|Miller Grove sweeps Trenton to advance to area round|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
May 7, 2005 - PARIS - The Miller Grove Hornets were confident going into Friday's second game of their bi-district series with Trenton.
They had reason to be.
MG senior pitcher Frank Weaver stemmed Trenton's late-game momentum, then scored the winning run with one out in the bottom of the seventh when his younger brother, James, tripled him home.
That gave the Hornets a 3-2 win in Game 2 and a sweep of the best-of-three series played at North Lamar.
Miller Grove (13-4), champions of District 14-A, will now play the winner between Union Grove and Rivercrest-Yantis next week.
After a 20-strikeout, no-hit performance in Game 1 from Ben Whillock, the Hornets received another dominating outing in Game 2 from Frank Weaver.
He struck out 18 and allowed just three hits - the biggest blow was a two-run triple into the left field gap by Austen Barnes in the sixth inning that tied the game at 2-2.
But, the Hornets came back in the bottom of the seventh when Weaver hit a hard fly ball to the warning track in center that popped out of the center fielder's glove. Whillock then lined a shot to third base - and Weaver just barely managed to get back to first to avoid the double play.
James Weaver then came up and drove a 1-0 offering from Trenton southpaw Pate Hubbert over the right fielder's head to score Frank without a throw.
"We were really confident coming into the game," said Frank Weaver, who went 1-for-3 with two runs scored. "We figured we had them down, and I thought they would have a hard time against me. We were pretty confident."
The fact that they would have to score late to win the game was a surprise since Weaver fairly cruised through the first five innings. His only real jam came in their third when a bloop double by Kody Kirkland and a pair of walks loaded the bases with two outs, but Weaver worked out of it with a strikeout of No. 3 hitter Cody Douglas. That started a run of seven consecutive strikeouts.
But, an error and a walk opened the door for the Tigers in the sixth, then Barnes made it sting with his triple. The damage could have been worse, but Barnes was caught in a rundown and tagged out between third and home when it appeared a Trenton batter missed a squeeze bunt sign.
Miller Grove took a 2-0 lead the previous inning when Frank again led off the inning, this time with a walk. James then reached on a two-base error. Ray Sparks drove in one run with an infield grounder and another run scored when Trenton mishandled B.J. Shoemaker's ground ball.
Trenton's Hubbert kept the Hornets off-balance with his repertoire of off-speed pitches. He allowed just three hits and no earned runs, though he walked six and fanned just four.
The Hornets took advantage of Trenton's fielding miscues.
"It just happened that we had the top of our order up at the right time," said MG head coach Sam Panter. "We got an error - we made some errors, they made some errors. Like I told the boys, 'Errors win ball games, errors lose ball games.'
"We just happened to be on top of this one."
The Hornets stranded seven batters, including the bases loaded in the first and two on in the third.
Every person in the Trenton batting order struck out at least twice against the fastball-throwing Weaver except for Hubbert, who fanned once and walked three times.
"My fastball was working, so I didn't throw a whole lot of curves," Weaver said. "I mostly throw fastballs until they prove they can hit it."