S. Carroll elbows way over Liberty Hit batter pushes winner home in tense, 2-1 battle

March 28, 1997|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

South Carroll's Matt Jones smiled when looking at his left elbow in the seventh inning yesterday. That took some doing, because a huge red blotch and some torn skin disfigured it. But Jones had reason for his happiness.

He was hit on the elbow by a pitch from Frank Campanella with the bases loaded and one out, forcing in Jesse Martin to give host South Carroll a 2-1 victory over No. 11 Liberty.

This was another big victory for South Carroll, which is trying to rebound from a sub-.500 season last year -- after having made the state finals in 1995. The Cavaliers are 4-0 and gaining confidence.

"That was a great win for us," said South Carroll coach Bradley Collins. "These [guys] came in with a great attitude. We've got timely hitting again."

They had just enough of that -- and hit batters -- to manufacture a run in the bottom of the seventh after Liberty's Shawn Rausch had tied the game in the top half with a two-out RBI single.

Pinch-hitter Martin led off the bottom of the seventh with a swinging bunt that died about 10 feet up the first-base line. Catcher Rausch couldn't get off a throw and Martin reached.

Kevin Damiano then walked, and Liberty coach Steve Insley pulled starter Brock Shaffer for Campanella. After fouling off an attempted bunt and several pitches, Drew Parks popped out.

But Campanella then nicked Mike Tompkins on his sleeve with a 1-2 pitch to load the bases. Campanella fell behind Jones, and hit him with a 3-1 pitch.

"I wanted to get hit by a pitch, a sacrifice fly, walk, or do anything to get the run across," said Jones. "It was a fastball, and it kind of came in on me."

Starting pitchers Shaffer and Tompkins had dominated this game. Tompkins allowed only one run on two hits in 6 2/3 innings. In one of baseball's ironies, Tim Jackman came in and threw two pitches to get out of the seventh and get the victory.

Shaffer took the tough loss, allowing two runs on five hits in six-plus innings. He fell behind on batters at times but made many good pitches to get out of trouble.

But the Cavaliers had their chances, leaving 10 on base. They left the bases loaded in the first. South Carroll then saw Damiano get called out at home in the second for running out of the baseline, trying to avoid Rausch, and score on Jones' fly to right.

They took a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Brian Miller scored from third as second baseman Jon Felmey made a high throw to second going for a force. But the Cavaliers still left the bases loaded that inning.

Liberty tied it in the seventh. Felmey led off with a walk and went to second on a wild pitch. Matt Sargent popped to short and Ryan Renehan flied deep to center before Rausch tied it with a soft single to right-center -- but South Carroll answered moments later.

"Good teams win ballgames like that," said Insley. "They're a solid team right now."

Pub Date: 3/28/97

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