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PREP BASEBALL Sharon closes in seventh heaven



Published: Sat, April 20, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Justin Schweiss tossed a three-hit shutout for the Tigers.

By BILL ALBRIGHT

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- For the first six innings of Friday's high school baseball game between Sharon and Wilmington, it was anybody's contest as Sharon held a slim 1-0 lead.

In the seventh, everything changed.

The Tigers erupted for seven runs to walk off the field with an 8-0 victory.

For the first six innings, Sharon's Justin Schweiss and Wilmington's Sean Myers took turns tossing zeros at each other. But in the top of the seventh, the Tigers put together six of its nine hits, along with a Wilmington error and a free pass issued by Myers.

Jeff Hofius led the Tigers (3-4) at the plate with three hits in four at bats, with a double and RBI.

"A lot of this team's success is dedicated to perseverance," said Sharon coach Anthony Conti. "We also got an outstanding pitching job by Justin Schweiss. He only gave up three hits and that is tough to contend with."

Strong pitching

Schweiss was masterful on the mound as he completed the three-hit shutout, walking just two while striking out 13.

"He is just an outstanding all-around athlete and today he was really on," said Conti. "He was placing his pitches so well and his breaking ball was moving real well."

While Schweiss was in command right from the first inning, Wilmington's Myers also pitched a tough game. The lefty allowed just six hits through the first six innings, finishing with nine strikeouts and two walks.

Missed opportunities

The Greyhounds (2-6) had their opportunities, especially in the second and third innings.

In the second, their first two batters reached with nobody out, and in the third they loaded the bases only to come up empty. In those two innings, Schweiss retired the Greyhounds 1-2-3 after allowing the runners to reach, striking out five of the six Wilmington batters.

"Those are primary opportunities to score and if you are going to win, you have to take advantage of them," said Wilmington coach Scott Shearer.

"We missed an early opportunity to move the runners up with men on first and second when we popped the bunt up," he said. "With the bases loaded, you are going to score some runs if you put the ball in play and we didn't do that."

As for leaving Myers in to pitch the seventh, Shearer admitted that he liked the matchups Myers had to face.

"They were just throwing the bats out, not really hitting the ball that hard," said Shearer. "We liked a couple of the matchups and that is why we went with him [Myers] a little bit longer than we had anticipated.

"We thought even though he was a little tired, we had a good matchup, but give them credit," Shearer said. "They put the bats on the ball."




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