North Carroll takes 2 from South Carroll

Wingate, Panthers finish suspended game, 10-5, then go on to 12-2 rout

Baseball

High Schools

April 29, 2003|By Mike Keegan | Mike Keegan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

When fans walked up to the North Carroll baseball field yesterday expecting to see the Panthers warming up for their game against South Carroll, they were shocked to see both teams on the field and the game tied at 5 in the ninth inning.

Their fears of having missed the entire game faded however, after they were informed that the two teams were finishing a game that had been suspended because of darkness.

North Carroll, batting first as an away team on its own field, quickly blew the month-old game open and won, 10-5.

"Coming out and finishing that game off like that gave us a lot of momentum going into the second game," Panthers coach Dennis Snyder said.

After a five-minute break, the two teams started all over again. And the Panthers rode five strong innings from pitcher Elijah Wingate to a 12-2 win. The game ended in the bottom of the sixth when Jon Berich's single scored Ricky Raska, invoking the 10-run mercy rule.

North Carroll (9-3 overall, 9-3 Central Maryland Conference, 6-0 Carroll County) fell behind 2-0 in the first inning, with Tyler Kraus and Corey Greene scoring for the Cavaliers on a Cody Krause single.

"My catcher called a fastball," Wingate said. "But I should have thrown something off-speed because I knew he was looking for it. After that, we mixed it up more and kept them off-balance."

Wingate settled in, and the Panthers' offense rallied with a six-run fourth to take the lead for good.

"I probably left the starter in too long," Cavaliers coach George Richardson said. "But that's because I didn't want the reliever to have to come in with men on base."

Richardson said his team has canceled nine dates because of inclement weather, including five scrimmages. As a result, his pitching staff is relatively inexperienced. It was Jason Parker's first start for the Cavaliers (7-4, 7-4 CMC), and relievers Brian Murray and Jeremy Beck had a combined one-third of an inning experience before the game.

The Cavaliers pitchers struggled in the fourth. North Carroll senior Danny Kahline tied the game at 2 by tagging up from third on Josh Esnor's fly ball to right. And later in the inning, after Murray relieved Parker, Kahline singled home Jim Smith for a 6-2 advantage.

The Panthers quickly solved Murray, scoring four of the 12 runs against him. And in the sixth, Beck couldn't contain North Carroll either. Raska doubled with the bases loaded for an 11-2 lead. Then Berich ended the game with a single two batters later.

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