N. County clinches 1st playoff spot

May 13, 1994|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff Writer

North County coach Don Usewick is an admitted worrier, but his Knights took a load off his mind yesterday in clinching their first-ever playoff berth.

Steve Tomshack hit two of his three homers (tying county and state records) in a 10-run first inning, Tweety Barton went 4-for-4 with two doubles and Bob Christopher won his second game in four days as the Knights rolled, 24-3, over Meade (1-17).

No. 17 North County (13-7) took the fourth seed in the Class 4A East Region playoffs. The Knights, who nosed out Chesapeake for the final berth, will travel to top-seed Arundel (17-2) a week from today.

Usewick was worried about what to do if Christopher wasn't effective. The senior left-hander had pitched the Knights to a 5-2 victory over Chesapeake on Monday and threw an inning of relief on Friday.

"I was pretty concerned because I had no one else to go to," said Usewick.

Mike Wooden has been out with a sprained muscle in his back; Barton beat Annapolis, 9-3, Wednesday and had thrown 14 innings; and Matt Lentz has a pulled hamstring.

Meade scored a run in the top of the first, but the Knights answered with 10. They added seven more in the third and seven in the fifth.

"Even when they scored the run, I had a lot of confidence we would win and we sure hit the ball today," said Christopher, who gave up six hits, walked one and struck out four in five innings.

Justin Godfrey mopped up the last two innings.

Wooden, who was 3-for-3 with runs scored and three RBIs as the designated hitter, started the first inning with a single to left and Tomshack followed with a homer to left.

His second time up in the first, Tomshack unloaded a three-run homer to left and Barton got his second hit of the inning to knock in Christopher, who had doubled.

In the third, Tomshack's two-run homer started the seven-run rally. Tomshack came up again in the third with North County leading 17-1 and Meade coach Rick Terry ordered an intentional walk. Terry had Tomshack intentionally walked again in the fifth.

"He [Terry] told me he wasn't going to let Steve hit a fourth homer in the third and I thought he was kidding," said Usewick.

Don Shump of Northeast in 1991 hit three homers in a county game. Earlier this season, South Carroll's Brad Schulze hit three in a game and Tomshack became the sixth player in state public school history to do it.

Randy Butts of North Hagerstown hit three homers in a game twice in 1982 and 1984 and had two in one inning in 1983.

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