It was a beautiful afternoon for baseball yesterday in Winfield, and South Carroll and visiting Westminster didn't mind playing a little extra. But the Cavaliers made the most of it, scoring a run in the bottom of the eighth for a 2-1 victory.
Appropriately, it was South Carroll starting pitcher Mike Tompkins who came across to score the winning run.
The No. 18 Cavs' senior left-hander pitched seven strong innings, before giving way to winning pitcher Brian Miller, and had three singles on the day -- including a liner down the first-base line to start the eighth.
He scored the game-winning run on Bryan Pittinger's two-out chop to third. Westminster third baseman Chris Jennings, who had just entered the game in the eighth, made a fine diving play to his left to come up with the ball, but his off-balance throw to the plate was off the mark.
"This was great. Eight innings of hard-played baseball with a lot of intensity. I was pumped coming across the plate," said Tompkins.
Both teams had chances to break it open in the first seven innings, but strong pitching from Tompkins, who allowed only an unearned run in the third inning, and Westminster starter Bryan Davidson, who was equal to the task for seven innings, kept runs scarce.
"We blew some opportunities," said Westminster co-coach Carl Rihard. "They're a good ball club, and they hung in there and outlasted us."
South Carroll (9-1, 4-0 in the county) took a 1-0 lead in the second when Buck Haney, who led off the inning with a walk and stole second, scored on an infield error.
The No. 10 Owls (8-3, 1-2) answered in the third when Adam Straskulic reached on an error, stole second and scored on an infield single by Hank Adams.
After Miller came in to relieve Tompkins in the eighth -- leaving two runners on with consecutive strikeouts to end the frame, the Cavaliers were finally able to break through.
Senior first baseman Matt Jones followed Tompkins' lead-off single with a single up the middle. Mathias came in in relief of Davidson. Tim Jackman fouled out to right, moving Tompkins over to third and, with two outs and a 1-2 count, Pittinger sent the sharp chopper to third for the game-winner.
Coming off their first loss of the season -- a 12-1 setback to Thomas Johnson -- the Cavaliers responded with a win that left coach Bradley Collins pleased.
"It's great to have this feeling, and I'm proud to see them battle back like they did," he said.
Pub Date: 4/17/97