Atholton bounces back, beats Howard

Down 5-0, Raiders rally to get past Lions, 11-8


April 23, 1999|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Atholton found itself five runs behind in the third inning yesterday against Howard, the league's hottest team.

Instead of folding, the No. 12 Raiders (8-4 overall, 7-4 league) responded with the kind of poise that has helped them win two of the last three county titles, rallying to end Howard's nine-game winning streak, 11-8.

The Raiders overcame deficits of 5-0 and 7-6, and broke an 8-8 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning with a three-run rally.

Adam Beaver hit a game-winning two-run homer in the sixth, Keith McMullen had three RBI hits, shortstop Seth Williams played spectacular defense and relief pitcher Nick Hartman checked Howard's heavy-hitting attack enough to allow the Raiders to come back.

Beaver launched his fourth home run of the season to right field off reliever Mike Burke. Ross Laidig was aboard on a lead-off single.

"All I saw were fastballs and the one I hit was belt-high on a 2-0 count," Beaver said.

McMullen, a senior starting his second game at designated hitter, produced an RBI single in Atholton's six-run third inning, an RBI double in its two-run fifth inning and an RBI single in its three-run sixth inning.

Williams made nine assists and one putout. His leaping grab of Burke's line drive with two runners in scoring position turned into a crucial inning-ending double play in the first.

Hartman (3-0, two saves) pitched five innings of seven-hit relief.

Howard (9-4, 7-4), coming off a 9-2 win over league-leading Centennial on Tuesday, left runners at third and second in each of the first two scoreless innings.

"We lost it early," Lions coach Rich Jenkins said. "We left 10 guys on base. We hit it hard but they caught them. We've been pulling out these kinds of games. We just couldn't pull it out today."

Pub Date: 4/23/99

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