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Jefferson wins

May 27, 1998|By JACK HILL III

by Joe Crocetta / staff photographer

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Jimmy Rhodes

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - Jefferson sophomore pitcher Jimmy Rhodes had nearly unhittable stuff Tuesday night.

The only question was if he would get enough support offensively and defensively. He got so much of each that it wasn't a question at all, but rather a reality.

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The Cougars collected 13 runs and 12 hits and made only one error, helping Rhodes, who fired a two-hitter, and the Cougars to a 13-0 win over the Musselman Applemen in a West Virginia Class AAA Region II baseball semifinal playoff game.

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The game was stopped after 4 1/2 innings because of the 10-run rule.

"That was probably the best three-phase job that we have done all year with pitching, hitting and fielding," Jefferson coach John Lowery said. "Jimmy Rhodes did an outstanding job on the mound. I thought that he had a good breaking pitch. He had good location with his pitches."

Jefferson (25-4) will host University or Fairmont on Thursday night at 6:30 in the West Virginia Class AAA Region II championship game. Rhodes struck out eight batters and issued only two walks in five innings of work to raise his record to 8-1.

"I just wanted to try to keep the ball down low, throw strikes and keep my curveball across the plate," Rhodes said. "I get big support every night when I am on the mound. We have a real strong offense this year. I felt pretty comfortable all night. I had a pretty long rest, so I felt pretty strong. I thought that I threw a good game."

Rhodes also contributed offensively with three RBIs and two runs scored. Scott Wells finished with three RBIs, three runs scored and two hits for the Cougars. Desmond Williams, Dylan Hetzel and Josh Cenate added two hits apiece for Jefferson. Williams and Cenate had two RBIs each.

Jefferson took a 1-0 lead over Musselman (15-12) in the first inning on back-to-back doubles by Hetzel and Cenate. The Cougars added four runs in the second to 5-0 on a two-run double by Rhodes, an RBI single by Williams and a fielding error.

Jefferson got two more in the third on an RBI double by Wells and an RBI single by Jason Dailey.

The Cougars scored their final six runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Cenate, a two-run double by Wells, a fielding error, an RBI fielder's choice grounder by Rhodes and an RBI single by Williams.

"I thought that we swung the bats well," Lowery said. "I thought that our kids were aggressive both at the plate and on the basepaths.'' We ran the bases well and that helped us to put pressure on them. Anytime that you have a lead, you can take those aggressive chances on the basepaths."

Musselman coach Jeff Cunningham was optimistic about his team's future.

"We are only losing two seniors," Cunningham said. "Everybody else will be back again next year."

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