Conrad sparks Tigers with bat, legs

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ERIK CONRAD ERMA – Erik Conrad knocked the ball all over the field in his four at bats against Wildwood Catholic Tuesday afternoon. But it was what he did on the bases that got the biggest rise out of his teammates.

Conrad, a senior third baseman on the Lower Cape May baseball team who will never be confused with Rickey Henderson, stole his first career base during a seven-run fifth inning. His teammates cheered wildly from the dugout when he rumbled down the basepath and created a cloud of dust with a less-than-graceful slide into the bag.

“I haven’t gotten that (steal) sign many times,” Conrad said with a laugh. “I was happy to see it.”

Conrad’s stolen base may have provided some levity, but the Caper Tigers were all business with the bats, banging out 13 hits in their 13-3 victory that ended in five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Conrad was the game’s offensive star, going 4 for 4 with a double and three RBI. He was one of four Lower Cape May players to belt at least two hits.

The victory gave Lower a bit of revenge, considering the Tigers lost 12-2 to Wildwood Catholic earlier this month at the Warrior Classic tournament.

“We had to bounce back,” Conrad said. “We all know we were better than that. We knew we had to get our heads straight and have not so many bad mistakes and come out swinging.”

Lower certainly came out swinging. The Tigers scored three times in the first, twice in the third, once in the fourth and ended the game with its seven-run fifth.

In addition to Conrad’s output, Colon Donahue and Josh Meyer each had two hits and two RBI and Dom Catanoso went 2 for 3 with an RBI triple.

Lower improved to 6-12 with the victory, which came in the team’s final home game of the season.

“Obviously we wanted to get them back,” Lower coach Mike Kuemmerle said. “We wanted to male it a special day for the seniors, to win on this field in their last game here. Catholic always plays with pride and if you keep them in the game they’re scrappy. But we kept the pressure on them all game.”

Mike Laing pitched four innings for the win. He survived a scare in the third inning when he was struck on the leg with a hard line drive but managed to stay in the game.

Andrew Long had an RBI single and Kevin Laffey singled and scored for the Crusaders (5-11).


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