Glenelg clinches county with romp over Hebron Gladiators' title is 6th in 11 years Local Sports

May 14, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Glenelg has looked like the class of the county for several weeks. Yesterday at Mount Hebron, the Gladiators clinched their sixth league baseball championship in 11 seasons with a performance that rates as an exclamation point.

The Gladiators pounded two Hebron pitchers for 21 hits, including a grand slam. Meanwhile, pitcher Sean Lookingbill used a nasty curveball to tame the Vikings on three hits for five innings. That combination added up to a 19-1 romp.

The victory, the Gladiators' fourth straight, came three days after Glenelg (11-4, 11-1) rolled to an 11-0 victory over Atholton, thanks in part to a no-hitter by Jeff Lewis.

The Gladiators were so impressive against Hebron (7-4, 8-7) that not even a weather-induced break in the action could slow them.

The game began Wednesday, when Glenelg went to work immediately on starting pitcher Mike Cudzillo by batting around in the first two innings to take a 10-0 lead. Umpires halted the game in the top of the fourth, as thunderstorms moved into the area.

Yesterday, Hebron coach Dave Appleby decided to pitch Greg Hylock in relief. The Gladiators responded by scoring eight more runs to turn the game into a laugher by the sixth inning.

"We definitely had visions of winning the county, but I didn't think it would be this dramatic. Everybody up and down our lineup is hitting the ball," said Brian Boteler, Glenelg's junior third baseman.

Boteler collected four hits in five at-bats, scored three runs and had two RBI, while raising his team-high batting average to .531. The Gladiators entered the Hebron game batting .337.

"This clearly is the best hitting club I've ever had. Only one of my other teams has ever hit .300," Glenelg coach Terry Coleman said. "The tough thing is, all those batting averages go out the window once the playoffs start. Our first goal was to win the county, and we've done that."

The Gladiators, who have three games left on their regular-season schedule, figure to make the Class 2A, Region I playoffs next week and redirect their focus to winning their first state championship since 1983. Two more victories should secure a playoff berth.

Glenelg left no doubts about its strengths against Hebron, which probably must win its three remaining games to make the Class 2A, Region II playoffs.

The Gladiators began Wednesday by sending 10 batters to the plate. A two-run single by Dave Buckholtz (4-for-4) capped a five-run inning.

In the second inning, the Vikings committed two of their four errors, leading to another big inning.

Glenelg pounced on the opportunity, as catcher Kevin Curtin (2-for-4, three RBI) drove in Jamie Brinker with a single. Two batters later, right fielder Dave Gunter drove a 2-0 fastball from Cudzillo over the right-field fence for a grand slam to make it 10-0.

Lookingbill (4-1), a left-hander who has dazzled hitters with his fastball and curve, faced the minimum number of batters through the first three innings.

In the fourth inning -- or the first inning of yesterday's conclusion -- he allowed a walk and two hits, as Hebron avoided a shutout when Cudzillo drove in Brian Banaciewicz with a sacrifice fly.

Gunter finished the game with two scoreless innings.

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