Marriotts Ridge Puts Lid On Hammond, 4-3

Varsity Spring Sports

April 19, 2009|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Fourteenth-ranked Marriotts Ridge does not have the type of lineup that strikes fear into its opponents, so the Mustangs rely on sound defense and good pitching to win games.

In Saturday's Howard County matchup against No. 8 Hammond, Marriotts Ridge made enough plays on offense and locked down the host Golden Bears' potent lineup for a 4-3 victory. The Mustangs handed Hammond its first loss of the season, but they still remain a game back in the conference standings.

"We really tried to focus on our game," said Marriotts Ridge assistant coach Michael Doyle, who was filling in for head coach Paul Eckert, who had a family commitment. "We're not going to score 12 runs, so we have to play good defense to give ourselves a chance."

The Mustangs (7-3, 7-2 county) are opportunistic on offense, and that was the difference against Hammond (8-1, 7-1). In the first inning, Nick Marinelli, who bats third, knocked in two runs after Kevin Kratochwill and Tim Blair each reached base. Marinelli then scored on a sacrifice fly by Dan Myers.

"Our No. 1 and No. 2 hitters do a good job of getting on base, and it makes my job easier," Marinelli said. "Last year, we struggled a little bit early in the season, but we came around. We knew we had to match Hammond's intensity."

Mitchell Smith pitched into the sixth inning before putting the two opening batters on base. Smith allowed two runs on four hits with two strikeouts. Blair finished the game.

A home run by Travis Clark in the fourth inning cut the margin to 3-1, before the game took a controversial turn. In the sixth, a pitch by Danny Wissmann bounced in the dirt and the umpire ruled that the ball hit Myers. Hammond coach Michael Lerner disputed the call to no avail.

Myers wound up scoring on an error to give Marriotts Ridge a 4-1 lead, which turned out to be the winning run. Hammond battled back on an RBI double by Jeff Snyder and a home run by Taylor Kopnitsky in the seventh, but the Golden Bears could not get the tying run across the plate.

Wissmann pitched a complete game with 10 strikeouts and allowed just four hits. After the game, Lerner said the hit-by-pitch was not the difference in the game.

"It is what it is," Lerner said. "One play did not make or break us. Good pitching and defense will beat good hitting every time. And that is what happened today."

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NO. 10 ATHOLTON 13, HOWARD 1:: Jamie Williams tossed a complete game, striking out three, as the Raiders (8-2) defeated the host Lions.

CENTURY 10, LIBERTY 9:: Luke Wright scored the winning run on an error in the bottom of the seventh as the Knights (6-4) came back to defeat the visiting Lions (6-5). Wright, who was hit by a pitch, stole second and advanced to third on a groundout before scoring with two outs on the Liberty error. Ryan McGuirk was 4-for-4 with a double and four RBIs to lead Century.

Boys lacrosse

NO. 6 ST. PAUL'S 7, GARDEN CITY (N.Y.) 5:: Pat Powderly had two goals and an assist as the Crusaders (10-3) captured the Nike Cancer Classic by winning in Haverford, Pa. Taylor Michel also had two goals for St. Paul's in the win.

Girls lacrosse

NO. 14 WINTERS MILL 14, GLENELG 11:: Erin McMunn had five goals to lead the Falcons (6-2) over the visiting Gladiators in the championship match of the Falcon Invitational. Mackenzie Cyr added two goals and six assists for Winters Mill.

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