Last-inning rally boosts Glenelg over Mt. Hebron Kurdziel single drives in deciding run in 5-4 thriller

March 25, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

A young Glenelg team won a confidence-boosting, come-from-behind victory over 14th-ranked Mount Hebron yesterday, 5-4.

The No. 17-ranked Gladiators (1-1) did it by scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh on a single by Jeff Starcher, a double by Brent Waskey, a bases-loaded walk to David Boteler and a game-winning single by Dan Kurdziel.

Mount Hebron (1-1) had gained its lead in the top of the seventh on a two-run home run by Tim Odachowski, but the Vikings wasted an opportunity to score more runs that inning. Brian Cudzilo followed the home run with a double, Chris Mowry walked and the Vikings pulled off a successful double steal, putting runners at third and second with one out.

Ryan Burgess, who had a rally-starting single in the sixth inning, missed a suicide squeeze bunt sign, however, and Cudzilo was caught in a rundown. Burgess then fanned to end the inning.

"That double steal really surprised me," Boteler, the Glenelg catcher, said. "And it was big-time luck for us that he missed the squeeze sign."

Boteler, one of three Glenelg starting seniors, went 2-for-3 with a walk and drove in one run. His single was the lone Gladiators hit in a two-run sixth inning that put his team ahead, 3-2.

By making four errors, Mount Hebron's defense collapsed in that inning behind sophomore, side-arming relief pitcher Chris Mowry. The defense was little better in the seventh for Mowry, as Waskey's double and Kurdziel's game-winning single were both catchable fly balls that went for hits.

"Defensively, we gave up some runs and the missed sign cost us," Vikings coach Pat Crouse said. "We have to be aggressive on the bases and play good defense to win."

The starting pitchers for both teams were effective. After five innings, the game was tied 1-1 on third-inning home runs by Glenelg's Dave Harris and Mount Hebron Randy Zwitch.

Zwitch, the Vikings' starting pitcher, went five strong innings, striking out eight batters and allowing two hits and one run, before giving way to Mowry.

"Randy's curve was good the whole game," Kurdziel said. "I was happy to see the relief pitcher because I like side-armers. "He [Mowry] didn't mix speeds and was usually around the plate, and I didn't see a curve."

Glenelg starting pitcher Starcher allowed one hit and one run through four innings, before Harris took over in the fifth inning and picked up the win.

Pub Date: 3/25/97

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