Nemesis Hebron knocks outright title from Atholton's grasp


A photo caption in the May 13 issue of The Howard County Sun misidentified a pitcher in Monday's baseball game between Mount Hebron and Atholton. The pitcher was Alan Vandenberge of Mount Hebron.

8, The Howard County Sun regrets the error.

Mount Hebron, a team that had given Atholton fits all season, dealt the Raiders a tough defeat Monday, the final day of the regular season.

The Vikings' 8-2 victory denied Atholton an outright county baseball title. Atholton's loss combined with a 5-0 Glenelg victory over Howard on Monday left the Raiders tied with Glenelg for the championship.

Mount Hebron starting pitcher Erik Volland threw five innings of three-hit, two-run ball, and Alan Vandeberg finished up, allowing just one hit. Each pitcher walked one. Volland's record is 5-1.

"Mount Hebron's pitching has given us trouble all year," Atholton coach Kevin Kelly said. "We don't like settling for a tie and certainly had our opportunities to win it. Give Glenelg credit for hanging in there."

Vandeberg, who was Mount Hebron's designated hitter for the first five innings, also doubled and tripled. In 14 innings on the mound against Atholton this year he allowed just two runs.

Chris Leinauer, Mike Fadrowski, Mike Carter and Mike Cole also had RBI base hits for Mount Hebron, which had been in a team batting slump.

"It was sure nice to get those hits," Vikings coach Dave Appleby said. "Hopefully we're playing our best going into the playoffs. If we hit, we'll be in good shape."

The loss had significant playoff ramifications for Atholton. Kelly believes his team now will have to travel to Thomas Johnson in Frederick on Friday to play its opening Region III Class 3A game. Had the Raiders beaten Mount Hebron, they would have played at home.

Mount Hebron is a likely fourth seed in the Region II Class 2A playoffs with Patapsco or Hereford its opponent on Friday.

Atholton knew it was in for a tough game. In a tournament this spring, Mount Hebron won, 2-1.

And in the first regular-season meeting between the teams last month, Hebron held a 4-1 lead going into the bottom of the seventh before Atholton produced a four-run winning rally.

But on Monday, Hebron jumped on Atholton pitcher Bryan Egolf for two runs in the first inning and another in the second.

Ron Bates opened the first inning by walking. Tony Yanero hit a one-out single. And Fadrowski drove in two runs with a single to right-center field.

Egolf struggled with his control, walking the leadoff batter in both innings. Both of those runners scored.

Hebron's Tony Califano led off the second inning by walking. He moved to third on Carter's single, and scored by stealing home.

Egolf had Califano hung up halfway between third base and home, but Califano managed to beat the throw home when Egolf hesitated and then threw high.

Atholton scored once in the top of the third on a walk to Brian Smith, a groundout and two wild pitches.

The Raiders inched within one run, 3-2, on Brian Gick's solo home run in the top of the fifth inning.

But the Vikings buried Atholton in the bottom of the fifth, scoring five runs on six hits.

Vandeberg led off by doubling. Leinauer hit a one-out, two-run home run. Fadrowski singled. Pinch hitter Dave Stevenson singled. After Califano grounded into a fielder's choice, Carter doubled home two runs and Cole singled home a run. The inning ended when Cole was called out for running into second baseman Brian Van Deusen on a ground ball by Ron Bates.

Atholton got its first two batters on base in the sixth inning but failed to score.

The Raiders, 14-6 overall, dropped to 11-3 in league play. Hebron finished the regular season at 13-7 and 9-5.

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