Old Mill outlasts Chesapeake

English, Long combine for 7 hits in 7-6 victory

Baseball

High School

March 29, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Old Mill broke open a seesaw affair with five runs in the top of the seventh yesterday to post a 12-6 victory at Chesapeake.

After Old Mill went up 1-0 in the first, the lead changed five times with Old Mill taking the lead for good at 7-6 in the sixth inning on Jay Long's two-out, two-run double.

The seventh-ranked Patriots (2-1) got seven of their 16 hits from the No. 2 and No. 3 hitters in Craig English (3-for-4, four runs scored) and Long (4-for-5, two doubles, four RBIs).

Old Mill had three, two-run doubles in all for half of its runs, and six of its hits came in the six-run seventh. The Patriots gave All-County left-hander Steve Johnson all the support he needed to post his first win of the season in outlasting the Cougars' John Philipp.

Philipp, a senior right-hander, left after six innings and the Cougars trailing 7-6. Relievers Luther Cook and Scott Duncan couldn't hold the Patriots.

Johnson, who lost the season opener by 5-3 to Northeast last Friday, went the distance yesterday, throwing 107 pitches on another cold March day not conducive to baseball, especially for pitchers.

The Old Mill ace gave up seven hits, struck out three, walked three and hit two batters while struggling early and never really getting loose. Admittedly a warm-weather pitcher, Johnson had trouble with his breaking pitch until the last three innings.

"My curve ball wasn't working the first couple innings, but it started working at the end of the game," Johnson said.

After Long doubled in English for a 1-0 lead in the Patriots' initial at-bat, Johnson set down the No. 14 Cougars (2-2) in order on just nine pitches in the first. Johnson would struggle with his location over the next three innings.

Chesapeake got RBIs from Scotty Duncan, Jimmy Wienke and Brandon Napier to take a 3-1 lead in the second inning, but Old Mill regained the lead with a three-run third. Singles by Long and Justin Dove plus a sacrifice fly by Johnson made it 4-3 Old Mill.

Keith Ford's two-out, two-run double gave Chesapeake a 5-4 lead after four innings, but Johnson was settling down.

Johnson's second run-scoring sacrifice fly of the game scored English and tied the game at five in the Old Mill fifth. Sophomore second baseman Nick Bowen hit a shot over the left-field fence to put the Cougars on top for the last time by 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth.

"While I was struggling, I had faith in my team because we had been hitting the ball all day," said Johnson.

Brian Windsor and Tyler Young delivered identical two-run doubles in the crucial seventh with each bouncing the ball over third with the infield up.

"We thought we had the game in hand going into the seventh, but Old Mill hit the ball off our relievers and did what they had to do to win," said Chesapeake coach Jim Simms.

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