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Musselman takes one-game lead

May 19, 1998|By MIKE SIRBAUGH / Staff Correspondent

by Richard T. Meagher / staff photographer

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Musselman wins

BUNKER HILL, W.Va. - Once again, last minute heroics were in order for Musselman to be victorious. The Applemen scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh on Monday to beat the Hampshire Trojans 6-5 in the Region II Section II playoffs.

--cont. from front page--

Musselman is now 9-1 in one-run games for the season.

"We seem to have gotten in a rut," said Musselman coach Jeff Cunningham. "We score runs early and then go cold until late in the game and have to pull it out."

Travis Digruttolo, Hampshire's starting pitcher, hit David Golden with his first pitch of the seventh inning with the game tied 5-5. His next pitch to Aaron Mueller got by catcher Brian "Bubba" Lewis and Golden went to second. Trojan coach Lyndon Willis elected to intentionally walk Mueller to set up a force situation.

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Digruttolo struck out Kevin Dingus swinging after Dingus couldn't get down a sacrifice bunt. Willy Williams, who already drove in a run in the first, then stepped to the plate with a chance to win it. He worked the count to 2-0 and then lined a fastball up the middle, scoring Golden, and giving Musselman (14-11) the edge in the best-of-three series.

"Willy's a dead fastball hitter," said Cunningham. "Give that kid a fastball, and he's as good as anyone out there."

Hampshire opened the scoring in the first when Bart Stewart hit the game's first pitch for a single up the middle and moved to second on a balk by Mueller. Joe Davis followed with a single to left to drive in Stewart.

Digruttolo flied out to center, and Mueller struck out the next two batters to end the inning. Mueller finished with 10 strikeouts in six innings.

Musselman retaliated with three runs in its half of the first on singles by Todd Mosby, Mike Hudson, Golden and Williams. Golden finished with two hits, including a double, and two RBIs, and Williams had three hits and two RBIs.

Hampshire (9-14) got one back in the second on back-to-back doubles to left centerfield by Lucas Griffin and Lewis.

The Applemen bounced back with two more in the bottom of the second. Rodney Hanes reached on a throwing error by Digruttolo, and Mosby moved him to third with a booming double to left. Keith Keller hit a sharp grounder to short that bounced off Eddie Shifflett's glove to bring in both runners.

The Trojans closed to within one in the fifth inning when Joey Charlton drove in Davis and Digruttolo with a single to left.

In the seventh, Davis reached on an error, and Digruttolo singled. Charlton then hit a one-hopper down the third base line that Williams turned into a double play by touching third and throwing out Charlton at first. Matt Snyder then drove in Digruttolo to tie the game.

"This is a game of do's and don't's," said Willis. "And today we didn't. We didn't get the bunt down in the seventh, and that turned into the double play. Those things happen. Those are just fundamentals that we need to work on for tomorrow night."

Musselman visits Hampshire for the second game today at 7 p.m. The Trojans will start Suan Herron (4-3), and Musselman will go with either Mosby or Josh Brown.

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