Atholton, Hammond to meet in final

April 01, 1994|By Chuck Acquisto | Chuck Acquisto,Special to The Sun

On a brisk afternoon, host Atholton manufactured four late-inning runs off of four singles to defeat Mount Hebron, 4-2, and advance to tomorrow's Atholton Spring Tournament championship at 2 p.m.

Atholton will challenge Hammond (1-1), a 6-2 winner over Howard (0-1) in the tournament opener, in the title game while Howard meets Mount Hebron in the noon consolation contest.

Like Atholton, Hammond trailed 2-0 early as Howard junior shortstop Rusty Miller (2-for-4) delivered a first-inning triple, scoring junior Brian Snively, and later crossing the plate on sophomore Larry Long's infield ground out.

Hammond, getting a run back in the second on Matt Nestor's RBI ground out, was baffled by Howard southpaw starter Andy Call.

The Lions' junior left-hander pitched four innings of two-hit ball, walking two and striking out five, including the side in the fourth, before removing himself before the fifth inning because of a tired arm.

"He told me he was tired after the third inning, but that he could go one more," said Howard coach Matt Forsyth. "This being our first game this season, I'm not going to push anybody too soon with the limited pitching we have."

To Hammond's relief, Long followed Call and struggled to find the plate. The Lion hurler walked the first two Golden Bear hitters, gave up a single to Dave Brewer and an RBI ground out to catcher Chad Weiner. Nestor delivered the rally's biggest blow with a two-run triple to break open the game by giving Hammond a 6-2 advantage.

A four-run cushion was all Hammond junior pitcher Kevin Mack needed. He retired the side in order in the sixth before giving way to sophomore James Gregory for the seventh inning.

"I have bad first innings and that's a problem I have to correct this spring," Mack said. "But my game is accuracy and hitting locations, which I was pretty much able to do after the first."

In the second game, Mount Hebron (2-1) took advantage of Atholton starter Danny Keyser's first-inning wildness (31 pitches, three walks) to produce two runs on no hits.

After Keyser issued a leadoff walk to senior outfielder Brian Beneciewicz and another to senior Matt Driscoll, Mount Hebron coach Dave Appleby called for a double steal.

Beneciewicz (1-for-3) scored on the successful play when junior catcher Brandon Eierman's throw to second eluded sophomore shortstop Jason Sandner. Driscoll later scored on Mike Codzilo's ground out to Sandner.

Mount Hebron senior starter Greg Hylock, bound for UMBC next fall, kept the Raiders' offense in check through four innings, throwing just 53 pitches in allowing one hit and striking out three.

Hylock also received an outstanding defensive play from Driscoll in the first inning, as the outfielder made a head-first, diving catch with two outs to rob junior Billy Hite of an RBI double.

Atholton knotted the game at 2 in the bottom of the fifth, however, as outfielder Mark Lowenthal stole home on the back end of a delayed double steal and Jamie Burford (1-for-3) scored on an infield error.

Jonathan Edwards finished the game by striking out Mount Hebron catcher and long-ball threat Rusty Shown to earn the victory.

"This is the kind of team we expect to be this season as we must scrap for runs," Atholton coach Kevin Kelly said.

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