Production from the bottom of the batting order is always a bonus, and when it happens with your ace on the hill, victory is guaranteed.
No. 3 Old Mill got a homer and two RBIs each from its Nos. 7 and 8 hitters in the order to go with a typical Mike Ziegler effort to defeat No. 2 Chesapeake, 8-4, yesterday in Lake Shore.
The victory gave Old Mill (8-0 overall) sole possession of first place in the North Division with a 4-0 record. Chesapeake is 4-2 and 3-1.
Mark Campbell, the Patriots' designated hitter who bats seventh, hit a two-run homer and catcher Steve Reinhardt, who follows him in the order, hit a bases-empty homer and doubled in a run. Campbell and Reinhardt led a nine-hit attack that chased Chesapeake ace Jared Vogt (2-1) and made a winner out of Ziegler.
Ziegler (4-0) scattered eight hits, did not walk a batter and struck out 13 on 110 pitches.
"Ziegler is the best we've seen this year," said Chesapeake coach Jim Simms. "I think a lot of our kids got intimidated."
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound right-hander has struck out 32 batters in his last two outings and his teammates gave him all the runs he needed in a five-run second inning.
Vogt (three innings, four hits, three strikeouts) was the victim of some uncharacteristic defensive play by the Cougars in the crucial inning in which the Patriots scored all five runs after two outs.
"We choked; I'm not making any excuses, " said Simms, whose Cougars committed four errors in the second inning. "We couldn't make routine plays and that's the first time that's happened this year.
Doug Bast reached on an infield hit and Campbell followed with a two-run homer to left. After Reinhardt got aboard on an error by shortstop Mike Bianco, courtesy runner Brandon White moved to second on a single to left by Joaquin Pla.
Cougars left fielder Ryan Blackistan made two errors on the play, first kicking Pla's hit, then overthrowing third base to send White home and Pla to second.
Vogt struck out Danny Miller, but catcher Dave Stepp couldn't handle the third strike in the dirt, and heaved it into right field, scoring Pla and sending Miller to second.
A passed ball and a wild pitch brought Miller home for a 5-0 Old Mill lead.
Pub Date: 4/08/97