Phillip Williamson's single with the bases loaded was the deciding hit.
By BILL SULLIVAN
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
STRUTHERS -- The first time Wharmby Sports loaded the bases with one out, they failed to score.
In the final game of the first round of the Connie Mack tournament, the Class B League regular season champions weren't going to make that mistake again.
Phillip Williamson singled up the middle with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning to score J.C. McCoy with the winning run and give Wharmby's a 2-1 decision over the Ohio Trojans Sunday at Cene Park.
"We just left the bases loaded too many times," said Wharmby's manager Steve Burnich.
"We can't do that. We have a little bit of a history doing that; we gotta break out of it."
How it happened
McCoy led off the ninth with a ringing triple to the wall in right. The Trojans walked the next two hitters intentionally to set up a force at home.
After a strikeout, Williamson, who will be a senior at Sharon High, singled over second base to score.
"All I kept yelling was 'middle, right up the middle,' " said Burnich of his instructions to Williamson.
With the score tied at 1, Wharmby's used three straight singles to load the bases with one out in the fifth inning but the next two hitters failed to deliver.
"I was just looking for a good pitch to drive up the middle and get the run in," said Williamson, who had reached earlier on a single and two errors.
He got a curveball he was looking for and drove in the run.
Lamport hurls win
The late-inning heroics overshadowed a fine pitching performance by Wharmby's Reid Lamport.
Lamport, a recent graduate of Poland High, has narrowed his college choices to Kent State and Indiana.
Lamport went the first 82/3 innings and allowed just two singles and one unearned run. He struck out 10 and permitted just three walks, including a pair to the final two batters he faced.
"He threw 112 pitches. I didn't want to let him go that far but he threw real well," said Burnich. "It was one of the best performances I saw this year."
Pitched for Rondinelli's
Lamport pitched for Rondinelli's during the year and opened the regular B League season by striking out 13 Wharmby hitters.
"I kept them off balance with my curveball and slider," Lamport said. "I felt strong. I never pitched that much in my life."
During the high school season Lamport once reached the eighth inning of a game against Canfield but the Bulldogs lost.
Wharmby's left 11 runners on base. The Trojans stranded five.