Vikings, Wheelton stop Gators, 6-1

March 25, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

Lansdowne pitcher Bob Wheelton was well-scouted by No. 7 Perry Hall because the Gators' second-team All-County outfielder Mandel Marsh is a former Putty Hill teammate of Wheelton's.

But Marsh and company discovered in yesterday's 6-1 loss that Lansdowne is far from a one-man team.

Supported by a five-hit, six-run third inning, Wheelton (1-0) overcame fatigue and a sore elbow to go the distance, striking out six batters against five scattered hits and no walks.

The 11th-ranked Vikings (1-0), who last year became their school's first state champs in any sport, beat Perry Hall (1-1) for the first time in four years, said Lansdowne coach Ron Bareford.

Yesterday's effort was a bit of a surprise, considering the Vikings lost all three of last year's starting pitchers to graduation. Converted All-County catcher Rob Parsons pitched against No. 9 Patapsco on Tuesday in a game that was tied at 2-2 before being called due to darkness after seven innings.

"We've thrown our first two pitchers, but after that, we're a little untried," said Bareford, referring to the Patapsco game to be completed as part of a doubleheader. "We'll try to sneak a third pitcher in there."

Wheelton was sneaky all evening.

"They pretty much knew everything that I had -- fastball, curveball, knuckleball. It's just that I had my stuff today," said Wheelton. "I was a little tight in the elbow, but I just reached back and gave it a little extra."

Consecutive singles by Dan Ambrose and Tim Crough -- the latter's on a bunt -- began the Vikings' rally. Perry Hall left-hander Jason Essel (seven hits, four strikeouts) then hit Andy Stocksdale to load the bases.

Ambrose tied the game when a soft shot from Crough's twin brother, Tom, dropped in short right field beyond first baseman Paul Kansler. Kansler's late throw to get Ambrose sailed past catcher Brandon Zimmerman, scoring Tim Crough.

It was 3-1 after Wheelton's sacrifice fly scored Stocksdale, and 5-1, after Howard Popp's triple scored Tom Crough and Nick Lozzi, who pinch ran after Parsons singled.

"The game was already going our way and I knew we had an advantage," said Popp, who scored the final run when Vince Queen was thrown out at first base. "I just wanted to hit the ball anywhere to give us a bigger lead."

Parsons got Marsh at second in the first inning, and the Gators -- coming off an 11-hit, 14-4 victory over Woodlawn -- stranded four other runners.

"With the game we had against Woodlawn, I thought we'd do better against him [Wheelton]," said Marsh.

Perry Hall's brief lead came as Jim Stopper's third-inning single scored Zimmerman. Marsh went 2-for-3 -- both singles -- and Kevin Znamirowski and Chris Ude also singled.

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