Monterey piles up 16 hits to trounce Rapides in playoff opener

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2003

MONTEREY, La. &045; Giving up 16 hits in four innings wasn’t the worst of Rapides’ worries.

It was the dinkers, the funny bouncers, the Texas Leaguers and the shots that didn’t come back. Then the errors hurt, and Monterey lumped it all together to take a 16-2 win over Rapides in the opening round of the Class B playoffs Friday afternoon.

The win puts the Wolves (16-5) in the second round against Weston at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Monterey.

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&uot;It’s been happening to us all year,&uot; Rapides head coach Mark Roberts said. &uot;That’s what I was telling the guys. We were a third-place team because of it. But we helped by throwing it around. They didn’t hit the ball hard four or five times, but they made the most of it. I told the guys I didn’t want another season like this, but I felt like we had no answer for their bats.&uot;

The Wolves put runners on just about every way possible in their four trips to the plate. A.J. Smith and Ryan Kemp each put one out of the yard, a Matt Shively blooper off the end of the bat fell between the shortstop and second baseman to score a run, two balls fell between the first baseman and the right fielder and a throwing error on an infield grounder allowed three runs to score.

&uot;We played real hard today,&uot; Smith said. &uot;Our bats worked real well. They were on the ball, and we’re ready to carry it over for the next game.&uot;

The Wolves tacked on seven runs to put the game away after the Mustangs scored two in the second off starter Phillip Bryan. Chad Thomas and Seth Paul led off each with infield singles, and Shively singled in Thomas before a walk to Ben Brallier loaded the bases.

Then Ryan Perkins dropped one in that the first basemen couldn’t come up with &045; one that Perkins almost ran past Brallier at first after he stayed put anticipating a flyout.

&uot;We got some little dippers here, and we got some little dippers there,&uot; Monterey head coach Hank Zizzi said. &uot;But I’ll take the dippers and the line drives &045; as long as they can score and put people on base. What I was really proud of how was we answered and how we came back and scored. That’s what you’ve got to do, and that really takes the wind out of their sails. When you can come back and answer what they do, it hurts them.&uot;

Rapides forced out Shively at the plate for the second out before the costly error came. Ryan Kemp hit a grounder to third that Byron Poole scooped up and threw to first, but Kemp beat it by a step before the throw went into right field.

Brallier, Perkins and Bryan scored before Kemp ended up at third base.

&uot;We made a couple errors, and the home runs hurt us,&uot; Roberts said. &uot;They had a couple Texas Leaguers, but you know what &045; they got hits and put the ball in play. We should have done the same thing. The errors opened the flood gates for us. But that’s what good teams do &045; you make an error, and they come back and make you pay.&uot;

But the inning wasn’t done &045; Smith deposited one way over the left-field fence off reliever Craig Chamberlain for the 16-2 lead after he was the first and last outs of the his club’s five-run third.

&uot;I struck out against the first guy trying to time his fastball,&uot; Smith said. &uot;I just wasn’t patient. I got all of it (on the homer). I felt it when it left the bat. I was waiting on that &045; something high in the zone.&uot;

The Mustangs couldn’t put anything together off Bryan, who allowed three hits and struck out five. Rapides scored the two in the fourth on RBI singles from Josh Richerson and Jason Duck, but Jared Allen got thrown out second to end the inning.

In the fifth Curt Jeansonne reached on an error and went to second on an error with no outs, but Eric Collins grounded into a double play when Jeremy Campbell was forced out at second and called for interference for not sliding.