GLEN ROCK — All that Mount Wolf manager Tim Brenner could do after Wednesday’s Central League clash against Glen Rock was shrug his shoulders.
Not in a good way, either.
Who could blame him? His first-place Wolves had just scored 10 times in a pivotal showdown on the road — and lost.
That fact left Brenner a little befuddled.
The home team plated 12 runs, including three in a sixth inning that propelled Glen Rock to a satisfying 12-10 triumph.
“You score 10 runs and you expect to win the game,” Brenner said.
The league leaders appeared to be in great shape after jumping on Glen Rock starter Brad McCullough for three runs in the first. The Wolves added one more in the second to go ahead 4-0.
But "The Rock" got to Mount Wolf starter Jake Krevetski in the second inning to tie the game. After the visitors plated four runs to go ahead 8-4 in the top of the frame, the home team scored five times in the bottom of the third inning to pull ahead by a run, 9-8. Nearly half (four) of Glen Rock’s nine runs to that point were driven in by catcher Joe Young, who batted ninth.
After Mount Wolf evened up the score in the fifth, the home team went to work in the sixth against Wolves reliever Mark Burnside. Veteran Dan Rhodes began the inning with a double to right. A single and an error by Dan Dierdorff in center allowed Glen Rock (16-10) to take the lead.
“Rhodes has been around for a while now,” Glen Rock’s Scott Merkel said. “He’s a great leader and we love having him on the team. And he’s a good guy to get us started there.”
A strikeout and a single put runners on first and third, ending Burnside’s night. The Wolves brought in Dierdorff to try to get the final two outs, but his first pitch to Luke Knott was lined into right center, scoring both runs to make it 12-9.
Dierdorff drove in a run with a double to the right-center gap in the seventh, but was stranded at third by Merkel, who picked up the save in relief.
“It’s nice to get on the mound,” Merkel said. “I wasn’t nervous. I know I have a great defense behind me, so all I have to do is try to put the ball over the plate and get some strikes and get some outs.”
You can excuse Merkel and his teammates if they felt a little better after knocking off the Wolves. Beating the Wolves is always a big deal, but the fact that it came a night after Glen Rock blew a big lead against Jefferson before falling in nine innings made it a little sweeter.
“We needed this one tonight,” said Merkel, who collected two hits. “We dropped a real tough one last night. Last night was tough … it was another high-scoring game, but this is nice to earn two points here tonight.”
While it certainly wasn’t McCullough’s best outing of his long and successful career, the effort he put forth with his team short on pitching was huge, according to his skipper, Jeff Stiffler. McCullough allowed 10 runs (nine earned), 13 hits and five walks over 6 1/3 innings, yet still earned the victory.
“Brad had to bulldog it out there tonight,” Stiffler said. “What a job.”
Stiffler’s team still has six more regular-season games to play over the next 10 days, which means that starters such as McCullough might have to take some lumps. But as long as guys such as Young (two hits), Merkel, Rhodes and Dan Rogers (two hits) keep hitting, the final week of the season could be quite exciting for Stiffler and company.
“It’s going to be fun,” Stiffler said. “I love it.”
Dierdorff and teammate Dustin Kuhn led a potent Mount Wolf offense Wednesday. Dierdorff reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances (two singles, double, walk, hit by pitch), scored three runs and drove in one. Kuhn finished 4 for 5 (two singles, double, triple) while driving in five runs.
Mount Wolf fell to 19-7.
Shiloh 13, Dover 11: At Dover, Walker Monteith led the visitors by going 4 for 4. Also for Shiloh, Jesse Bortner went 3 for 5, Brock Gladfelter went 3 for 5, Jerrin Toomey tripled and Dillon Schwartzer and Mike Santiago each doubled. For Dover, Mike Moore went 3 for 5 with a triple, Cody Glass went 3 for 5 with a double, Trent Raber went 3 for 5 and Austin Rickrode hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the first. Shiloh had 21 hits, while Dover connected for 17.
Conrads 13, Felton 2: At Conrads, Brandon Miller led the offense for the home team by going 5 for 5, including three doubles, with five RBIs and three runs scored. Also for Conrads, Jackson Marshall went 3 for 3, including two doubles, with two runs scored; Kevin Keesey doubled; and Josh Knaub started the game on the mound, going five innings, striking out two and walking two to pick up the win. For Felton, Dan Waldrup had two RBIs, while Kody Allen doubled.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.