Atholton gets no relief in 9-5 loss

April 26, 1994|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Sun Staff Writer

Atholton faced visiting Thomas Johnson of Frederick yesterday in the first game of what is a crucial four-game week for the No. 16 Raiders.

And for six innings it looked as though that week might start on a positive note. The Raiders trailed the Patriots 4-3, but had the top of its order due up in the bottom of the seventh against tired Thomas Johnson starter Kevin Breckenridge (4-1).

Atholton starter Dan Keyser (2-1) had pitched well in holding the power-hitting Patriots to four runs on eight hits. He avoided a big inning by having catcher Ryan Schneider throw out two would-be base stealers in the third and fourth innings. An inning-ending double play helped in the sixth inning.

The Raiders needed its bullpen to come through in the seventh. It didn't. Before the Patriots finished, they had scored five runs on five hits off reliever Jonathan Edwards and were on their way to a 9-5 victory -- their 12th against two losses.

Edwards might have fared better had the Raiders not made two crucial mental mistakes that turned the tide for Thomas Johnson.

Edwards hit the leadoff batter, Scott Malasky. The next batter, Chet Hetkowski, singled to right field. Malasky would have been out at third had Atholton shortstop Jason Sandner not hesitated after receiving the relay throw.

Then Hetkowski stole second on a delayed double steal and Schneider's throw to second had him by 10 feet. But second baseman Bill Hite cut the throw, hoping to catch Malasky off third base. Malasky did not budge and Hetkowski was safe at second.

NB Edwards reached back and struck out the next batter after fall

ing behind in the count, 3-1.

But four singles sandwiched around a sacrifice fly resulted in five runs, dropped the Raiders to 8-3 and made today's game against Glenelg more important.

Atholton tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh. A leadoff walk by Sandner, a single by Hite and a double by Brandon Eierman drove Breckenridge from the mound and narrowed the gap to 9-5 with no outs.

Reliever Jason Brennan was a little shakey, but got the job done for Thomas Johnson.

"Call it winning ugly because we made a lot of physical mistakes, but we hung in there and then came up with the big inning," Thomas Johnson coach Jim Foit said.

Thomas Johnson made six errors and Atholton's first three runs were unearned. But the Raiders didn't capitalize on those errors.

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