Bullpen falters in Hammond's loss to North Hagerstown

May 26, 2010|By Colin Stevens, The Baltimore Sun

After 51/2 innings Tuesday night, No. 3 Hammond held a 4-2 edge over North Hagerstown. But eight runs in the bottom of the sixth gave the Hubs a commanding lead, propelling them to a 10-4 victory in the state Class 2A baseball semifinals at Arundel High.

Things fell apart for the Golden Bears (21-3) after coach Michael Lerner pulled senior starting pitcher Danny Wissmann with one out and two men on in the sixth. Lerner said he and his coaching staff made the move because Wissmann was struggling to find the strike zone after throwing 122 pitches.

"He lost a little bit of command, so you try and weather the storm a little bit," Lerner said. "The guys I brought in were both 5-0 with ERAs below 2.50, so it's just a decision that myself and the coaching staff made and I live with it."

After pulling Wissman, who allowed five hits and struck out nine, three relievers were needed to get out of the inning.

Of the eight runs scored, one came on a walk with the bases loaded, one on a suicide squeeze to tie the game, one on a balk and four on wild pitches.

Only two RBIs were recorded in the inning.

This was Lerner's last game coaching the Golden Bears after nine seasons. He is taking a year off from coaching after having his first son.

colin.stevens@baltsun.com

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