Bel Air rolls along, beating C.M. Wright for 7th in row

5-3 victory leaves Bobcats half game back in division

Baseball

High Schools

May 01, 2004|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

It was only three weeks ago that the Bel Air baseball team had a 2-3 record and wasn't even mentioned as a contender in the top division of the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference.

Suddenly, the Bobcats are the hottest team in Harford County, recording their seventh straight victory yesterday in beating No. 7 and visiting C. Milton Wright, 5-3, which moved them a half game behind the Mustangs for the Chesapeake Division lead.

After scoring three runs in the first inning, the Bobcats (9-3 overall, 7-2 league) produced two in the third to break a 3-3 tie and rode the pitching of senior left-hander Jorgen Eliason the rest of the way.

Settling in after allowing four hits and three runs in the top of the second, Eliason scattered seven hits and struck out eight Mustangs (11-3, 8-2) to earn the complete-game victory.

"Nobody gave us respect at the beginning of the year, but now, I think we've earned a little from everybody," said Eliason, who added an RBI single in the first.

After roughing up No. 11 Fallston, 13-8, earlier this week, the Bobcats had nine hits yesterday, eight off C. Milton Wright's left-handed starter, Mike Roberts, who was relieved by Eddie Scarborough in the sixth.

Surprisingly, Bel Air also got plenty of help from its archrival as C. Milton Wright made four errors, leading to four unearned runs by the Bobcats.

"We just didn't play defense today," said Mustangs coach Bryan Linz, whose team got two hits each from catcher Caleb Cole and shortstop Steve Donithan.

Bel Air capitalized on the Mustangs' miscues, loading the bases with no outs in the first as junior center fielder Andrew Berry reached on an error and second baseman Scott Slembecker and shortstop Dan Blewett singled. Adam Berry and Brett Spivey hit RBI groundouts, then Eliason's single scored Blewett for a 3-0 lead.

The Mustangs got the three runs right back in the second with singles by Robbie Rowland, Wyatt Lee and Donithan, but Eliason then regained control.

He retired the Mustangs in order in the third and the fourth innings, and got out of a jam in the fifth when he induced Brian Ford to hit into a double play.

"I just got in a zone," Eliason said. "I was getting my curveball over and I was hitting my spots more often."

Bel Air got the decisive two runs in the third with three hits and two errors. With the bases loaded and one out, third baseman Scott Eaton singled and the ball was misplayed in the outfield, allowing two runs to score.

"It's a huge game, but we have four big games next week," said Bobcats coach John Swanson, whose team will have a rematch with the Mustangs on Thursday. "So this one is huge, but next week, that's our season."

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