Liberty-Mt. Hebron left in the dark 4-4 game suspended after eight innings

April 03, 1996|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Both Liberty and Mount Hebron had several chances to take control of yesterday's game -- but nobody did.

Mount Hebron rallied from an early three-run deficit to force a 4-4 tie with visiting and No. 19 Liberty in a game suspended due to darkness after eight innings.

Liberty coach Steve Insley and Mount Hebron coach Pat Crouse said they are doubtful the game can be completed. Insley said the Lions cannot even try for three weeks, so things will stay up in the air for awhile.

This is the second suspended game in a week for Liberty. The Lions were trailing No. 10 Glenelg, 16-14, last week when that contest was stopped in the bottom of the sixth.

The Lions appeared in control early yesterday, scoring three runs in the top of the first.

A Mount Hebron error helped Liberty (1-0) load the bases in the first. The Lions then got a sacrifice fly from Matt Sargent before another error re-loaded the bases, and Shawn Rausch lined a two-run single for the early lead.

"This is the first game we've played in where we didn't make the plays, and we couldn't quite get the hits," said Crouse, who saw his team get only four hits -- all for extra bases.

Mount Hebron (3-0) did, however, get the hits in the second. After the Vikings loaded the bases with two outs, Brian Picker smacked a two-run double to right field. Tom Perone walked to again load the bases, and Mark Jordan drew a walk to force in the tying run.

Mount Hebron helped Liberty take a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth. The Vikings committed two more errors, the second of which let Daryl Knight score from second.

But the Vikings tied the game in the sixth when Keith Radcliffe sent a shot over the left-field fence for a home run. Radcliffe had struggled at times against Liberty starter Frank Campanella, but the Mount Hebron center fielder sent this one on a line right through the wind.

"It was a fastball, and I just got all of it," said Radcliffe, 0-for-3 before that. "He had me off-balance [before]."

Both starting pitchers settled down after their early troubles. Campanella walked six and stranded five in the first two innings.

The left-hander then loosened up and turned in a strong effort, going 5 1/3 innings and giving up four runs on only three hits. He also struck out five.

"He had to make some adjustments, and once he made the adjustments he was fine," said Insley. "Once he settled down and threw strikes, they weren't hitting him very hard."

The Lions, however, did not hit Mount Hebron starter Picker hard either.

The right-hander allowed four runs on only five hits in five innings. Picker had retired 10 of 11 at one point.

Pub Date: 4/03/96

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