Westminster mows down Liberty

April 04, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The Westminster Owls got a solid outing from top pitcher Mike Peters yesterday afternoon against Liberty.

Clean-up hitter Denny Bowers set the tone early with a towering three-run homer in the top of the first. And outfielder Tony Steigerwald, hitting sixth in the order, had two clutch hits and three RBIs.

But shortly after the No. 5 Owls came away with an important 10-6 win over a Liberty team that is expected to compete for the county title this season, Westminster co-coach Carl Rihard still showed some displeasure.

"We're not a very good defensive team and we're not where we need to be," he said.

"We played two ballgames out there today. We're nowhere near the ballclub we have the potential to be; we still have a lot of work to do. We're far from where we want to be."

The second game he was referring to may have been Liberty's five-run seventh inning, during which Westminster made three of its five errors.

Liberty coach Steve Insley's frustration started earlier in the afternoon. The No. 19 Lions (1-1) came out sluggish from the start and never recovered.

"I don't have much to say. We just got out-classed and out-played today and didn't deserve to be out on the field with them," Insley said. "We just didn't come out ready to play."

The Lions' problems started in the first after starter Daryl Knight got leadoff hitter Billy Mays to fly out to right.

The Westminster bench asked the umpire to have Knight remove the white shirt that was underneath his blue uniform because part of the white was showing over the blue sleeve of his uniform -- a violation in the rule book. The white sleeve makes it difficult for batters to pick up the ball.

After a short delay, Knight returned to the mound -- minus the white shirt -- and Steve Hahn hit his first pitch for an opposite-field double. After a walk to Peters, Bowers easily cleared the left-field fence with a homer that landed in the middle of the basketball courts.

"I was looking for a strike and wanted to hit the ball hard and that's how it ended up," Bowers said.

Insley said he felt the delay definitely affected Knight. Rihard said the rule is clearly stated in the rule book.

Peters went five strong innings, allowing three hits -- including two infield singles -- and one unearned run. He finished with seven strikeouts and got more support from Steigerwald, who hit a two-out single in the third and added a run-scoring double down the first base line in the fifth.

"Steigerwald had some clutch hits and Denny hit the ball hard in the first inning. Jumping on them with three runs right away was a nice psychological lift," Rihard said.

After the three Westminster errors in the seventh, the Lions got back-to-back doubles from John Hill and Ed Ruch in the seventh off Bowers, who relieved Peters to start the sixth. Hill's drove in two and Ruch's scored one.

Pub Date: 4/04/96

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