Glenelg's playoff run, title hopes end, 8-4

'98, '99 state champ beaten by Brunswick, errors in South final

Class 1A baseball

High Schools

May 23, 2000|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

BRUNSWICK - Glenelg's quest for a third straight Class 1A state championship ended yesterday in the Class 1A South Region championship game. So did its streak of 13 straight playoff wins.

Brunswick's Alan Webber (7-0), the losing pitcher to Glenelg in last season's regional championship game, gained his revenge by striking out 14 Gladiators, including eight of the last nine batters he faced, and his teammates hit three bases-empty home runs in an 8-4 victory. Brunswick improved to 20-1, winning a twice-postponed game.

Glenelg (15-7) was its own worst enemy, making five errors and creating five unearned runs.

Three of those errors were made by starting pitcher Chris Bowen (9-4), who pitched an eight-hitter and struck out five."The bottom line is that we just made too many errors," Glenelg coach Tom Thrasher said. "Brunswick is a good club, was supposed to win and played almost flawless."

Brunswick did not make an error but didn't have many fielding chances with Webber on the mound."We haven't seen a pitcher like that," Bowen said. "Their 3-4-5 hitters were the best we've seen. They hit a ball 350 feet off a pitch that was 8 inches off the ground."

Bowen was ready to pitch last Friday, and then again Saturday, but postponements pushed the game back to yesterday. Bowen said he thinks the delay may have hurt him."I wasn't sharp in the first couple of innings," the left-handed junior said. "We weren't sure what to think of Brunswick, but they are for real. We did think this would be the state championship game."

Glenelg was overanxious at the plate. Almost every one of Webber's strikeouts was on a high pitch."I told them to be aggressive at the plate," Thrasher said. "Sometimes you can be too aggressive."

Twelve of the 14 strikeouts were on swinging third strikes."I'd get ahead two strikes and know they were looking at something to swing at, and I'd put a little extra juice on it," Webber said. "I wanted revenge real bad because they knocked me around pretty good last year."

Brunswick jumped ahead 3-0 in the second inning on an infield hit, a throwing error by Bowen to second base, a bunt single, a bases-loaded walk, an RBI single and an error, as right fielder Brian Hollrah's perfect throw to the plate was dropped.

Brunswick added two runs in the third inning on home runs by Willie McLane and Brad Gaither.

Glenelg scored three runs in the fourth on singles by Bowen and Jason Weszka, and a three-run homer by Hollrah.

Brunswick scored two more times in the fourth on two doubles and an error.

Glenelg added one run in the fifth inning on three walks and a single by Bowen, but a base-running mistake ruined a potential big inning.

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