Perry Hall tops Lansdowne, 7-2, keeps championship hopes alive

May 10, 1994|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to the Sun

Talk about motivation.

For fifth-ranked Perry Hall, there was plenty to spare yesterday when the Gators played host to No. 8 Lansdowne in a Baltimore County 3A-4A League game.

The Gators were coming off a disappointing loss to Eastern Technical on Friday, and they were playing at home against the Vikings, the only other team they've lost to this season.

Add to that the do-or-die feeling of players fighting for the playoffs, and the result -- a 7-2 win over the defending Class 3A state champions -- shouldn't be a surprise.

"This was very important for us," said first baseman Jason Essel, who led the Gators with a bases-loaded triple and four RBIs. "We didn't think we'd make the playoffs. Plus, after last time [a 6-1 loss in late March], we wanted to show them we were better than they thought."

"We had something to prove," said winning pitcher Jesse Moore, who took a two-hit shutout bid into the seventh before tiring. "I didn't think we came together as a team the last time we played them. This time, the whole team really stayed up."

Also up are the Gators' chances of winning the league championship. Perry Hall (14-2 overall and league) can take a major step toward that with a win tomorrow over 10th-ranked Dundalk, a team it beat earlier this season.

Moore (7-0) used a slow curveball yesterday to consistently get ahead of Lansdowne batters, then put them away with his fastball.

For Vikings coach Ron Bareford, whose team dropped to 13-4 overall (11-2 league), it was a day of frustration.

"We just couldn't hit today," said Bareford, whose troubles were compounded when the Vikings' No. 3 hitter, Wheelton was ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct in the third inning. "When our No. 3 hitter got tossed out of the game, that kind of ripped our hearts out."

Perry Hall scored four in the third and three more in the fifth en route to defeating previously unbeaten Lansdowne starter Rob Parsons (5-1).

Two of the big blows were provided by Essel. With the bases loaded and two out in the third, the junior hit a sinking liner into the gap in left-center. Center fielder Tim Crough dived for the ball and missed, and Essel cruised to third.

Then in the fifth, he slapped a single to left, knocking in Ryan Burks to make it 5-0. Though he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double, the damage had been done.

"We need to play more games like we did today," Perry Hall coach Larry Butts said.

"We played good defense and didn't walk a lot of people. This was a good win for us."

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