North Carroll's offense heats up, helps Panthers rout S. Carroll, 11-1

April 12, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The North Carroll Panthers finally found the nice warm day they've been looking for this season and made the most of it, pounding out 10 hits and getting a solid pitching performance from senior Jason Brezler to come away with an 11-1 win over visiting South Carroll yesterday in Hampstead.

Senior third baseman Jon Plunkert provided a good part of the offense with a homer, triple, single and three RBIs and Brezler pitched all five innings of the game that ended early due to the 10-run rule.

The Panthers, just 1-1 on the season with two suspended games to be finished and a handful of other makeups, were glad to see the sun shining.

"We were happy to be playing. The kids have been champing at the bit lately," said North Carroll coach Denny Snyder. "I was very pleased with the pitching performance from Jason Brezler. He threw strikes and anytime a pitcher throws strikes, it keeps the defense involved. He gave us a big senior effort.

"We also hit the ball well; even our outs were hit hard. As long as we're hitting the ball hard like that, the coach has to be happy."

A three-run first inning that included a two-run homer from the left-handed Plunkert over the fence in right-center gave Brezler all he would need. He allowed just five hits and one run with seven strikeouts, challenging the South Carroll batters with his fastball.

"My fastball was working," he said. "The couple of times I gave up hits was with my off-speed stuff. When our team can get on top early, we can win."

Plunkert went the other way in the third, finding the gap in left-center for a run-scoring triple. Barrett Gugliotta and Brian Yoakum added run-scoring singles in the inning to push the lead to 6-1 and the Panthers added five more in the fifth, with Brezler collecting his second hit and second RBI of the game.

"We've been at the batting cage a lot, but that's not really live [pitching]," said Plunkert. "It looked a little shaky in batting practice with no one hitting the ball real hard. Everybody hit the ball real well [in the game]."

South Carroll coach Brad Collins, who lost seven regulars and the majority of his pitching staff from last year's state final team, is confident things will turn around.

"We fell behind early and got a little dejected and that's where I've got to come in as the coach and get things back together," Collins said. "We have some quality ball players and there's a few kinks we need to work out and we'll be OK."

Pub Date: 4/12/96

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