3-2 win no breeze for Mt. Hebron

Squeeze gives Vikings victory over Wilde Lake

High Schools

Baseball

April 19, 2001|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

On a windy day that turned likely home runs into long, fly-ball outs, Mount Hebron and Wilde Lake resorted to playing an old-school version of elegant, strategic baseball.

Players on both sides worked the count for walks, stole bases and scored on suicide-squeeze bunts, including the most important play of the game in the seventh inning, as the Vikings' Joe Cipro bunted home Nick Hoffner to capture a 3-2 victory.

"We've been working a lot on using everything in our repertoire to manufacture runs," said Mount Hebron coach Matt Forsyth. "No. 1, it makes the game more fun, and No. 2, it obviously worked today. If we don't pull that stuff out, then we lose the baseball game."

The Vikings and Wildecats played both brilliantly and brutally at times. Wilde Lake pitcher Brandon Schultheis held the Vikings to three hits over seven innings, but the Wildecats didn't help themselves on defense, committing five errors.

"That's pretty unacceptable on our part," said Wilde Lake coach Don Storr. "That's not really what we've been doing. We went to the Leonardtown tournament last week and made two errors in two games. But [Tuesday] against Glenelg, we made three errors and we turn around and make five today. That's not a lot of fun."

It could have been a slugfest had the wind not gotten ahold of at least three long fly balls. Vikings catcher Joe Michalski crushed a ball to left field, but ended up as just another deep, fly-ball out. Wilde Lake's Mike Zook hit a similar towering drive that looked promising at first but suffered a similar fate.

Mount Hebron took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on an RBI single from third baseman Blake Phipps that looked like it might hold up behind the pitching of Dave Goldberg. But things got tight in the seventh when Goldberg walked the first two batters, then made an error at second base, allowing the tying run to score, after being relieved by John Zable.

Fortunes turned right back in the bottom of the inning, however, as Nick Hoffner reached on a deep fly-ball error, then avoided a tag at the plate after a nice bunt by Cipro.

"We're very happy with what we did today," Forsyth said. "We feel like we can make some noise in the second half of the season. To accomplish that, we need to win these close games, and we were able to pull it out today."

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