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Jefferson takes sectional title

May 23, 1998

By JACK HILL III

Staff Correspondent

HEDGESVILLE, W. Va. - It's become a habitual ritual for Jefferson.

When baseball sectional tournament time is here, the Cougars know how to pick up the trophy.

Jefferson won its 15th Section I championship on Friday night, defeating the Martinsburg Bulldogs 8-2 and gaining revenge for a 7-6 loss to the Bulldogs in the opening game of the double-elimination tournament.

Jefferson (24-4) plays Musselman at home in the West Virginia Region II Tournament semifinals Tuesday at 6:30.

"I thought that our kids played well," Jefferson coach John Lowery said. "We had our backs to the wall. However, our kids really dug down deep. ... Anytime that you are on the brink of elimination, you have got to play it one pitch at a time."

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Junior southpaw Josh Cenate threw a two-hitter, striking out six and giving up one earned run. During the early innings, Cenate retired 10 straight batters.

"I pretty much wanted to hit my spots tonight," Cenate said. "I mixed up my pitches as much as I could. ... They hit a lot of balls hard, but my defense stepped up."

Cenate helped himself out with a two-run single in the first and drilled a two-run homer in the second to put the Bulldogs (16-12) down 4-0 after two innings.

Catcher Justin Osbourn had two hits and two RBIs, including a solo homer, and leadoff hitter Desmond Williams added two hits and scored twice for the Cougars.

"I thought that our kids gave me a good effort," Martinsburg coach Dennis Etherington said. "We put the bat on the ball, but when we hit the ball, it went right to people. They were able to make the plays."

We don't play in any conference; we just play some tough teams to help us get better. We have made some improvement since the beginning of the season."

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