Patapsco unable to hold lead

April 08, 1995|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

For the second straight game, unranked Patapsco had a ranked team on the ropes, only to get knocked out.

On Wednesday, the Patriots (4-2) blew a five-run lead against No. 5 Perry Hall, the defending 4A state champ, in a loss.

And yesterday, after holding a four-run lead in the first inning, and a six-run lead in the second, they allowed visiting and No. 16 Randallstown (6-0) to escape with a 14-7 victory.

The Patriots had hammered starter Todd Pobletts (1-0) for five extra-base hits -- nine overall.

But ace left-hander Brian Ward (4-0, two saves) allowed no hits and retired 11 of the 14 batters, striking out five against one walk. Ward, a senior, also went 1-for-3 with a two-run double in the seventh inning.

"I just mixed it up a lot," said Ward, whose Rams whipped No. 9 Franklin, 5-3, Monday. "I just kept spotting fastballs in and out, then came back with the curve. It's a great win, but we almost gave it to them."

Randallstown's hit parade included Steve Berstein (2-for-5) and Shilo Merwitz (2-for-3) along with Pobletts, John Burns, David Blank and Brandon Thomas all at 2-for-4, and Shawn Rausch (1-for-4).

Merwitz, Bernstein, Burns, Pobletts and Rausch each had two RBIs and Blank (two steals) had one.

Thomas stole home for an 8-7 lead in the Rams' four-run sixth, after which they led, 10-7.

"It seemed like we were falling apart earlier, but at that point, I knew we had the momentum we needed," said Thomas.

Patapsco started the first inning with three straight doubles by -- Wayne Brooks (3-for-4, two runs scored), Sal Greensfelder (2-for-3, four RBIs) and Charlie Greensfelder (1-for-3, one RBI) -- the last two batters knocking in runs for a 2-0 lead.

Then Jerry Vecchioni (1-for-3) nailed a two-run home run to deep center. But after Sal Greensfelder's second-inning three-run home run, the Patriots ran out of steam.

Ward replaced Pobletts (two strikeouts, one walk) with the Rams trailing, 7-6, after Merwitz' fourth-inning two-run single.

"He's a horse, isn't he?" said Randallstown coach Dave Wright of Ward. "Our first pitcher [Pobletts] had a pulled groin muscle, so we had to use Ward's four remaining innings of eligibility for the week."

Thomas (two steals) began the seventh by teaming with Blank on a double steal -- a move that allowed Blank to tie the game at 7 as catcher Bill Cox overthrew third base trying to get Blank.

"We seem to lack killer instinct when we get up on these good teams," said Sal Greensfelder.

Patapsco coach Dave Ingle filed a protest late in the game, claiming Randallstown used an illegal player because his jersey numbers were listed differently in the game book and in the pre-game lineup Ingle received.

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