Lamonte, North Carroll foil Liberty again, 4-3

Seventh-inning RBI gives Panthers Key tourney title


April 04, 1999|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Rusty Lamonte's RBI single in the bottom of the seventh allowed North Carroll to get the best of Liberty again, 4-3, last night in the title game of the Francis Scott Key Tournament at Memorial Park.

Lamonte's single brought home Jeff Peltzer with the winning run. Lamonte was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

"It was a lucky bounce," said Lamonte of his hit that just squirted through the infield into center. "We played well as a team, and we didn't get down."

It was the second meeting between the Carroll County rivals in less than two weeks. North Carroll (3-1) rallied for a 7-4 victory on March 23.

North Carroll was one out away from winning the game in the top of seventh, but Justin Raynor's throw pulled Chris Wineke off first, allowing Joe Pugliese to score with the tying run.

Peltzer started the Panthers' last at-bat with a single to center. Tim Wilfong bunted him over to third. With two outs, and down 1-2 in the count, Lamonte came through with the winning hit.

"They gave us opportunities, and we didn't take advantage," said Liberty coach Erik Barnes. "It was a great game, and one little mistake can cost you."

The Lions (1-3), who won last year's tournament over Francis Scott Key, opened the scoring in the third.

Pugliese coaxed a walk, then his pinch runner, Craig Rauser, moved to second on a wild pitch by Panthers starter Mark Campbell.

After a grounder by Kevin Magaw moved Rauser to third, Carl Lowery lined a 3-2 fastball into center for a 1-0 advantage.

Hitless through the first three innings against Liberty starter Perry Surtain, the Panthers broke through.

Lamonte started the rally with a single to left, then stole second. After moving to third on a groundout, Lamonte crossed the plate on a wild pitch by Surtain.

Campbell dropped a double inside the left-field line, then advanced to third on a grounder. Chad Lettau brought him with a single to center, giving North Carroll a 3-2 lead.

"It came down to pitching and defense," said North Carroll coach Dennis Snyder. "Rusty came through when we needed him, but it was a well-played high school game."

The Panthers advanced to the title game with a 6-0 victory over the tourney hosts thanks to a three-hit shutout by senior Justin Raynor yesterday morning. Raynor struck out 12 and walked one.

Liberty scored seven runs in the third inning in its first-round victory over High Point of Prince George's County. Pugliese led the Lions attack with two hits and three RBIS.

Francis Scott Key dropped an 11-3 decision to Harford Tech in the consolation. Junior Jason Cashen was the lone bright spot for the hosts, getting a double and a triple. Harford Tech had dropped a 7-5 decision to High Point.

Pub Date: 4/04/99

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