Glenelg coach Ed Ashwell will gladly take all the good fortune his team is getting this season.
He smiled a sly smile and shrugged his shoulders after yesterday's 6-5 victory over Atholton -- his team's third one-run win this week.
Ashwell knows his seventh-ranked team just as easily could have lost all three games if not for the generosity of the opposing teams.
Yesterday, Atholton (5-3 overall, 3-1 league) made five errors, gave up four unearned runs and scored just one run off two late-inning, bases-loaded situations. The sloppy play wasted a six-hit, complete-game pitching performance by senior left-hander Dan Keyser.
Glenelg (7-1, 4-0) was bailed out for the second time this week by junior left-hander Dennis Pagel, who threw five innings and allowed just one run after starter Sean Lookingbill retired only one of the first four batters and left with a sore back.
Pagel, yesterday's winning pitcher, also threw five innings in relief in Monday's 11-10 victory over Oakland Mills when he picked up a save.
"Pagel did a real nice job," Ashwell said. "Sean [Lookingbill] won't pitch again until after Easter.'"
Mike Goldberg also gave the Gladiators an important effort. He hit a two-run homer in the first inning 365 feet over the center-field fence.
Then he relieved Pagel with the bases loaded and none out in the fifth inning and did not allow a run.
The Raiders had hit three successive singles off Pagel to start the fifth inning. The third single bounced off the center-field fence, and Atholton's Jason Sandner made a mistake when he failed to score on the hit. He held up at third base.
Goldberg came on to strike out Billy Hite. Chad Patterson missed a suicide-squeeze attempt on which Sandner was tagged out by Glenelg catcher Mike Deming. And Goldberg then struck out Patterson to end the inning.
In the seventh inning, a Glenelg error, a double by Sandner and an intentional walk to Pete Yoder loaded the bases with one out for Atholton.
A groundout by Hite scored one run, making it 6-5, but Goldberg struck out Patterson to end the game.
Goldberg struck out five and allowed one hit in the three innings he pitched.
In addition to his home run, he was walked intentionally twice and flew out deep to center.
Deming went 2-for-3 for Glenelg, which scored four runs in the third inning on two hits, three errors and a walk.
Atholton, which was averaging 8.5 runs per game, rapped 10 base hits, including five doubles. Brandon Eierman hit two doubles and a single. Sandner hit a double and a single.
"I think the county is real close," Ashwell said. "There are four or five teams that could win it. Our defense is not where it should be and our offense is capable of much more."
Glenelg made two errors and gave up three unearned runs.