Vikings overwhelm sloppy Howard

7 errors in 2 innings aid Mt. Hebron's cause, 13-2

High Schools

April 13, 2000|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Sharp pitching by Mount Hebron's Steve Sansone and a defensive meltdown by Howard combined for a 13-2 Vikings victory yesterday at Howard. Mount Hebron (9-2 overall and league) leads a five-team county championship race by a half-game.

The win was No. 9-ranked Mount Hebron's fourth straight and third in three days.

Pitching in windy, chilly weather, Sansone (4-0) three-hit the No. 7-ranked Lions (7-3 overall and league), who had averaged 14 runs a game while winning their last four outings. He struck out seven and walked three in a five-inning contest shortened by the 10-run mercy rule.

"These were the worst conditions I've pitched in this season," Sansone said. "So I stuck with my fastball and split-fingered pitches as much as possible."

Howard had beaten Mount Hebron the last five times the teams played, including a 6-5 opening-day win.

Maryland-bound Lions ace Tony King lasted just two innings while throwing 80 pitches. The 6-foot-4 left-hander struck out six, walked three, hit a batter, allowed three hits and 10 runs.

"He's a really good pitcher, but I don't think he had his control today," Sansone said.

King (1-1) was victimized by his teammates' defensive lapses -- seven errors in the first two innings. Eight of the 10 runs scored against King were unearned.

Three times he struck out batters who reached first after the ball eluded his catcher. All three times the runner scored.

He would have escaped the six-run first inning with just two runs allowed, but his shortstop misplayed a sharp ground ball that had double-play potential. King would have escaped the four-run second inning without a run, but his shortstop again didn't field a potential double-play ground ball.

Max Markotic and Derok Roach hit RBI doubles for Mount Hebron, and Joe Michalski hit an RBI single. Vikings coach Matt Forsyth pinch hit for Markotic and Michalski during a three-run fourth-inning rally, and sent three more pinch hitters to the plate in the fifth inning.

"We played well and it feels good to get a couple of days off," said Forsyth, whose team doesn't play again until April 22.

Howard scored on a 395-foot bases-empty homer by Mike Burke in the fourth inning, and added an unearned run in the fifth inning.

"We didn't field well and they had the better team today," Howard coach Rich Jenkins said.

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