinch runner Sam Corden and Blankenship's single.

Atholton added two insurance runs in the sixth inning off relief pitcher Eric Plitt. Nickey walked, stole second and scored on Blankenship's single to right field. Blankenship stole second base and scored on Ryan McQueeney's single to right field.

"We got a well-pitched game but just didn't come up with enough hits today," Mount Hebron coach Dave Appleby said. "That may change the next time we face them. We had some injuries, so we were trying out a couple of new people today. I think this team is going to hit."

Those new people included designated hitter Sean Broske, who struck out three times in three at-bats, and catcher Ben Colvard, who struck out twice in two at-bats.

Volland struck out eight in five innings, including six straight. Atholton batters struck out 10 times.

Atholton coach Kevin Kelly also thinks his team will hit better, despite the fact it has been averaging about 10 strikeouts.

"I saw some signs today of the hitting picking up," Kelly said.

In the consolation game, Hammond (3-2) hung on for a 5-4 victory over Howard (0-5), as Ross Kaplan pitched five innings of two-hit ball for the Bears. Kaplan received two innings of scoreless relief help from Jon Yezek.

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