Mervo's Jacob Frankenburger struck out the game's final batter in yesterday's 5-4 win at Baltimore City league rival Patterson, then threw his hands skyward in celebration before joining his already jubilant teammates.
"We don't win a lot against Patterson, so this is a real big deal," said Frankenburger, whose personal record improved to 3-0 and his Mustangs' teammates to 4-0. "It's always going to be tight with them."
Frankenburger struck out seven and walked one while yielding five hits. But he had a rough start.
Frankenburger hit Patterson's Eric Mason in the second inning, then advanced him with a wild pitch. Mason later scored on Ryan Boarman's single for a 1-0 lead, and it was 2-0 in the third inning after Stanley Lyles reached on an error, stole second, took third on a balk and scored on a single by David Hott (2-for-4, two RBIs).
Down 4-3 with two outs in the top of the sixth, however, Mervo rallied. Frankenburger tied the score with a single that scored Theartis Battle.
Then Mervo's Jason Green reached on a two-base error, advanced on Robbie Dunlap's single and scored the game-winner on another error. Frankenburger went on to retire six of the last eight batters he faced, three on strikeouts.
Mervo was within 2-1 after its four-hit fourth inning, as Sam Thompson tripled and scored on a single by Chris Wilkins.
The Mustangs led 3-2 entering the bottom of the fifth, tying the score at 3-all on a run-scoring single by Ryan O'Malley and going ahead after a single by Dunlap, who later scored on a fielder's choice.
Frankenburger struck out Patterson's first two batters in the bottom of the fifth, but faced a 4-3 deficit after hits by three of the next four.
Lyles singled, then Bobby Oxendine doubled. Hott grounded out, scoring Lyles to make it 3-3. Alex Carter's run-scoring single gave Patterson (4-1) its final lead.
Patterson's Chris Merrill (2-1) struck out seven and walked two, but was replaced by Hott after yielding his 12th hit in the seventh.
Merrill retired eight of the first 10 batters and escaped bases-loaded jams in the fourth and sixth innings on a strikeout and groundout, respectively. His catcher, Bobby Oxendine, picked off two runners.