Centennial wins, 6-4, on only 3 hits Mistake-prone Wilde Lake blows early three-run lead

April 18, 1997|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Centennial pitcher Denny Chapman said this year's Eagles have a tremendous amount of heart.

Wilde Lake probably will have little trouble seeing Chapman's point after No. 11 Centennial rallied from an early three-run deficit to score a 6-4 victory over the No. 13 Wildecats -- despite getting only three hits.

Centennial (10-2, 9-1) simply did a good job of manufacturing runs. The Eagles had just two RBIs for the day -- none on base hits. But they scored two runs on errors, one on a passed ball and another on a wild pitch.

The Eagles caused problems with their aggressive base running. They repeatedly took chances, stole bases, and tried to advance runners.

"Fortunately, when we need the plays, we've gotten them," said Centennial coach Ron Martin. "We've been aggressive on the base paths all year. We like to run."

Their running helped break a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the sixth. Pat Conners reached on an infield single and moved up on Matt Eller's sacrifice bunt. Conners went to third on a passed ball, and Marcus Jones then got hit by a pitch.

John Tokasz then hit a bouncer to short. Chris Matschat charged and made a good throw home, but Conners just beat the tag for a 5-4 lead. Tokasz then stole second, and Shawn Cudzillo walked before a wild pitch brought Jones home.

Centennial looked to be in trouble early when the Wildecats (9-3, 7-3) jumped out 3-0 in the top of the first on Tony Jackson's three-run, line-drive homer to right-center field off an outside fast ball from Chapman. Matschat and Chris Yatter also scored.

But Chapman singled and Jamie McDonald walked with two outs in the bottom of the first, and both scored when the Wildecats made two errors on the same play on Conners' grounder.

That sliced the lead to 3-2 and put the Eagles back into the game.

"It definitely settled us down," said Chapman. "It calmed us."

Said Wilde Lake coach Don Storr: "It was a costly play. Against good teams like that, you can't make mistakes."

Centennial tied the game in the second when Tokasz walked and later scored on a passed ball. Andy Chung gave the Wildecats a 4-3 lead in the fourth on a passed ball, but the Eagles tied it in the bottom half when pinch runner Scott Windish scored the same way.

The loss wasted a good effort from Wilde Lake starter Mike Dunnington. The right-hander gave up the three hits and threw ** well most of the time.

Also, the Wildecats had their chances against Chapman. The tall right-hander struck out nine and allowed only five hits, but he walked six, and Wilde Lake had base runners in every inning.

The Wildecats put the tying runs on in the seventh. Wilde Lake had runners on second and third with two outs, but Chapman ended the game by fanning Chung.

"This is a scrappy, young, do-anything-to-win team," said Chapman. "It has the most amount of heart of any team I've played with."

Girls lacrosse

No. 2 Roland Park 12, No. 5 St. Mary's 7: After beating top-ranked Notre Dame Prep Tuesday, St. Mary's did not have enough left for a repeat performance yesterday against the Reds. The Saints struggled with their connections and the host Reds capitalized in an Association of Independent Schools A Division Lears League game.

Pub Date: 4/18/97

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