Christine powers Centennial win

March 23, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

Everyone expected Centennial senior right-hander David Hudson to be throwing in the low 80s and striking out a lot of hitters yesterday.

But no one expected the Eagles' ninth-place hitter, Dan Christine, to crush two long drives for a double and a triple to drive in two runs and score one run.

Especially after Christine, a third baseman, sat out all last season to concentrate on playing goalie for the Centennial soccer team.

Christine was easily the hitting star of the game as 13th-ranked Centennial turned back Westminster, 8-1, in the season opener for both teams at Westminster.

Hudson lived up to all preseason predictions on the mound, stopping the Owls on three hits, striking out 10 and walking one.

Two of the three Westminster hits were infield scratch hits and the third was a bloop single to short right field by Ryan Starliper in the third inning.

After the short single to right, Starliper went to second on an error, was bunted to third by Mark Winebrenner and scored on a passed ball.

The Starliper run tied the score at 1, but Centennial came back in the fourth inning to score three unearned runs with two out for a 4-1 lead.

In the fourth inning -- with a 1-1 tie -- Centennial's Jeff Windish hit a routine grounder to second baseman Steve Shipley with two outs and runners on first and second.

But the ball went through Shipley's legs, allowing the go-ahead run to score and setting the stage for a two-run double to left-center by Christine for the 4-1 lead.

Westminster would threaten only one more time -- in the fourth inning when the Owls loaded the bases with one out. But Hudson struck out Mike Peters and got Starliper to fly to right.

Centennial coach Ron Martin was pleasantly pleased with the eight runs scored on 11 hits and Christine's surprising performance.

"For us, that was the best offense we've shown in a long time going back to last season," he said. "Dan Christine not only got the two long hits but he had a nice sacrifice bunt. I'm sure he'll be moving up in the lineup. With that kind of hitting to go along with our two outstanding senior pitchers [Hudson and Kurt Weitzel] and a good defense, we'll be strong this season."

For Westminster co-coaches Guy Stull and Carl Rihard, it was a long day but not too unexpected.

They lost eight starters from last season and had three key players from this season's team missing.

Catcher Lawrence Alvarez is still recovering from a hernia operation, first baseman/designated hitter Russell DeMont was visiting West Virginia Wesleyan, and B.J. Hanley, a transfer student from California, didn't play because he had just returned from three days on the West Coast, attending his sister's wedding.

"We'll have our horses Friday for South Carroll," said Stull. "I knew we'd be lucky if we got three runs off Hudson, so I knew we had to have excellent pitching and tough defense."

Two Westminster errors accounted for four Centennial runs.

Rihard said: "They [Centennial] had a lot of things go right for them when they scored the three go-ahead runs. But I'm not happy with our hitting and our defense."

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