Liberty Tips Owls With 2 In 7th

Sargent's `Biggest Hit' Plates Tying, Winning Runs In No. 7 Lions' Comeback

Baseball

April 26, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Over the past few years in Carroll County baseball, the Westminster Owls consistently have found ways to come back and win one-run games. Yesterday afternoon in Eldersburg, it was the Liberty Lions' turn.

Matt Sargent's liner up the middle with one out scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to give the No. 7 Lions a 6-5 win over No. 9 Westminster.

The Lions (11-2 overall, 4-0 in Carroll County) came back from a 4-0 deficit, and Sargent, a senior outfielder, was right in the middle of it all.

His sixth-inning homer, a lined shot well past the left-field fence, cut Westminster's lead to 5-3, and after the Lions pushed another run across in the inning, he got another chance in the seventh with runners on second and third.

"I got a fastball [from Westminster reliever Bryan Davidson] up and over and just hit it right back up the middle. It's my biggest hit this season," Sargent said.

Liberty coach Steve Insley said that was nothing new from his cleanup batter, who is hitting .450 and now has 24 RBIs.

"Matt's been doing it all year long -- RBI after RBI. He just comes ready to play," he said.

Sophomore Wes Peters came ready to pitch when called upon in the fifth inning. Liberty starter Brock Shaffer was tiring, walking the bases loaded and walking another with one out to bring home the Owls' fifth run.

Peters, relying on his fastball, struck out Matt Bowers, who had homered to deep right in his previous at-bat, and then Chris Jennings to end the inning. Bowers then pitched two more scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, to get the win.

"It was a big game and a big situation, and he didn't let the moment get the best of him. He did a great job," Insley said.

The Owls (10-4, 1-3) have been known to somehow find a way to win close games late. The 1995 Westminster team went 20-3 overall and had an 11-3 record in one-run games -- rallying eight times in the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th innings to win. Just last week, the Owls scored 10 runs in the home seventh for an improbable 14-13 win over strong Thomas Johnson.

That all made yesterday's win even more rewarding for Insley and the Lions.

"We never gave up," he said. "[Westminster starter Chris] Mathias pitched an outstanding game. The key was not trying to get it all back at once. Teams who win in their last at-bat have a lot of heart."

Liberty third baseman Jon Hill went 2-for-2 with a run-scoring triple in the fourth to get the Lions' first run across. On two hits and a walk, Westminster shortstop Hank Adams scored three runs.

Pub Date: 4/26/97

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