Error-prone Key falls to Middletown

April 13, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

Life continued to be tough yesterday in the strong Monocacy Valley League for the Francis Scott Key baseball team.

Middletown took advantage of almost every Key mistake to rack up a 11-3 victory with the help of four unearned runs in a five-run fourth inning.

The five runs in the fourth followed a four-run rally in the third and gave the visitors a 10-2 lead.

That was more than enough runs for Middletown sophomore right-hander Ken Alford who went the distance and scattered six hits, struck out five and walked two.

The setback dropped Key to 2-4 in the MVAL and 2-4 overall.

All the trouble in the fourth began when Key reliever Marty Kelly forgot to cover first base on a ground ball wide of the bag to Joey Brooks.

Brooks tried to outrun Middletown's Brian McLucas to the bag but he couldn't win the race and McLucas, leading off the inning, was safe.

The Knights (4-3 overall, 3-2 in MVAL) loaded the bases with nobody out, and scored their first run of the inning on a ground ball that went through shortstop Kyle Stephenson's legs for the second error of the inning and loaded the bases once again.

That set the stage for cleanup hitter Sean Crain to hit a long drive to right-center field that bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double and scored two more runs for an 8-2 lead.

A groundout and a sacrifice fly into foul territory accounted for the final two runs of the fourth.

Key coach Bob Caples said: "Once a season, every team has a game like this where when one mistake is made the wheels just come off the apple cart. We didn't help ourselves today and they made us pay for it."

About the only ray of sunshine for Caples and the Eagles was a long home run to right in the sixth inning by third baseman Matt Haines.

Haines also had a single yesterday, joining second baseman Dave Johnson with two hits each for Key.

Brooks drove in Key's second run in a two-run first with a double over the first-base bag after Johnson had singled home the first run.

Brooks was 1-for-3 yesterday but still hasn't started hitting consistently for the Eagles.

"Give Joey some time," said Caples. "It's only six games into the season and he's only seen about 100 pitches. Wait until May and this summer in American Legion baseball where he'll be hitting ++ dingers all over the place."

Middletown was led offensively by leadoff hitter Wes Routzahn's 3-for-5 day and three RBIs by Mike Johnson.

But Middletown coach Mike Warrenfeltz said his team concentrates on pitching and defense more than hitting.

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