Atholton hands Glenelg first loss

Rivers' 2-out single in 7th backs Krueger's pitching

Baseball

High Schools

April 06, 2003|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Atholton's hopes for repeating as a Class 2A state baseball champion this season rested on some unknowns because several dominant Raiders graduated.

One of those unknowns, pitcher Joel Krueger, made a convincing argument yesterday that he'll be the effective pitcher that No. 10 Atholton needs to make another run at a title.

Krueger, whose best pitch was his curveball, held hard-hitting and previously unbeaten Glenelg (5-1 overall, 4-1 Howard County) to just two hits and no runs through four innings until his defense fell apart.

The senior right-hander then survived fatigue and a determined Glenelg over the final three innings to produce an 8-7 victory thanks to a game-winning, two-out single by Vyt Rivers in the bottom of the seventh.

"I got a little tired in the fifth inning but kept my composure," said Krueger, who had pitched only one inning this season because of rainouts.

"We needed this from Krueger. We found out he can beat a good team. I thought he threw a good game, but we opened the gates by making errors," Atholton coach Kevin Kelly said.

Atholton (4-2 overall and league) made four errors that led to four unearned runs, including two errors in Glenelg's three-run fifth inning.

Josh Weszka swung the biggest bat for Glenelg by hitting a single, double and triple. His two-run triple in the seventh inning tied the game at 7, completing a comeback from a 5-0 deficit after four innings.

"You can't leave runners on third base and expect to win these kind of games," said Weszka. His seventh-inning triple came with no outs, but he was stranded at third base when the next three batters were retired.

Mike Corona, who has pitched well for Glenelg this season, allowed 12 hits and three walks and he hit four batters. He opened the seventh inning by hitting the leadoff batter, Noah Smith.

Four of the runs Corona allowed were also unearned.

"We just made too many mistakes," said Glenelg coach Tom Thrasher.

Two Atholton runs also scored on wild pitches. Atholton had only one extra-base hit, a double by Krueger, who also singled, walked and reached on an error.

"We're not hitting for power. And we're just not hitting the way we should," said Kelly. "And that magnifies mistakes. James Conrad and Vyt Rivers each had big hits for us - as they're supposed to. We got the right people to the plate at the right times."

Conrad hit a two-run, two-out single in the fifth inning.

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