Golden Bears Blank Raiders

Clark's Three-run Homer Starts Rout As Hammond Goes To 9-1

April 24, 2009|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,

Hammond third baseman Travis Clark stepped up to the plate in the first inning with two men on and thought Atholton pitcher Wes Hand was going to try to strike him out on curveballs.

"The guys in front of me were all getting curveballs," Clark said. "But he threw me a fastball right down the middle and I adjusted to it. It was right in the wheelhouse."

Clark hit a three-run home run, and the 10-0 rout of No. 14 Atholton was on. The Golden Bears scored four more runs in the fourth and added two in the bottom of the fifth. When Joey Logan singled in the 10th run, No. 7 Hammond (9-1, 8-1 Howard County) had the win in five innings.

"Atholton is second in the county, and after losing to Marriotts Ridge [on Saturday], we wanted everyone to know we could still play," Clark said. "This is huge."

Hammond pitcher Danny Wissman gave up three hits and worked his way out of two bases-loaded situations despite struggling with his delivery in the first and fourth innings, in which he hit four batters.

"Today we were just fortunate," Hammond coach Mike Lerner said. "There is no way we're 10 runs better than Atholton. They're well-coached, they hit, they play defense and they have good pitching. Danny is our ace. He didn't have his best stuff today, but that's what a team does. The other 14 guys are there to pick each other up."

Atholton coach Kevin Kelly, whose team dropped to 9-3 overall, 8-3 in the county, acknowledged that on this day, Hammond was the better team.

"We got a couple balls up and they hit them out of the park," said Kelly, who stuck with Hand, who allowed eight hits through four innings. "I thought we hung in there and hit the ball hard a couple times. ... They made the plays, and they were the better team today."

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